Saturday, November 3, 2012
So when searching the library's audiobook shelves, my head atilt, I came across Nabokov's novel read by Jeremy Irons, a strong selling point, I checked it out.
I had no idea how clever, how darkly humorous the book would be. The voice of the narrator Nabokov creates is almost unintentionally self-revelatory. Humbert Humbert is alternately self-loathing, apologetic, boastful, arrogant, analytical, spontaneous. Lolita--Lo--Dolores is seen only through his eyes, but while she at first seems confident, even aggressive, Humbert unwittingly reveals a child, a victim plotting her own escape.
Because of the subject--the sexual abuse of a child--I would not recommend this novel to just anyone. In fact, there are some friends whom I would most decidedly tell, "Do not read this book." But after reading the novel--and yes, I do consider listening as reading--I completely understand why this clever, beautifully written, haunting book has earned its place in the literary canon.