Lolita: A Novel By Vladimir Nabokov — Review

This is not a conventional review. I don’t do that.

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.


Even from the very first words Vladimir captivates us. Throughout the novel or case history if you prefer there will never be a moment when you will say to yourself let me put it down for today. You will smile, laugh, weep and curse and still be amazed to see that how close to you the story is. Each one of us is Lolita, each one of us is Humbert, each one of us is afraid to see ourselves in the mirror and that is the reason why many readers have hated Humbert. People do not want to see who they really are, so they create lies around them. They start living some other life, some beautiful lie. But no matter how beautiful a lie is it still is a lie. People talk languidly of love, but do they really love? Is this the world we have created out of love? The murders, war, terrorism and thousand and one plagues can’t be the byproduct of love. It is surly of hatred. We have created a world of hatred. But why am I telling you all this? How is it concerned with Lolita? It is my dear reader very much concerned with Lolita because I wish to say we all are Humbert, we all are Lolita.

Though Humbert does everything to enrage us and make us hate him it was totally out of question for me. I understand very clearly what he did and why he did the things which promised his doom. Being a psychology fiend I could not hate him. I looked at him as a patient, sick but not a criminal. He loved Lolita, there is no question about it and that part I cannot hold to be wrong under any circumstances. A person has all the right to love anyone, where Humbert goes wrong is forcing that love at Lolita. His love becomes perversion because of his passion, strong and dark. Being a feminist and an advocate of children’s right it may be considered that I would condemn Humbert, I do not. You may roll your eyes like Humbert says till the back of your bald head but the truth is that Humbert is not at all different from us. Perhaps too weak, too perverted, too out of control than you are, but still one with you, amongst you. There is sickness, insanity, perversion in his every act but there is too much love as well. His confessions close to the end will make you see what I say.

This was a little chat with the people who have already read this enchanting tale of betrayal, love, sodomy and insanity. For those of you, who haven’t still grabbed a copy of it, please do! But let me warn you first. This book will hurt you, scar you, abuse you, frighten you, enthrall you, hold you, scare you and crush you. If you survive the ordeal you will come out as a much better person than you are. Oh you will hate Humbert alright but when you do just take a minute and think if you could send all the morality and rules to hell won’t you do the same to the person you totally lust after? I know your answer will be yes. You may not accept it, but it will be yes. The point of view is first person so you see everything happening from the eye of your protagonist who is actually the villain if I’m allowed to use the fanciful term. He is no villain though, a sick maniac, perverted and ruined but not a villain. The words I write are contradictory I understand, but they are true or at least I hold them to be true.

There is no way to explain what happens in the story. It is unique in presentation and style and will take you on a very sacrilegious journey. If you hold on till the end it will become a pilgrimage. When the book will end you will be forced to ask is that it? Is there nothing else? Simply like that, it ends? But dear reader it does not! It continues to happen in your neighbour’s house, in your friend’s house and maybe yours as well. So please lookout. I may not hate Humbert but I do not surely want him lurking around.

In case you need a quick summary, let me write that a madman in love with a girl of his age grows up but his love does not. He falls in love with a girl of the same age he had fallen once many years ago. He does everything to control him but soon his passion turns into perversion and he ends up ruining the girl’s life. I will not although give you the end even for all the treasure you can offer me. No one can do a better job than Vladimir Nabokov did in putting it the way it is.

There are only two main characters Humbert and Lolita. Other important characters come and play crucial roles in development of story strategically. Annabel and Charlotte are two captivating characters. But the whole story is so much lumbered by our Lolita and Humbert that you will hardly notice anyone else.

In the end let me tell you just one thing there is pain in the story, desire, insanity, perversion, suffering, hatred but there is love as well. Find it. Keep it. Treasure it. Love it.


11 thoughts on “Lolita: A Novel By Vladimir Nabokov — Review

  1. An interesting review. Even though I don’t agree with many of the things you said here, you made your case well and it is refreshing to approach classics with a different point of view. And whatever our judgement about the (quite controversial) characters, this is an amazing book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t this a fantastic book? I disagree with you that Humbert Humbert is not a villain, he is, how can anyone who kidnaps a and rapes a girl not be? I do like what you have to say at the beginning about people not wanting to see who they really are and that all of us have a bit of Humbert Humbert in us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Stefanie. Glad you pointed it out!
      I mean to say he is not a villain because he is mentally sick. But of course literature is all about opinion and you may not agree with me.

      Liked by 1 person

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