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Nabokov: Novels 1955-1962: Lolita / Pnin / Pale Fire (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 1996
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Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Lolita" is the tale for which Nabokov is best known. The redundantly-named, middle-aged (dirty old man) Humbert Humbert is haunted by some teenage love he had long ago, and which he thinks he has refound in the prepubescent Delores Haze (called "Lolita" by Humbert). He sets out to seduce the unsuspecting girl, but her mom is standing in the way...
"Pnin" is a gently comic tale about Timofey Pnin, a timid, moderately neurotic Russian professor who now lives in the United States. He's amazed by technology, fussy, a bit weird about his health, and has problems with American train schedules. The unfortunate Pnin stumbles from one problem to another, trying to keep everything under control in uncontrollable circumstances.
"Pale Fire" is perhaps the best literary satire out there. Poet John Shade wrote the sprawling 999-line poem "Pale Fire," shortly before being murdered. After his death, the poem is being painstakingly dissected and annotated by his neighbor, Charles Kinbote. Except Kinbote is a nutjob, who interprets "Pale Fire" as being all about him, and will come up with weird symbolism to justify his belief.
"Lolita: A Screenplay" is almost a different version of "Lolita." Here Nabokov recounted the same events of the novel, but from an ominiscent perspective -- that of the person who would be watching the movie.Read more ›
This collection includes my favorite work by Nabokov: Pale Fire. Waft this beneath the nose of any person with a Masters in English who has fainted and you will revive her/im. It is in every way a perfect send up of scholarly criticism and only the Pooh Perplex approaches it in wit. I have only once written a paper with more footnotes than text: it was not a sight to behold.
For the other works here, you've either heard about Lo or seen a version of it. In written form, it is a masterpiece of voice.
Pnin draws much on Nabokov's own life, an emigre leaving Russia and fleeing Hitler and turning academic, achieving some measures of success and happiness but who then lights out for new territories.
Not to be ignored is Library of America that has drawn together many important works of great American writers. They have put these folk on good paper (acid free) between good boards (quality binding) so something of value will last.
Good works, good writers, good intentions....good reading
Lolita: What is there to say? The debate of Nabokov's masterpiece seems to be between Lolita and Pale Fire. I vote for Lolita. In my opinion, it's not only Nabokov's best, but possibly the best novel of the 20th century. The plot line on the surface is actually very easy to follow: everyone knows it's about a pedophile named Humbert Humbert who travels around the states with Dolores Haze, "Lolita" to him, and that he is in love with her. However, simply focusing on the basic plot line does this novel an injustice. As another reviewer pointed out regarding another Nabokov connection, you get out of his novels exactly what you put into them. You can read it simply as a story, and not bother with the French or looking up the references. I recommend reading it as it is on the first run, and then getting an annotated edition. You'll be amazed how much you missed. The ending scene with quality may be my favorite scene in any novel. Highly recommended.
Pnin: Graham Greene, in his six word review, describes this novel better than I ever could: "Hilariously funny and of a sadness." Timofey Pnin is a brilliant man that you will at first laugh at, but in a pitying sort of way. As a character he is slightly pathetic, but you will feel sorry for him. I think this may be Nabokov's funniest novel, and is one of my favorites.
Pale Fire: This novel is set up in a very clever way. We are introduced, by Charles Kinbote, to a poem called Pale Fire, which was written by his friend John Shade soon before his death.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent compilation of some of Nabokov's best stuff. I love to re-read "Lolita".Published 7 months ago by tipton blish
It's a shame so many people read and enjoy LOLITA but then don't go on to Nabokov's other "pre-post-modern" works, like PNIN and PALE FIRE. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Allen Smalling
It was a gift and the person receiving it was thrilled - they have read Nabokov's other works.Published 16 months ago by Janet George
LOLITA is only one of the novels in this volume, but it's surely Nabokov's most famous and most controversial, so I'm going to ignore the others, even though all of them are worth... Read morePublished 19 months ago by reading man
I received these novels in a beautiful hardcover book that was in great condition. It's amazing.Published 20 months ago by jrk4250
Nabokov's the best of a unique, trans-Atlantic generation. Read Pnin first, Lolita second. This man is a stylist apart from all other prose stylists, but he DOES take getting... Read morePublished on November 13, 2013 by William A. Conelly
Listening to Jeremy Irons' perfect audiobook rendering of the perfect novel "Lolita" recently reminded me of the original work, so I went back to it and I welcomed the screenplay... Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by John L Murphy
One must celebrate those plural minds who decided that a Russian exile and cosmopolitan writer could have a home among American classics. Read morePublished on March 7, 2011 by Carlos Franz Thorud