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While I highly recommend this selection, I can only recommend it to those who have read the printed novel first. Nabokov's book consists of a long poem written by John Shade, and a rambling, often hilarious, "commentary" written by Charles Kinbote, self-proclaimed king-in-exile from his beloved country of Zembla. As the commentary refers to specific lines of the 999-line poem, I was curious as to how the producers of the audiobook would handle these two distinct components. I was delighted by the choice to employ two narrators, Robert Blumenfeld for Shade and Marc Vietor for Kinbote. Both are excellent, but Vietor's Kinbote is what makes this audiobook so special. His unidentifiable (slightly Russian) accent and self-assured cockiness bring the exiled king (or plain madman) spring to life. Fans of the book should not feel they are wasting a credit by buying a book they've already read. Listening to Pale Fire will bring a new level of appreciation to Nabokov's brilliant novel.
30 of 32 people found this review helpful
You have to give this book a chance. It's a little rough to get started but once you catch all the implications, it's a funny and brilliant look at academia and humanity.
I laughed out loud at a few lines and then I felt this rather sad pathos start to come over me. It's just a spoof, right? A brilliant spoof, but the book is merely satire and so we shouldn't be disturbed by it. But it is disturbing and it runs a lot deeper than spoof.
The feeling you'll experience are real.
Even the title...
Give it a chance. Buy a hard copy. Try. It's certainly one of the finest assembly of words ever.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
I loved Lolita and loved the idea of this novel. I can't claim to have got all the in-jokes and levels of sub-text but I got a fair amount of them. Perhaps reading it and referring to the endnotes as you go might make it better. But I found this only occasionally amusing, the jokes laboured, and the book, ultimately, boring.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful