Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov Book Review!
A very controversial book, understandably so.
Disclaimer: As always, these are my opinions, take with a grain of salt and form your own opinions. :)
The Main Character, Humbert, is a middle-aged (30s-40s anyway) man that, for one is a hebephile (the term for those attracted to pubescent kids generally around 11-14 years of age, pedophile being pre-pubescent around 7-10, there are other "philes" as well, but of course any underage attraction by an adult, regardless of what you call it, is just as wrong), and he ends up falling in love with a 12 year old girl, Dolores "Lolita" Haze, basically an old love from his teen days reincarnated.
This book is loved and hated by many. How could it be loved? It is beautifully written for one, with wordplay and prose. Also the character Humbert, while doing horrible things (none of which are in detail, it's not an erotica and Nabokov himself did say those that pick it up looking for an erotica story will be disappointed, and they would be) is actually sympathetic in ways and can have you feeling for him even while despising what he is doing. He initially justifies his fascination with young girls by calling them Nymphets and basically demonizing them, but ends up feeling guilty, and not all young girls are Nymphets to him. The sex isn't described but is implied and there were times when i'd be like "wait...what?" and would have to re-read passages from pages ago to realize I just read a sex scene because of how it is written.
The first half of the book can be very difficult, subject wise, to get through, but the second half I found much easier to stomach and no, it does not glamorize what Humbert does. It shows very plainly how wrong and damaging it is the more you read through the book.
Because of how it is written it can be quite disturbing to realize you are sympathizing with Humbert, only to catch yourself and be like "Wait...what..wait a second" because it sounds so logical and beautifully written, a huge part of the allure of the book. It gave me pause to realize what I was sympathizing with, and at times he calls the reader out for it too. It's quite..disturbing and odd, but I loved it. He truly seduces the reader with how it's written. Which makes sense as it's written as his "defense" and he'd want to seem relatable to the jury or what-have-you.
I'm not sure how to properly talk about this controversial book so i'll leave you with this. If you decide to read it do not judge the book by the first half alone, though I loved the entire book I felt it only got better as it went on personally. Also I always had google open ready to define and translate words, that did sometimes get annoying. There is quite a bit of French in it. Despite not being a long book page wise, it is dense, and full of French and words I had to look up. I only read it in 4 days because I didn't want to put it down. It's definitely a book that can take a lot longer than you'd think it would.
I gave the book 4.75 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.