LolitaLolita by Vladimir Nabokov
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

These very first lines would make it clear to you that Lolita is not for the pusillanimous or someone retreating to his snug confines anytime he reads something out of his comfort-zone.

It’s a bold, controversial story of a 37 year old paedophile Humber obsessed with a 12 year old ‘nymphet’ Dolores “Lolita” Haze.
The very topic is obscene, repulsive and salacious to any sensible mind.

So why would you read it? Why is it still a masterpiece?
Because, even the risqué nature of the plot wouldn’t hide the art of words that makes it a compulsive read.

Through his word-play Nabokov manages to convert from what is clearly an obsessive, vulgar piece of a solipsistic confession to a tragic, emotional love story.

Humbert is possessed by Lolita, so much so that he fails to see the injustice and cruelty of his actions.
He is a child-monster, an adulterer, a self-proclaimed trickster who relieves himself of his guilt time and time again by acknowledging himself as loved by all, sophisticated European in America who was too handsome for his own good.For him everything else is ridiculous. The American culture, its live-in-the-moment nature and pre-occupation on youth is to be ridiculed and taunted.

From the aproned pot-scrubber to the flannelled potentate, everybody liked me,everybody petted me.

“I was, and still am, despite mes malheurs, an exceptionally handsome male… I could attain any adult female I chose”

Incidentally, because of the adolescent, unconsummated memories of his desire that was forcibly crushed at the age of 14, he is disturbingly haunted by the ghost of Annabel Leigh, with whom he had a short-term, ungratifying love affair.
He is deeply fixated on his yearnings from that time and is controlled at some level with his frustrations at the remnants of his longings.

I leaf again and again through these miserable memories, and keep
asking myself, was it then, in the glitter of that remote summer, that the rift in my life began; or was my excessive desire for that child only the first evidence of an inherent singularity?

Humbert’s readers are his judge but he fails to completely vindicate himself. His solipsism and one-sided story makes him a psychologically disturbed fornicator.

Humbert is a psychopath who wants to own Lolita.
His obsession finally turns to love when he loses her but he is crushed when Lolita prefers Cue, who incidentally his mirror image over him.

“No,” she said, “it is quite out of the question. I would sooner go
back to Cue. I mean–“
She groped for words. I supplied them mentally (“He broke my
heart. You merely broke my life”).

The tragedy lies in the fact that even with his self-praise what really stands out is his failure as a father, a lover and even as a captor.
The tide turns even when Humbert is transformed from a seducer to a victim of his own monomania.

You may jeer at me, and threaten to clear the court,
but until I am gagged and half-throttled, I will shout my poor truth. I
insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale
and polluted, and big with another’s child, but still gray-eyed, still
sooty-lashed, still auburn and almond, still Carmencita, still mine!

The language of “Lolita” is an art.
The beauty of words dims the vulgarity and singular harshness of his paedophilia and incestuous thinking. The veil of words is beautifully lyrical. What really brings comfort is to know that no amount of trickery or self-adulation can change the truth that one always knows.

The web of lies is only for the outsiders. Inside our souls each one of us knows and laments our sins and follies and no amount of word-play can change that or rid us of our guilt.

View all my reviews

Categories: Book Review, Classics | 35 Comments

Post navigation

35 thoughts on “Lolita

  1. it is a great piece of literature, but that still didn’t make me enjoy it. I do find myself talking about it a lot, so I suppose it must have made a big impression. I cannot stand Humbert – he’s such a powerful character


    • Humbert is a social disgrace. Someone we all would like to protect the society from.
      But, what’s remarkable in this book is the art of language which is at it’s best. It’s not a book to read because of it’s subject but because of the sheer delight of use of language.


  2. Brilliant review! When I first read Lolita, I had an entirely different expectation of the book. I thought it was a pretty story, something along the lines of Alice in Wonderland. You can imagine the kind of shock I was in for once I got stuck into it! Nabokov is playing with his reader in Lolita, and toys with the capacity of language to manipulate someone emotionally and intellectually. It’s a brilliant book, but not a very nice one.


  3. Thanks :),
    I agree with you completely. it is a detestable book and the topic gags you completely. I had to repress my emotions quite a number of times to be able to continue. The only reason I could do that because I wanted Humbert to stop gloating and see how cruel his actions really were and also for the wonderful prose which I couldn’t just stop marvelling at.

    It’s not a nice book at all and I am thankful that I am done with it!


  4. This is a message to the admin. Your website is missing out on at least 300 visitors per day. I have found a company which offers to dramatically increase your traffic to your site: They offer 1,000 free visitors during their free trial period and I managed to get over 30,000 visitors per month using their services, you could also get lot more targeted visitors than you have now. Hope this helps 🙂 Take care.


  5. I love what you guys are up too. This sort of
    clever work and exposure! Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.


  6. Hello! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent info
    you’ve got here on this post. I’ll be returning to your site for more soon.


  7. I’ll immediately grasp your rss feed as I can not in finding your email subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please permit me understand so
    that I may subscribe. Thanks.


    • Thanks 🙂 You can subscribe by going to the top of the page and entering your email id in the box at the top right hand corner under Follow button. This will ensure you get an update whenever new content is published. Hope this helps. See you soon 🙂


  8. I have read so many content concerning the blogger lovers but this
    article is actually a good paragraph, keep it up.


  9. Amazing! Its truly awesome paragraph, I have got much clear
    idea concerning from this article.


  10. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and
    you’re just extremely wonderful. I actually like what
    you’ve acquired here, really like what you are saying and the
    way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care
    for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read much more
    from you. This is really a terrific site.


  11. I every time used to study paragraph in news papers but now
    as I am a user of net therefore from now I am using net for
    articles or reviews, thanks to web.


  12. Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a
    quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your articles.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects?

    Thank you so much!


  13. Hello there! This article couldn’t be written any better!
    Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I am going to send this post to
    him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read.

    Thank you for sharing!


  14. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post
    posted at this site is actually good.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I delight in, result in I found exactly what I was taking a look for.
    You have ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man.
    Have a great day. Bye


  16. whoah this weblog is magnificent i really like studying your articles.
    Keep up the good work! You recognize, a lot of persons are searching around for this information, you could aid them greatly.


  17. Why users still make use of to read news papers when in this
    technological world all is existing on net?


  18. I am extremely impressed with your writing talents as smartly as with the format on your blog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a great blog like this one these days..


  19. Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on
    other websites? I have a blog centered on the same subjects
    you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.

    I know my visitors would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.


  20. Highly energetic post, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be
    a part 2?


    • Thank you 🙂
      Not a follow up buy yes you may find my new posts interesting too. Follow the blog and find them in your email.


What say you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: