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Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Lolita by Vladomir Nabokov

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

3/2 - Just like reading a paedophiles' autobiography.  Full of justification as to why it's not his fault for feeling the way he feels for 'his Lolita'.  To be continued...

10/2 - I don't know if the writing is 'beautiful' enough to make up for the discomforting feeling of reading a paedophiiles' journal.  He frequently asks us, the reader, (who is always referred to as male) to understand him, what he is trying to say, how and why Lolita is tempting him and this is why he is only partially to blame for his actions.  Some other reviewers have said that this book couldn't be considered erotic and (thank God) I agree.  The writing is too flowery and more concerned with the flow of the words to describe an erotic scene so that the reader could actually imagine it (in the way that you do when you read a real romance).  I've read romances where the girl is 12 or 13 at the beginning of the book (usually one set pre 1600s where there's a betrothal of young girl to man) and it's a little creepy, but then they jump forward 5 or more years and any hint of impropriety is forgotten and the romance begins.  Lolita is not like that; there is no romance except in Humbert's sick, twisted mind, which sees innuendo in innocent movement and acts on it; and the creepy is not so much creepy as it is soiling my mind and it certainly isn't forgotten because she gets older.  To be continued...


22/4/16 - I had to give this up when I passed the library due date and there were people waiting for it, two years ago. I'm having another go at it with only ten days left on the current borrow and a queue of people waiting for it, once again. But at least I don't have to go back to the beginning this time, I'm starting with a hundred and five page head start (it's been two years, but I'm sure I remember it well enough to not have to reread those 105 pages). Wish me luck. To be continued...


23/4 - I skimmed back to where I was up to when put this down two years ago and the following passage on page 15 really stood out to me

'Now I wish to introduce the following idea. Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travellers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propos to designate as "nymphets".
[...] Between those age limits, are all girl-children nymphets? Of course not. Otherwise, we who are in the know, we lone voyagers, we nympholepts, would have long gone insane. Neither are good looks any criterion; and vulgarity, or at least what a given community terms so, does not necessarily impair certain mysterious characteristics, the fey grace, the elusive, shifty, soul-shattering, insidious charm that separates the nymphets from such coevals of hers as are incomparably more dependent on the spatial world of synchronous phenomena than on that intangible island of entranced time where Lolita plays with her likes. Within the same age limits the number of true nymphets is strikingly inferior to that of provisionally plain, or just nice, or "cute", or even "sweet" and "attractive", ordinary, plumpish, formless, cold-skinned, essentially human little girls, with tummies and pigtails, who may or may not turn into adults of great beauty [...]. A normal man given a group photograph of school girls or Girl Scouts and asked to point out the comeliest one will not necessarily choose the nymphet among them. You have to be an artist and a madman, a creature of infinite melancholy, with a bubble of hot poison in your loins and a super-voluptuous flame permanently aglow in your subtle spine (oh, how you have to cringe and hide!), in order to discern at once, by ineffable signs - the slightly feline outline of a cheekbone, the slenderness of a downy limb, and other indices which despair and shame and tears of tenderness forbid me to tabulate - the little deadly demon among the wholesome children;
she stands unrecognised by them and unconscious herself of her fantastic power.
Furthermore, since the idea of time plays such a magic part in the matter, the student should not be surprised to learn that here must be a gap of several years, never less than ten I should say, generally thirty or forty, and as many as ninety in a few known cases, between maiden and man to enable the latter to come under a nymphet's spell.'

After reading that my first thought was "Ugh!! I wish I could unread that.", my second was that nothing could make me feel any compassion for someone who looks at a group of nine or ten-year-old girls and believes that one or two of the group is 'ripe for the picking', and my third was that beautiful writing or not I have to enjoy the book to be able to rate it any more than two stars. I will continue on, but nothing will erase the above passage from my memory. To be continued...


2/5 - There was nothing enjoyable about this book for me. I feel corrupted by the thoughts it introduced into my head and I really wish I could wash the whole thing out of my head (that's the first entire book I've felt that way about, not even FSoG invaded my mind this horrifically). How can anyone feel compassion for this man or find any part of his story humourous? I just want to beat him and shake him and say "Look at what you did to this girl!!" Thank God it's over, now I need to find some really happy books with happy situations to replace the evil ones currently swimming around in my head. Often I declare a wish to see the movie that goes with a book, not this time! I can think of no other movie I have less desire to see than this one (I would rather re-watch Borat, with my parents no less, and that has to be the most disgustingly gross movie I've ever seen). Also YAY (?) this has the dubious honour of being the first one star for 2016. I'm glad it's taken this long, I wish it hadn't had to happen at all, but I can't think of a better candidate.

2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Category: A New York Times Bestseller