Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Page count: 300 pages (fake-leather bound hardback edition that I can`t find on Goodreads)
Rating: 2/5 stars on Goodreads
(No picture of the cover today, because there are so many covers it doesn`t really matter, does it?)
(Also yes, there are spoilers in this review. But the book is from 1955 and kind of very famous, so. Sorry not sorry.)
Lolita is the first classic I`ve read in 2015, and one of the most controversial books I have ever read – if not THE most controversial book. This book from 1955, about a grown man who has a liking for “nymphets” (young, sexually mature girls roughly in the 10~14-year-old age range) and who falls in love with a 12-year-old girl called Dolores Haze, who he calls Lolita. You can probably guess what happens next.
I am glad to be able to say I have read a classic, controversial book. And that`s pretty much where my gladness ends.
Now, just to clarify: I don`t have a background in literature. I have no knowledge of literature-y things like wordplay or themes and rarely pick up on social or political criticism. Apparently there is a lot of humour in this book? Completely missed it. Or maybe I was just too horrified. As such, this book probably deserves more than 2 stars, but I`m not going to give it here. To me, this was an okay read, an interesting look inside the mind of a paedophile and a madman.
This book mostly just made me very uncomfortable and often even horrified. After all, this is a book about a man who ruins a young girl`s life, who rapes her and kidnaps her and lies to her and blackmails her, and is so out of touch with reality that he doesn`t see how he`s ruining her until she`s years older and married to someone else.
Apparently there are people who say this book is a love story. If there`s anything that makes me more uncomfortable than the story itself, it`s the people saying it`s a love story.
This is not love. This is not art. This is not beautiful.
This is child rape and abuse.
And if you ever meet anyone who supports this? Who empathises with the main character, Humbert? Or sympathises with him? Or thinks this is a love story? Run from that person. Run very fast.
And that, my dear readers, is all I have to say about this book.
For now I`m reading Yukichi Fukuzawa`s autobiography, and I`ll see you again soon!
Take care 🙂