The Enchanter is the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov’s classic novel. At once hilarious and chilling, it tells the story of an outwardly respectable man and his fatal obsession with certain pubescent girls, whose coltish grace and subconscious coquetry reveal, to his mind, a special bud on the verge of bloom.
One of the 20th century’s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977.
“A gem to be appreciated by any admirer of the most graceful and provocative literary craftsman.” (Chicago Tribune)
“One of the best books of the year . . . [The Enchanter] displays the supple clarity of a master.” (The Boston Globe)
“Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically.” (John Updike)
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Nabokov's black salad devouring a green rabbit
A great introduction to Nabokov
Grim, poetic, fatalistic
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.
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.
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!