By Tqwana B.
Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady’s gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust
Such beautiful, eloquent, almost lyrical prose, combined with this dark and disturbing subject. Genius! It draws you in, seduces you, like any good predator, which is what H.H. is, should. And English was Nabokov’s – what – 4th language?
Having just finished reading, I can’t even articulate a real review. I said before that I was both repulsed and intrigued by H.H. and that did not change. You know he’s despicable, but seeing inside his head, questioning his account of everything, watching him descend more into madness – I could not put the book down. I even felt sorry for him.
It became almost a murder mystery/thriller, made more so b/c I read the Foreward after. I kept wondering what’s going to happen next? What is Lo really up to? Is “Trapp” real or imagine? Are his recounts of her reactions real or what he wanted them to be? Which he later reazlized where probably a bit of both. Was he going to kill her to keep her at the nymphet age, immortalized? Was she only a replacement for Annabel (yes, probably)? Of course, as the narrator, you can’t trust a thing he says anyway. And how innocent was Lo in all of this? Does her age automatically exonerate her?
And in the end, this very sick man, who knew his faults, convinced himself, if not the reader, that he really, truly loved her. And in some morbid way, maybe he did.
This book does change you. Makes you question the human psyche. How far will we go for “love”? And who are we to quantify (or qualify) love for others? How far can obsession push us? Is that darkness in all of us? This is now on my list of favorite books.