|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Shirin himself was a thickset man with a reddish crew cut, always badly shaved and wearing large spectacles behind which, as in two aquariums, swam two tiny, transparent eyes--which were completely impervious to visual impressions. He was blind like Milton, deaf like Beethoven, and a blockhead to boot.Of course, only a fraction of The Gift is taken up with this sort of demolition derby. Fyodor's romance with Zina, for example, occasions the most ardent prose of Nabokov's career: "And not only was Zina cleverly and elegantly made to measure for him by a very painstaking fate, but both of them, forming a single shadow, were made to the measure of something not quite comprehensible, but wonderful and benevolent and continuously surrounding them." (Shades of Volodya and Véra? Only the deceased husband and wife, and perhaps Stacy Schiff, know for sure.)
At the same time, The Gift is a brilliant, mesmerizing riff on the history of Russian literature, with elaborate bouquets tossed to Pushkin and Gogol. There's also a hilarious yet somehow tender evisceration of the do-gooding polemicist Nikolai Chernyshevski--which was suppressed, in fact, when the novel was originally serialized by a Russian émigré magazine. As should be clear by now, The Gift defies any attempt at quick-and-dirty summary. But the book plays the most pleasurable kind of havoc with our stuffy notions of narrative structure and linguistic protocol. And as Nabokov repeatedly wraps the reader's consciousness around his little finger, he never holds back on that ultimate literary gift: pleasure. --James Marcus
I've enjoyed the pace of the text and found it to be a book worth savoring over an extended reading.
If you have any interest at all in Nabokov, Russian literature, Russian emigres or Berlin, you really should read this book.
Nabokov is very funny(in case you didn't already know that) and no matter what his subject matter the humor comes through.
We all have to choose (or have it selected for us). Nabokov chose the latter, and The Gift is a celebration of that choice with a diatribe against the opposite camp thrown in. Read morePublished 3 days ago by dogstar
you KNOW, mon, dat Nab be mine fav scribbler next meself, mon. and maybe dat wonderful Naipaul (dat wonderful monster, mon). Read morePublished 18 days ago by chongo memongo
His last book in Russian and a worthy farewell. Nabokov's complex and difficult novel can be tough to stick to but is so original and unpredictable that one should persevere.Published 12 months ago by Charles C. Dyer
I tend to read fairly quickly, ladies and gentlemen, but "The Gift" took me way more time than even its 366 pages would seem to indicate. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
I needed the novel in order to begin advising one of my graduate students who has embarked on a formalist study of Nabokov's masterful work. Read morePublished on November 25, 2011 by John Taylor
The GIFT is a brilliant non-chronological bildungsroman that shows Fyodor Godunov-Cherdyntsev, a Russian born to privilege and affluence in the final years of Nicholas II, becoming... Read morePublished on March 8, 2011 by Ethan Cooper
The Gift is one of Nabokov's last novels originally written in Russian. As such, you might suspect it's Nabokov at the height of his powers. Read morePublished on July 15, 2010 by Marco
Thus far I've read all but maybe 2 or 3 of Nabokov's novels. This is the first one that I've quit reading.
The first half is OK. There's actually a story. Read more
"Among the best prose stylists of our century..." goes the complement to Nabokov's fiction. You know what, he is still among the best prose stylists in this century, the 21st. Read morePublished on February 12, 2009 by Gabriel Melchor