- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Revised, Updated ed. edition (April 23, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679727299
- ISBN-13: 978-0679727293
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,422 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Annotated Lolita: Revised and Updated Paperback – April 23, 1991
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
In 1954 Vladimir Nabokov asked one American publisher to consider "a firebomb that I have just finished putting together." The explosive device: Lolita, his morality play about a middle-aged European's obsession with a 12-year-old American girl. Two years later, the New York Times called it "great art." Other reviewers staked a higher moral ground (the editor of the London Sunday Express declaring it "the filthiest book I've ever read"). Since then, the sinuous novel has never ceased to astound. Even Nabokov was astonished by its place in the popular imagination. One biographer writes that "he was quite shocked when a little girl of eight or nine came to his door for candy on Halloween, dressed up by her parents as Lolita." And when it came time to casting the film, Nabokov declared, "Let them find a dwarfess!"
The character Lolita's power now exists almost separately from the endlessly inventive novel. If only it were read as often as it is alluded to. Alfred Appel Jr., editor of the annotated edition, has appended some 900 notes, an exhaustive, good-humored introduction, and a recent preface in which he admits that the "reader familiar with Lolita can approach the apparatus as a separate unit, but the perspicacious student who keeps turning back and forth from text to Notes risks vertigo." No matter. The notes range from translations to the anatomical to the complex textual. Appel is also happy to point out the Great Punster's supposedly unintended word play: he defends the phrase "Beaver Eaters" as "a portmanteau of 'Beefeaters' (the yeoman of the British royal guard) and their beaver hats."
"...the reader of Lolita attempts to arrive at some sense of its overall 'meaning,' while at the same time having to struggle...with the difficulties posed by the recondite materials and rich, elaborate verbal textures. The main purpose of this edition is to solve such local problems and to show how they contribute to the total design of the novel."--From the Preface by Alfred Appel, Jr.
"Fascinatingly detailed."--Edmund Morris, The New York Times Book Review
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Spare yourself from this hassle and just buy "The Annotated Lolita."
On the surface, you might imagine it uncomfortable to read a story in which our narrator and protagonist is a middle aged man with an obsessive fetish for "nymphets," who forms a sexual relationship with a 12 year old girl, traveling around the country while cunningly passing himself off as her father. But readers might find it reassuring(or disappointing) to know that there's actually very little obscenity in this novel, that sex is never actually described in detail, that the closest it comes to erotica would be when Lo reclines and naively rests her legs on the narrator's lap for the first time, that this book is actually a highbrow comedy. Humbert Humbert(or H.H.), as he calls himself, is a handsome, wealthy, and intelligent man, who, seemingly bored and callous to the world, constantly injects his uniquely blithe and sardonic humor into the text. Every character he meets is mocked with a jolly contempt. Every scenario in this book is turned into a parody. Consciously aware of his own creepiness and mental fragility, "lucidly insane," H.H. even parodies himself.
Here you will find a writing style that will make you feel more sophisticated just for having understood it. There are literary allusions to please the English buffs, along with an expansive vocabulary including, but not limited to, some rare and exotic words which do not even appear in the standard Kindle dictionary. But most of the humor, I think, is really in the tone and the way characters are portrayed, and even if you don't quite understand every remark H.H. makes, none of this is really necessary to appreciate the story.
In Part Two, the focus starts to shift a bit to some of the more subtle features of their relationship: the places they visited, Dolly growing up, Dolly bringing friends over, Dolly playing tennis, etc. I found it impressive to see how the characters changed and developed throughout this part, and Humbert Humbert's reflections on their relationship were even somewhat profound sometimes. Some people who aren't interested in the aesthetics here might find this area to be a little slow, but I promise you'll be rewarded soon after. The second to last chapter is hilarious.
As for the annotations, they were ok. They provide some extra background information, they translate the French for you, but they were nothing special. Some reviewers have complained about the lack of in-text hyperlinks, but I honestly don't think these would have been beneficial. The numerical chapter headings already have hyperlinks, my kindle app lets me jump back and forth with just a couple finger taps, and in-text hyperlinks would have been distracting. However, A.A. does seem to give away some spoilers in his annotations, so for those who would prefer a full immersion experience and who would like to try to predict some mysteries on their own, I might suggest actually ignoring the annotations the first time they read Lolita, or at least the ones that don't translate French.
The introduction seemed to start off well until Appel started talking about literary involution. There is a lot of involution in Lolita, realism is deliberately thrown out the window sometimes, but I saw this as contributing to the comical effect and nothing more. Appel seems to interpret some kind of subjectivist philosophical meaning in it which I thought just went too far. His anecdote about the Puppet Show, and how his 5 and 3 year old children began laughing to steel themselves against the terror of questioning the reality of reality(whatever that means) was so stupid, I immediately skipped the rest of the Introduction and continued onto the Foreword. Nabokov's commentary on Lolita at the end, however, was pleasant.
In the end Lolita did not seem to be angry with Humbert. There are delicate emotions that she placed deep into her subconscious. It is why I think she admits that she is not truly in love with her new husband and basically sees Humbert as nothing but a person who can provide her with money.. Lolita “admitting “ to Humbert that her true love was Quilty can possibly be a play on her part to rid her world of both Humbert and Quilty.
Be warned. Try to go into this book with an open mind. It’s hard to get through some of the sensual parts of the book. If you do you will have a better understanding about the vitriol we feel towards pedophiles and a better understanding of the unrelenting compassion we need to keep showing the victims of these horrific crimes.
Most recent customer reviews
Font entices you to read more.
Subject matter?Read more