Thursday, January 2, 2014

Book 47- Lolita (77th Book)

Oops! I read this book quite sometime ago and forgot to do a blog on it. I have been surprisingly on top of my reading despite getting married and settling into a new life in a different city, trying to adjust to married life, and looking for work. I read Lolita in the first month after I got back from my honeymoon. I was surprised by the book because I had only heard half of what the story was about from people in passing and it was not accurate at all. The part that I had heard about Lolita was that it was a novel about a young sex obsessed girl who flaunted her sexuality. In actual fact, the book is about a pedophile who places the girls sexuality at the forefront of her personality because that is what he sees. What a difference!!!! For that reason I am glad that I actually read it. Other than that, I could have done without this book.

The main trouble I had with this book was that I struggled to figure out why the author needed to write it. I know most writers have burning issues that they need to speak about and, for the life of me, I can't figure out why this book was burning in Nabokov's heart. It had a very American feel to it, despite the fact that Nabokov is a Russian author. I read the foreword in the novel I picked up, and he talked about the fact that he was intentionally trying to write an American novel since his move to the States. I do see glimmers of Russian novel themes in it....mostly the focus on a flawed character with the hope of showing them as a human being. The difference with this novel is that I didn't feel a sense of oneness with the character or their flaws. Usually, with Russian novels I fall in love with the character's flaws and understand where they are coming from. That didn't happen with this novel. I don't like Humbert Humbert, although I pitied him.

The story was an easy read, despite the fact that I was highly disturbed by being thrown into the brain of an active pedophile. It was a quick read for me, so there is one redeeming feature of the novel. The story follows Humbert Humbert as he moves into the house of the Haze's and slowly becomes obsessed with the 12 year old daughter Dolores. It is written as a retrospective account after he is put in prison for his indiscretions. The novel is also one of the shorter ones I have read so I flew through the novel quite quickly. I think the reason I am lagging on the blog, is that I struggled with what to say about. I spent a lot of time mulling over what the writer's intentions were in writing the novel and in my delay, I forgot that I hadn't actually put pen to paper to collect my thoughts.

Someone noticed Lolita on my shelf and was asking me about it just the other day. I offered them the novel to read and then told them my thoughts on it. They asked if I would recommend they read the novel despite my dislike of it. My answer was that I would recommend it, mostly because it is so different from anything I have ever read before. I am curious to see how it affects other people, as well.  I personally will never read it again, nor will it shine as one of my favourites on the list, but I am not unhappy that I read it. I have enjoyed this project, mostly because it has been a chance to pick up titles that I would otherwise have never picked up.

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