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warren

warren

Currently reading

Haunted
Chuck Palahniuk
Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf
Ben Hogan, Anthony Ravielli
Roosevelt's Centurions: FDR & the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II
Joseph E. Persico
Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship Between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley
Geoffrey Ward
Salinger
David Shields, Shane Salerno
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov, Craig Raine One of the more frequently "banned" books in modern times; 'Lolita' is written from the perspective of Humbert, a man who is fixated on... let's be charitable and leave it at "young" girls.

The book is in kind of a diary/confession format, and goes through how he came to be with a girl named Dolores Haze, who sort-of kind-of reminds him of a girl he knew back when he was very young. While it's all written past-tense (in fact, the entire manuscript is written in a "looking back over events of a few years ago") the dairy/confession is very lush in detail.

There are a few "eww" moments in the book as it follows his doomed relationship with Dolores, and there is pretty accurate portrayal of how young teens are simply in a different emotional place than adults with behavior and maturity.

The book is well-written, and portrays Humbert's unraveling very well. Even with the subversive subject matter, the book isn't actually about the scandalous naughty bits as people who haven't read the book would lead you to believe.

It almost earned four stars- save for one detail:

Humbert speaks French. A lot. I don't.

French isn't a problem if you either:
a.) translate for the reader
or
b.) write the book with French-speaking audiences as your primary target.

The book does neither.

Yes, he speaks French because he's from Europe. He also teaches it when he tutors. But you know, when you're driving in a car down old-style American highways going from small-town to small-town, you can't have a few lines of inner dialogue that the reader can only somewhat piece together what you are saying.

So if you've read this much: I recommend this book to people who choose one or more.
a.) like the idea of reading "banned" books because it's a book and nobody should take that from you.
b.) like the idea of carrying around a book that will shock people, since lots of people heard from "someone" that this book is evil evil evil.
c.) possess at least an elementary grasp of French; because like changing a tire on a car, it's going to come up at some point.