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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Save: $7.76 (22%)
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Pale Fire: A Poem in Four... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships direct from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $35. Overnight and 2 day shipping available!
Trade in your item
Get a $4.74
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 4 images

Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade Hardcover – November 23, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$27.24
$21.94 $16.27

Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
$27.24 FREE Shipping. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade
  • +
  • Pale Fire (Everyman's Library (Cloth))
Total price: $45.76
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

Gingko Press's edition of Pale Fire is hands-down the most beautiful book of the year. (...) Pale Fire is the product of three years passion, originally conceived by Jean Holabird, an artist who suggested the idea to longtime friend, Gingko's publisher, Mo Cohen. Cohen became the spearhead for the project, seeking out Nabokov expert Bryan Boyd, working with project coordinator Anika Heusermann and even traveling to Montreux to spend a day with Dmitri Nabokov, discussing the project and watching endurance car racing on TV. I make mention of passion because you can feel three years work when you hold this book. Its contents, hidden within a black box that unfolds this way and that much in the way Nabokov's book does, feel substantial; they feel important. When you hold the book, you remember that books can actually just be beautiful things. --Publishers Weekly

...The Gingko Press Pale Fire is a fetishist's dream, an extravagant plaything to be unpacked and fondled with glee. (Nabokov: One should notice and fondle details.) In another, it is a serious statement about how seriously we ought to take Nabokov's longest and most ambitious piece of verse. The new edition also comes with a svelte booklet containing two essays, by the Nabokov biographer Brian Boyd and the distinguished poet R. S. Gwynn, both of which argue passionately for the aesthetic splendor and autonomy of Pale Fire the poem. --The New Yorker

This jewelbox of intellectual, polemical bookmaking is a defiant shot across the bow of those dull-witted critics who, over the decades, have denigrated the poem as a pastiche, a parody even (the truly tin-eared) a prank, because they are unable to (literally) think outside the box and read the poem as an unconventionally presented integral work of art, a meditation on fate, death, and art that in my view is the pre-eminent work of verse in American literature in the past century. This does not mean it doesn't work as well as the central element within the novel, but (to use the Shakespearean metaphor in the title) the poem is the sun, the footnoted text its reflected lunar luminosity. At last it emerges from eclipse. --Slate

From the Inside Flap

Many think Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov's greatest novel. At its heart beats the 999-line poem, "Pale Fire," penned by the distinguished American poet John Shade. This first-ever facsimile edition of the poem shows it to be not just a fictional device but a masterpiece of American poetry, albeit by an invented persona -- "the greatest of invented poets," according to Nabokov's own accurate evaluation. In the novel Shade's mad neighbor, Charles Kinbote, absconds with the index-card manuscript of the poem, compiling an ostensible line-by-line commentary that largely ignores Shade's text and heeds only his own egotism. Kinbote's commentary, the bulk of the novel, is an insane comic triumph of would-be romantic self-celebration that cannot quite mute its undertones of desperation. But here we rescue "Pale Fire" from the madman's hand to show the magician's sleight of hand, and the enchantment, in Nabokov's most ambitious poem.

Renowned Nabokov authority Brian Boyd brilliantly explains "Pale Fire" on its and Shade's own terms, showing how its texture compares with Shakespeare's sonnets at their best. Poet R.S. Gwynn sets it in the context of American poetry of its time. Artist Jean Holabird, who conceived the project, illustrates key details of the poem's pattern and pathos.

Now readers can see the text for themselves, fresh from Shade's hands, before Kinbote commandeered it so shamelessly.

This attractive box contains two bookletsthe poem "Pale Fire" in a handsome pocket edition and the book of essays by Boyd and Gwynnas well as facsimiles of the index cards that John Shade (like his maker, Nabokov) used for composing his poem, printed exactly as Vladimir Nabokov described them.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 88 pages
  • Publisher: Gingko Press; Box Pap/Bk edition (November 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584234318
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584234319
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David C. Scheltema on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has been delayed in my Amazon cart for MONTHS! Despite the wait I can say this is a must have for Nabokovians. The format for the product is as follows: Shades poem, Nabokov's note cards, and Boyd's commentary, which are all housed inside the pictured clamshell box. All I should say is that I bought a second copy. Great price, nice construction despite the Chinese publishing house (often this spells low quality production, but not here), and, well it's Nabokov and Boyd.
4 Comments 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nicely made, with cards and all, edition of Pale Fire. Will make a great gift for a literature buff.

For those unfamiliar with the book: the poem Pale Fire is written by John Shade. His crazy "friend" Kinbote kidnaps the manuscript and comments profusely on it. In fact, his comments take up the bigger part of the book. Both Shade and Kinbote are products of Vladimir Nabokov's imagination.

This edition is a hard-bound exterior folio with a stack of cards (the draft) and a small book with the final edition of the poem. Very cute!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This version of "Pale Fire" is a truly attractive and interesting concept in the production of one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces. The original book is based on a 999 line poem of extraordinary wonder in 4 Cantos. In addition, there is an extensive interpretive statement also written by Nabokov, under the guise of a 'Professor Kinbote.' The publishers of this version of the book had a wonderful concept. They rendered the 999 line poem on index cards, as Nabokov would have utilized in his creation of this great masterpiece. Aesthetically, the rendering of this version is truly exceptional. However, the premise of the production is aberrant in one serious respect.

The publisher seeks to emphasize the beauty and wonder of Nabokov's poem, and does this along with two wonderful interpretive commentaries never before published. However, they completely eliminate the commentary by 'Prof. Kinbote,' writing him off as a crazy lunatic with an obscure and absurd interpretive commentary on the poem. The odd thing about this choice is that 'Kinbote' is not a real person, who is a crazy lunatic. Rather, Kinbote is also a creation of Nabokov himself and the true and full meaning of the poem's underlying amazement is ONLY revealed through the comments of 'Kinbote.' To exclude his commentary from the publication is truly to rob the reader of some of the most intricate and important aspects of the book as Nabokov originally rendered his work. Even more surprising is that one of the commentators in this edition is Brian Boyd, who wrote a biography of Nabokov and of all people, should have been one of the most illuminated people with respect to Nabokov's multi-tiered levels of meaning in virtually everything he wrote.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully published! Buy it NOT INSTEAD of the regular edition of Pale Fire but IN ADDITION to it. As a book fetish, this version of Pale Fire competes only with The Original of Laura.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having recently read Pale Fire, the novel by Vladimir Nabokov which revolves around this poem by fictional author John Shade, I found this presentation of the poem on index cards enchanting. The box includes the "hand written" poem on index cards, the poem printed on its own in a small booklet, and a separate slim volume with two very in depth critical essays about the poem.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade