While you may think you know the story of Lolita, if you have not read Nabokov’s literary masterpiece, you are missing out on one of the most brilliant, touching, perverse, and entertaining books of the last hundred years.
A meditation on youth, loss, trauma, and sexual manipulation, Nabokov employs wry humor and presents his characters without judgment. This subject matter could have easily drowned in the obvious cultural taboo of pedophilia, but Nabokov accesses an emotional purity that artfully bypasses such cliches. Woven into the story are little winks and nods which keep it from suffering under the weight of itself.
Nabokov wrote the screenplay for Kubrick’s 1962 film adaptation, and there is also a 1997 version with Dominique Swain, Jeremy Irons, and a memorable Melanie Griffith. In this case, the book is better than the movies. Lolita is well worth your time and deserves a space on your bookshelf.