Bend Sinister

  • by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Narrated by Robert Blumenfeld
  • 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The first novel Nabokov wrote while living in America, and the most overtly political novel he ever wrote, Bend Sinister is a modern classic. While it is filled with veiled puns and characteristically delightful wordplay, it is, first and foremost, a haunting and compelling narrative about a civilized man caught in the tyranny of a police state.
Professor Adam Krug, the country's foremost philosopher, offers the only hope of resistance to Paduk, dictator and leader of the Party of the Average Man. In a folly of bureaucratic bungling and ineptitude, the government attempts to co-opt Krug's support in order to validate the new regime.

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What the Critics Say

"Moving and powerful... Nabokov writes with urbanity, humor and high drama." (The New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A fantastic fairytale of fascism

My bookshelf is growing bigger every day with new fantastic fairytales of fascism, dynamic doggerels of dystopia. Of course there is Orwell's seminal 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World. There are also (move aside high-school dystopias) Koestler's Darkness at Noon, Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and almost all of Kafka's well-kooked, absurd oeuvre (The Trial, The Castle, etc). Keep looking, yes right there, you almost missed another fantastic novel by Nabokov - Invitation to a Beheading. I love them all. They all hurt. They all confuse. They are belligerent in their sadness and show exactly how absurd bureaucracy and government and modernity are. Oh, and they all owe a helluva lot of DNA (at least from the angle I'm sitting and the mirror I'm looking at) to their slanted father Dostoevsky.

There is madness in all the punished and stupidity in all the enforcers. Bureaucracy's worst enemy is itself, but we are all its casualties. All of these books are works of genius and all capture a part of the dark river. Taken together, however, they seem to contain much of the anger, fear and reality of the modern state. So, it isn't just Orwell that nailed our dystopian reality, our reality seems to weep out of all these works into pools that really do reflect the closed, confused and soul-tearing aspect of modern government.

I can't stop thinking of Krug walking back and forth on a bridge, trapped between the guards on both sides of the bridge. One side can't read, and refuses to sign his travel documents. The other side won't accept his documents without signatures. There exists a banality of evil, like Hannah Arendt pointed out years ago in Eichmann in Jerusalem , but there is more often just an incompetence of evil, a stupidity of power that seems to baffle me every day as I read the news about police in NM doing anal probes because a man appeared to clench his butt or a man being arrested in OH for having a secret compartment in his car (nothing illegal in it, just something that could contain something bad. A blank page that could have Slander written on it, or could be set on fire). Left unchecked, there is nothing stupidity+power can't F-up. Good morning AmeriKa
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- Darwin8u "I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^"

demagogue warning

Excellent book. Much more meaningful to me than Pale Fire, which was far more abstract.

I liked the warning to all of us who live in democratic countries about a demagogue coming along (Paduk and the Party of the Average Man) since most voters in all democratic countries are fools.

John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"
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- John

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-29-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios