Lolita (by Vladimir Nabokov)

Frankly, I find the concept of the book quite repulsive. The story is about a 30 something pedophile obsessively in love with a 12 year old girl. I find anything that even remotely comes close to hurting children physically, mentally, or emotionally, extremely disturbing.

If I keep this aspect of the book aside, it is a very well written book. One thing that stood out through out the narrative is the honesty with which the main character (Humbert) takes us through his thought process. There were times when I wondered if the author himself had pedophilic tendencies. He wrote as if he was seeing himself in this character.

The style of writing is very impressive. The English is a bit old school (not a surprise keeping in mind that the book was written in 1950s) but the book seemed way ahead of its time. The humor used is very sarcastic, evil, and belittles people around the main character--all the time. Because the narration is so honest, this does not come across as rude. Just funny.

There is not one explicit scene depicted, but every page is filled with subtle but inappropriate thoughts. I did not think of Humbert as evil, just a desperate, helpless guy. At the same time, he did not earn my sympathy. It is scary how this guy is absolutely normal on the outside but totally twisted from the inside. This book is a good read. You just need to be mature enough not to get influenced (I say this because this is a powerful book) also, you need to be open minded. If you are super sensitive about the concept, avoid reading this. V, this book is surely not for you. Don't go anywhere near it. As usual, am willing to lend this book if you know me personally. Kaushik, I know you will be the first to ask :)

I am adding these lines after a few weeks of writing the above review. I sent this review to Kate who suggested this book to me and she mentioned that I should have written about Lolita's character too. My review was heavily tilted towards Humberg. Humberg takes advantage of the 12 year old Lolita but soon Lolita starts taking advantage of Humberg 's weakness and demands various things that her teenage mind fancies in exchange of sexual favors. While this is definitely evil, especially since Lolita did not have any feelings towards her step father, I feel adults are responsible for killing the innocence in children. It is an irreversible process and I don't feel children are to be blamed for. If they were brought up in a normal situation, they would have been normal kids. So, Lolita in spite of her exploits, is an unfortunate child and Humberg needs to be in a lunatic asylum.