Awe and exhiliration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in Lolita, Nabokov's most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.
eMusic Review 0
The controversial classic is still as bracing — and funny — as ever.
In one of the most obvious bits of stuntcasting in recent memory, Jeremy Irons played Humbert Humbert in Adrian Lyne’s lumpy 1998 film adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 masterpiece Lolita. The patron saint of grotesque sexuality since playing twin pervs in Dead Ringers, Irons lends his silken wisp to this recording of Nabokov’s infamous novel — the one that Martin Amis extolled as “a cruel book about cruelty.” Neither time nor familiarity has dulled the story’s impact: a professor of literature becomes obsessed with the latest and most beguiling of a series of young girls, the daughter of kitsch-queen Charlotte Haze. Nabokov’s story is really a tragedy of a ridiculous man, but a tragedy that blurs the distinctions between farce and prurience; Nabokov’s triumph is to shade a merely monstrous stereotype into a creature of savage lusts capable of awesome wit yet susceptible to bathos.
Irons’ narration embodies these qualities, and a few more beside; he’s right at home with Nabokov’s prose, the lushest since F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s. Note the dessicated splendor with which he enunciates pearls like “My little cup brims with tiddles.” Since Nabokov’s novel is as much about Humbert’s blinkered response to an America at the peak of its own obsession with cheap consumer goods, Irons evokes just the right amount of detachment. “You can always count on a murderer having a fancy prose style,” Humbert says. Say this for Irons: you can always count on a Very Serious British Actor having a fancy acting style.
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Terrific book and great narration
This is one of the best books of the 20th century and is read very, very well by Irons capturing the tone of Humbert exactly as I had imagined it while reading this book. A must have for literature enthusiasts.
Brilliant Insight into One Man's Mind
Many people are initially turned off by the provocative subject matter, but you shouldn't let that keep you from this one. It's one of the only convincing love stories I have ever read, but that won't make sense until you've read it for yourself. Nabokov is a master of the English language and has the ability to make even the most vile subjects a pleasure to read.
A classic that you'll actually like
Those Russian authors know how to write! This twisted novel gives the same kind of vicarious thrill that you get from the murderer's perspective in Crime and Punishment. It is amazing that this novel even exists-- the content is too racy even for MTV viewers. Thank goodness it has been labeled "classic literature" so we can read it and not be too ashamed. Pedophiles beware, though-- despite the fact that you are in the spotlight here, the light is sickly green. What really makes this a must to hear is the superb job that Irons does reading. He ranks right up there as one of the best, and I have been listening to books for years.
A great love story
Although the lead character is loathesome and his behaviour despicable, I still rank this book as one of the great love stories of all time... Nabokov opens a window into a man's heart...
This audiobook was long, but I couldn't put it down. I cleaned my house many times over as an excuse to keep listening. Jeremy Irons did an amazing job. The best audiobook I've ever heard.
A brilliant book, wonderfully read. Jeremy Irons allows the book to sparkle. The best audiobook I've heard yet.
Best Audio Book Ever
I used to drive a lot for work and listened to a lot of Audio books and hands down Jeremy Irons reading "Lolita" is as good as it gets. To start, the book is astoundingly brilliant. But better yet, it's perfectly suited to being read because it's written in the first person. Irons is AMAZING as Humbert Humbert. He recorded this reading right around the time he played the role in the remake, so he's completely immersed in the character. I'd read the book before, but Irons found subtleties in the text I don't think I would have found on my own. Completely first rate!