After Anna Karenina, you'd think I'd want to stay away from Russian writers a bit, but NO, I like a challenge and love dismissing controversy, so I (and at least one loyal reader) jumped into Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
WHY WHY WHY is this book so highly regarded?
The plot line is tragic, which in and of itself is not problematic, but when combined with pedophilia, a narcissistic, bonkers, sociopathic asshole main character, and billions of obscure references, this book left me tossing the finished novel directly into my Goodwill bag (and not set carefully onto my shelf of literary trophies like dear Anna). It's not controversial; it's just lame.
Seriously, Humbert Humbert is the worst. Even worse than Anna, because he seems to think he's a pretty alright guy and loves feeling smarter than everyone around him and while he's pretty awesome at rationalizing being obsessed/in love with/torturing poor Delores, the few glimpses we actually see of her character are pretty bleak.
Lamenting the myriad of possibly-true references that made me feel ill-read, and The G Googled them as I listed them off. Turns out all the stupid references [I'd relate some here, but I'm not opening that book again] are actually real references to people, places, and things. I mean, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but if I don't understand 95% of what he's talking about, who is? And who puts whole passages of a book in French and then doesn't have the translation for it?
Anyways, it seemed like it was just written because it could be written. Like Nabokov just wanted to push the envelope of literature versus erotica and since he was slightly clever about it, people clamored over themselves to congratulate him.
Anyone else have the pleasure of reading Lolita? Opinions? Disagreements? Chime in, smarties!