The Unreal Life of Sergey Nabokov

  • by Paul Russell
  • Narrated by Ken Kliban
  • 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In his novel based on the extraordinary life of the gay brother of Vladimir Nabokov, Paul Russell re-creates the rich and changing world in which Sergey, his family, and friends lived; from wealth and position in prerevolutionary Russia, to the halls of Cambridge University, and the Parisian salon of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. But it is the honesty and vulnerability of Sergey, our young gay narrator, that hook the reader: his stuttering childhood in the shadow of his brilliant brother, his opium-fueled evenings with his sometime-lover Cocteau, his troubled love life on the margins of the Ballets Russes and its legendary cast, and his isolation in war torn Berlin where he will ultimately be arrested, sent to a camp, and die in 1945.
A meticulously researched novel, in which you will meet an extraordinary cast of characters including Picasso, Diaghilev, Stravinsky, Magnus Hirschfield ("Tante Magnesia"), Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Cocteau, and of course the master himself, Vladimir Nabokov, this is ultimately the story of a beautiful and vulnerable homosexual boy growing into an enlightened and courageous man.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bringng Sergey Nabokov to Light

Vladimir Nabokov had a younger gay brother, of whom he and his family were deeply ashamed. Sergey was a talented artist, a passionate activist, and he died in a Nazi concentration camp.

This is his story, and Paul Russell deserves to win many, many awards for it.

A stuttering childhood in the shadow of his brilliant older brother, Sergey was a different kind of brilliant. He was devoted to classical dance, and many of his lovers were members the Russian Ballet corps. His life in Paris intermingled with the brightest stars of the Modernist Movement— as well as the habitueés of the opium den. To his ultimate end in Berlin, dying in 1945— Paul writes an extraordinary novel based on the life of an exceptional person.
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- Susie

Unbearable narration

I have spent many months trying to get through this audiobook and am finally giving up with about four hours to go.

The text is fascinating but the egregious narration is unbearable. It is spectacularly bad. The offensively homophobic voicing of the gay characters would be bad enough, but the tone and phrasing of every sentence is beyond irritating.

Such a rendering of writing of this quality is a travesty.
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- Ben

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-16-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios