One of the best known and most controversial examples of twentieth century literature.Read here in its entirety by Jeremy Irons, who starred in the 1997 film adaptation directed by Adrian Lyne.
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.'
LOLITA is the story of Humbert Humbert, poet and pervert, and his obsession with twelve-year-old Dolores Haze. Determined to possess his 'Lolita' both carnally and artistically, Humbert embarks on a disastrous courtship that can only end in tragedy.
Initially, Nabokov was unable to find an American publisher willing to take the book on. It was finally published in Paris in 1954 but its notoriety spread quickly. Graham Green, in an interview in THE TIMES later that year, called it 'one of the best books of 1954'. When G.P. Putnam's Sons published in the US in 1958, it was a bestseller; the first book since Gone with the Wind to sell 100,000 copies in the first three weeks of publication.
Irons gives a brilliant performance in this unabridged reading, savouring Nabokov's dazzling word play and wringing every drop of savage black humour from a text that is much funnier than its perverse subject would suggest' - DAILY EXPRESS
It is repulsive . . . He writes highbrow pornography. Perhaps that is not his intention. Perhaps he thinks of his book as a satirical comedy and as an exploration of abnormal psychology. Nevertheless, "Lolita" is disgusting. - NEW YORK TIMES
Here it is at last . . . But there is not a single obscene term in Lolita, and aficionados of erotica are likely to find it a dud. Lolita blazes, however, with a perversity of a most original kind. For Mr. Nabokov has distilled from his shocking material hundred-proof intellectual farce' - ATLANTIC MONTHLY
'Lolita is comedy, subversive yet divine ... You read Lolita sprawling limply in your chair, ravished, overcome, nodding scandalized assent' - Martin Amis, OBSERVER
'Lolita is pornography, and we do not plan to review it' - Frederic Babcock, editor of the Chicago Tribune Magazine of Books