Regular price: $17.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $17.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude", an imaginary crime that defies definition. Cincinnatus spends his last days in an absurd jail, where he is visited by chimerical jailers, an executioner who masquerades as a fellow prisoner, and by his in-laws, who lug their furniture with them into his cell. When Cincinnatus is led out to be executed. he simply wills his executioners out of existence. They disappear, along with the whole world they inhabit.
©1935 Vladimir Nabokov (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

"Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically." (John Updike)
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 10-28-12

Nabokov's Strange Violin Playing in the Void

Nabokov's violin playing in the void of a totalitarian nightmare. Invitation to a Beheading belongs in those 20th Century novels by Orwell, Huxley, Kafka and Koestler that explore the individual revolting against an absurd totalitarianism. Cincinnatus C is an opaque prisoner being punished by a translucent society for his gnostical turpitude. With a Gogol-like playfulness and a Kafkaesque absurdity and a linqusitic inventiveness that belongs solely to Nabokov,

'Invitation to a Beheading' explores the many ways the state (and society) acts to destroy or force conformity on those whose vision is different. Beware those who transgress social norms, your days are both numbered ... and infinite

Read More Hide me

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By JP on 05-18-11

Great tale, poor narration voice.

The story itself is good. It is interesting and thought provoking. The narrators gravel voice distracts form the tale and was not pleasant. It was very difficult to get past this and get into the book. I would read the authors other books instead of listening to this narrator again.

Read More Hide me

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc