Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (Vintage International) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $18.00
  • Save: $2.12 (12%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 14 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by TrnThePage
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle Paperback – February 19, 1990


See all 20 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.88
$8.96 $1.58
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$4.55

Frequently Bought Together

Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle + Play It As It Lays: A Novel + Invisible Monsters: A Novel
Price for all three: $36.14

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reissue edition (February 19, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679725229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679725220
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist.  It tells a love story troubled by incest.  But more: it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time, parody of the history of the novel, and erotic catalogue.   Ada, or Ardor is no less than the supreme work of an imagination at white heat.

This is the first American edition to include the extensive and ingeniously  sardonic appendix by the author, written under the anagrammatic pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.

About the Author

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins.

The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri.

Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses--the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions--which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

More About the Author

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri. Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing ficticvbn ral books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

Customer Reviews

I'm trying to read a page a day but even that is too difficult.
greg556
If you are like me, however, this book will also provide you with one of the most moving and emotionally harrowing stories you may ever come across.
A. C. Johnson
I love this book far too much to even bring myself to fully talk about it.
scott gates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 157 people found the following review helpful By TUCO H. on October 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Ada" is an unconventional, sci-fi fantasy (no rockets and spaceships here, don't worry) firmly rooted in the late 19th and early 20th century Russia of Nabokov's birth, that takes place on a planet called Antiterra `parallel' to `our Earth' which is called Terra. Things have happened there in somewhat similar yet oddly different ways than on Terra (earth), including the fact that the Russian and American land masses are connected.
This set-up allows Nabokov as wide a scope as possible to dig into his own memories and also for prose excursions into uncharted territory. "Ada" is certainly his most comprehensive and difficult novel, and definitely his greatest after "Lolita" ("Pale Fire" die-hards can disagree all they want, but they probably haven't taken the time to delve deep enough into "Ada").
"Ada" is also Nabokov's own twist on Proustian memory investigations. It is being written as `memoirs' by his main character: Van Veen, but also includes certain intrusions by Ada Veen, who is with him as he's writing it (during the time they spend their old age together after years of separation). So, often, especially in the first third or so of the book, two perspectives of the past are provided. Two memories remember certain things they both experienced or saw, each from its special perspective, and sometimes one adds things the other may have forgotten. Towards the end of the book, Nabokov uses Van's slightly demented but deeply observant writings about the nature of Time to capsulize the thought processes that made Van write these memoirs in this `odd' way.
The main event in Van's memoirs is his secret incestuous relationship with Ada, who is his half-sister. Van is in love with Ada who loves him back and their love affair affects the whole course of their lives.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Johnson on July 15, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This tragic story of love and obsession is written as if it is the true life memoir of fictional character Van Veen. V.V. is a Russian-American aristocrat born to extreme wealth in the late 1800's on a fictional world called Antiterra. Antiterra is almost identical to Earth, except for minor details, such as the place names are different and some conveniences such as airplanes, telephones, and motion pictures were in existence as early as 1884.
That fateful year of 1884 provides the novel with its chief building block. Our narrator spent that summer, his 15th, at his aunt's summer house, Ardis, where he and his 12 year old cousin Ada Veen ended up falling in love with the mad insatiable passion that is typical for teenagers. Shortly after falling in love, though, the pair learns that due to a much more complex family tree than either initially realized, they are actually brother and sister casting a tragic shadow over their intoxicating relationship.
These facts are presented to us, although obscurely, within the first 30 pages of the 589 page book, so don't think that I have just given away any key plot points here. In fact, this novel is all about Van and Ada's refusal (or inability) to ever grow out of their idyllic, though incestuous, summertime romance. The summer of 1884 grows to haunt the rest of their lives, and this book for the most part is the story of that haunting.
The story is remarkable and for those who end up getting emotionally involved in the story, it is the type of novel that will seep into your soul unlike just about any book you may ever read. Unfortunately, a highly complex writing style is likely to act a a very major hurdle that will prevent a lot of people from ever getting through the book.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
and I'm just getting to a point where I'm detached enough from the reading of this novel to comment on it.
I will never forget the first half of this novel, with its riveting imagery, beautiful descriptions, and bizarre characters. Only Nabokov can make incest seem natural and almost acceptable.
Once Ada and Van got older, I cared less about them. Even though Nabokov wants us to despise them to a certain point, the fact that they are made so despicable made it tougher to slog through the second half, especially that "philosophical treatise on time and space" (as the back cover blurb phrased it) which tantalized me but ultimately shut my limited mind out.
If you haven 't read it yet, I recommend the following--- DO NOT read this novel until you have immersed yourself in Nabokov's earlier work for a long time. He alludes quite often to characters from earlier novels of his (much like Joyce did in Ulysses).
This novel seems to be a summation / recapitulation of Nabokov's life's work. Don't start here and work your way backwards - if you are like me, you'll be frustrated.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Daniel McGrath on April 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Adding to this compilation of 40 reviews seems superfluous, and yet I love Nabokov's "Ada" far too much not to recommend it to any who may not yet have read it.

Nabokov actually provides a review of his own in the book's final paragraphs: "Ardis Hall -- the Ardors and Arbors of Ardis -- this is the leitmotiv rippling through "Ada", an ample and delightful chronicle, whose principal part is staged in a dream-bright America -- for are not our childhood memories comparable to Vineland-borne caravelles, indolently encircled by the white birds of dreams?

"Not the least adornment of the chronicle is the delicacy of pictorial detail: a latticed gallery; a painted ceiling; a pretty plaything stranded among the forget-me-nots of a brook; butterflies and butterfly orchids in the margin of the romance; a misty view descried from marble steps; a doe in gaze in the ancestral parks; and much, much more."

It's a wonder how powerfully "Ada" connects with readers, since Nabokov seemingly makes no concessions to them and anchors the book so strongly in the unique attributes of his own biography. Drawing heavily on English, Russian and French and employing a complexity of exposition, Nabokov frustrates efforts for a quick or casual reading. Yet his art serves to create a psychological displacement and opens a doorway through which the reader can explore the texture, the sadness and joys of remembrance. This is the point I would stress, since the book's characters and plot are nicely summarized in other reviews you'll find here.

Memories. I recall a first, startling encounter with eight improbable chapters of "Ada" (the night of the Burning Barn!) in the April, 1969 issue of Playboy magazine.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?