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Like the back of the novels says, 'the Enchanter' is "the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov's classic novel." A short, quick novella that flirts and throbs with similar themes as 'Lolita', but also a terrible infant work that explores the themes of maddness, indulgence, obsession and fantasy that Nabokov's novels like Despair and Pale Fire also explore. A mad king who reigns in his lecherous and multi-level hell of his own impulses. Distilled down, reading 'the Enchanter' is like eating powdered Nabokovian Jello out of the box. The sweetness quickly disolves in your gut into clumpy images of boiled bones, connective tissues, and the intestines of small, lecherous dead animals.
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If you could sum up The Enchanter in three words, what would they be?
Grim, poetic, fatalistic
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Enchanter?
The final few minutes of The Enchanter is so visual, so movie-like, that to appreciate them fully you should close your eyes and listen in a quiet room.
What does Christopher Lane bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
For some reason a British accent is required - in my mind - for the proper evocation of Nabokov's style. Mr. Lane does the reading justice.
Any additional comments?
I agree with Darryl - an earlier reviewer. The Enchanter is a perfect introduction to Nabokov. Not only is this audio version nicely done, but the commentary, both before and after, add insight and will urge the listener to sample this wonderful writer's other works. As with all his stories, Nabokov's The Enchanter demands your attention. Don't try listening and chewing gum at the same time!
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