Title :: Lolita
Author :: Vladimir Nabokov
Completed :: Jan 30 2008
Challenges :: 1001 Books
Rating :: 3/5

This book has been on my to read list for quite a while. It was definitely not what I was expecting. For some reason I had this idea that the story took place in the mid-late 1800s somewhere in Europe and dealt with this deep intense forbidden passion. And I guess I also expected some of the story to be filtered through Lolita's eyes... hmmm... not sure where I got all that from - must not have been paying attention when people talked about it and I definitely have not seen the movie. Have you ever done that, read a book thinking you knew what it was about only to have been completely wrong?

The book is actually narrated solely through Humbert, a man with an affinity for pre-pubescent girls and is somewhat comedic - definitely wasn't expecting that. When Humbert's marriage fails and he tires of the girls in Europe he moves to America where he takes up a room with a woman and her young daughter, Dolores a.k.a. Lolita. Humbert becomes determined to claim her and looks for any excuse to be near her, to touch her. Dolores' mother however, develops feelings for Humbert and when she alerts him of the fact he realizes this is the way to secure his place in the house and thus take care of his little Lolita. The book progresses with the death of Lolita's mother. Humbert now has the opportunity and freedom to do with Lolita as he likes. He picks her up from her summer camp and the two of them begin a roadtrip with various encounters in lodgings across the States. They even had an argument on the corner of Central Ave and 7th Street in Phoenix... only those streets in real life run perpendicular to one another so that unfortunately would have been impossible... minor detail.

For a short while the two take up residence in a small town posing as father and daughter. Humbert becomes jealous of Lolita's interactions with children her own age and they are soon back on the road where he increasingly becomes paranoid believing that they are being followed by a spy. Things escalate and then come crashing down.

The end of their roadtrip was a bit disappointing - for me anyway - I guess because I would like to have known what was going on in Lolita's head and how she really felt about the whole situation. In Humbert's eyes she seems to have what I would call a "whatever" attitude. I guess I was also hoping for a real triumph for Lolita, but it seems she ends up in another situation where the reader is left wondering if she's happy.

So basically I wasn't overly impressed but I do think the author was successful in showing what can happen when we are consumed by a passion, an obsession and how irrational we can become and how it can hurt others.

Other Thoughts ::
: you're next - reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link!

. listening . it ends tonight . the all-american rejects . move along .


posted by Ashleigh @ 14:03,


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    ashleigh (ash'lė) n.
    1: egyptologist; currently living in the uk attempting to obtain a phd in egyptology, hoping in the end there will be a job.
    2: literary; reading to escape reality, to improve conversation, for inspiration.
    3: crafter; crocheting and needlework, creating heirlooms, keeping the world warm.
    4: dreamer; head in the clouds, full of fantasies, wishing to be someone else, somewhere else.
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:: reading ::
: Ivanhoe . Walter Scott
: Schindler's Ark . Thomas Keneally
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: The Red Queen . Margaret Drabble
: Un Lun Dun . China Miéville
: A Handful of Dust . Evelyn Waugh
: Adjunct: An Undigest . Peter Manson
: A Kestral for a Knave . Barry Hines

:: recently finished ::
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: Written on the Body . Jeanette Winterson
: The Bell Jar . Sylvia Plath
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: The Subtle Knife . Philip Pullman

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