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L: Lolita - Why You Must Read It #AToZChallenge

Lolita was a book that really tested my patience. I bought it because of the controversial theme. No, I'm not a pervert, I just wanted to see how it was executed. Also because Lolita is included on TIME magazine's list of the 100 best English language novels to have been published from 1923 to 2005. I have tried reading this book umpteen number of times before I actually read it. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of this classic, the story is about Humbert Humbert (HH) who has a sexual fascination for girls aged from 9 to 14, whom he calls nymphets. He meets Dolores Haze, 12, and is deeply infatuated by her. He then christens her Lolita. To top it, he becomes her stepfather and still nurses sexual feelings for her and later gets sexually involved with her. Their journey is what forms the book. The subject is clearly taboo, but I loved the book. In spite of it testing my patience and hurting my eyes with the never ending paragraphs. I have reviewed the book here. Now, I shall tell you why you must read the book.

I'm not a big fan of love stories, but to me the soul of this book was this very emotion. Love. If you want to read a love story that is different from anything that you have ever read, read this. While it is very easy to judge HH and loathe him for his perversions, you cannot help but feel sad for him later as the story unfolds. What starts of as infatuation, later becomes a dangerous passion which you may or may not call as love. While Lolita seems like the victim based on the blurb, you realize that is not entirely true. It is the unexpected suspense and the way the story flows that makes it so brilliant. Read it if you want a virtual tour around England too. HH and Lolita travel all around the country from state to state staying in motels. Their journeys are described in precise detail and you can imagine the scenes as they drive.

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The initial pages are cringe inducing, but when you get past it and see the real story, you shall see the beauty of it. It is just like any other story you will find. It talks about love, sex, relationships and human emotions. How can this be considered a taboo? It is time we remove the tag "controversial" from this book and give it its due. Yes, the writing is very heavy which makes reading very tedious. Some paragraphs in the book go on and on for four to five pages. The language is complex and is peppered with ample French. Have a dictionary and a translator handy. But, read it!

Apart from what I have said above, just read the book to interpret it in your own way. Until you know the whole story, you will not know what to make of it. Many people have read this book and interpreted it many many ways. While most of them have hated it, there is a small minority who have seen the story without the smudged "risque" glass it comes with. Let's see where you would fall.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts on it?


  1. Like most books with flirt with controversial themes, Lolita has been banned and considered blasphemous for morals forever. I can understand why it makes people cringe but as far as the story and writing go, it is pretty good.

    Then again, people demanded banning the Harry Pottery series for promoting sorcery!

    1. lol :D I remember reading your frustrated updates regarding this book and frankly you are responsible for why I might never read this book :p

  2. Okay, So I am going to read it. I have always loved your book reviews and recommendations and I can blindly follow them. :)
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  3. Soumya, I have read the book and completely agree with your findings. It's indeed a lab to study complexities of love.

  4. I got the book purely out of intrigue, Soumya. I remember your review. :) Unusual books always face some flak. Hugs!

  5. Have had the book lying with me. Have known the story but haven't ventured into it. Now I will. Thanks Soumya.

  6. Well Soumya, to be honest, I have tried reading this book several times, but never got past the initial chapters. Your post makes me want to power through, which I think I will now. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Ah! Lolita is one book that I gave up after reading a few pages. I picked it up because of it being in the best books list and the controversial subject. I think it makes sense to read it on a Kindle to get translations and meanings easily. LOL :D
    I am surely going to pick it up again, now that you recommend it.

  8. I haven't read this book. But going by your review of it I think I will read it. But not any time soon. Like you said, it takes a lot of time.

  9. I haven't read the book but have wanted to. Having said that, I'm not a fan of long winded sentences any more! I have no patience :P

  10. I read this in college, and over a period of many many months cos I couldn't get through the tedious writing. I think I've told you this before. I wasn't too enticed by it then; maybe it's time for another go, if I find the patience for it.

  11. I run as far away as possible from classics. Maybe I'll give this book a miss? But a quest for finding out whether the book deserves the flak it receives is pretty appealing! Maybe I'll read it once I convince myself to try out classics. :)


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