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Nabokov blows me away. What appears to be a fairly straight-forward, Euclidian love triangle gets all doppelgängered-up at the end. While Nabokov said "of all [his] novels this brute is the gayest", I found it far more brute than gay. Only Nabokov could make the heavy themes of the pre-Nazi German psyche appear 'gay'. Not only is Nabokov able to get this cement kite airborne, but he is also able to make it seem light and nimble as it dances in the sunlight. You almost forget that he is writing about the dehumanization of the individual, the moral seduction and corruption of a nephew, and avunculicide. Don't sweat the bumbling Nazi in the making... that might just be Old Enricht's strange invention laughing next door.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
I really wanted to fall in love with this one as I had done with Lolita, but it's just not there. In fact, it's even a step back from Nabokov's first, Mary. Couldn't get through it. As I mentioned in the review for Mary, I don't know when Nabokov's genius actually sprung to life. At first my approach was going to be to listen to every book, but now I'm rethinking things, as I can't stand wasting time on material that is not worthy of it. So maybe I'll go ahead and go with the book before Lolita, and go from there. Along with all proceeding it. At some point his writing became so brilliant, so yeah, it's worth the hunt.