“Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov


Appearing in many a top 100 reading list from Time List of the 100 Best Novels in the English language to appearing fourth on the Modern Library 1998 list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th century. It is one of my top five all time favourite reads, lovely Lolita.

What’s it about?

Captivating, beautiful and obsessive, this novel is a dark and daring tale of perversion and dangerous lust.

Worth reading because:

The language is exquisite, it’s a masterpiece of literary style and wit. Passages overflow with a playful perversion and the dialogue is so delicious that you periodically find yourself sympathetic toward Humbert and his forbidden quest, quite forgetting that his seduction is intended for 12 year old Dolores Haze.

Any other books by this author worth reading?

Although in my opinion Lolita is the clear stand out, I would recommend King, Queen, Knave which is lighter and easier to read  and also Laughter in the Dark which is simillar in theme to Lolita. I’ve also read Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, which was okay.

Choice Cuts:

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

She would try to relieve the pain of love by first roughly rubbing her dry lips against mine; then my darling would draw away with a nervous toss of her hair, and then again come darkly near and let me feed on her open mouth, while with a generosity that was ready to offer her everything, my heart, my throat, my entrails, I gave her to hold in her awkward fist the scepter of my passion.

She could fade and wither – I didn’t care. I would still go mad with tenderness at the mere sight of her face.


Do you love the language in Lolita as much as I do?