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Vladimir Nabokov Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Mary (1926)Description / Buy at Amazon
King, Queen, Knave (1928)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Luzhin Defense (1929)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Eye (1930)Description / Buy at Amazon
Glory (1931)Description / Buy at Amazon
Laughter in the Dark (1932)Description / Buy at Amazon
Despair (1934)Description / Buy at Amazon
Invitation to a Beheading (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gift (1938)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Enchanter (1939)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bend Sinister (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lolita (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pnin (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pale Fire (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ada, or Ardor (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Transparent Things (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Look at the Harlequins! (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Original of Laura (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Plays

The Tragedy of Mister Morn (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Strong Opinions (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Russian Beauty and Other Stories (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tyrants Destroyed and Other Stories (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Details of a Sunset & Other Stories (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Man From The USSROther Plays (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nabokov's Butterflies (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Collected Stories (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Selected Poems (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lance (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Nikolai Gogol (1944)Description / Buy at Amazon
Speak, Memory (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lectures on Literature (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lectures on Ulysses (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lectures on Russian Literature (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lectures on Don Quixote (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Selected Letters, 1940-1977 (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Letters to Vera (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Insomniac Dreams (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Think, Write, Speak (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Autumn Light: Illuminations of Age(1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seventh Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories(1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Magical Realist Fiction(1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Joy of Football(1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Amis Story Anthology(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wonderful Town(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, Volume 2(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Short Stories of the Century(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Vintage Book of Amnesia(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writers: Their Lives and Works(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov was a general fiction writer best known for his classic novel Lolita. This book showed his detailed writing and intricate wordplay that became a part of all his writing. The brilliant author was born in Russia in 1899 and started his career writing for the Russian émigré under his Vladimir Sirin pseudonym. In 1940, Nabakov relocated to the US and became a citizen in 1945. His debut novel Lolita was first published in 1955, and Nabakov wrote hundreds of other outstanding literary pieces during his lifetime. A few of his novels are listed among the best 100 books of the 20th century. In 1959, this author moved to Switzerland, where he lived a solitary lifestyle until he died in 1977.

Lolita tells a tragic story of obsession, lust, and delusion. The book stars Humbert, a 37-year-old scholar, and aesthete and 12-year-old Lolita Hayes. Humbert is madly in love with Lolita, who also happens to be his landlady’s daughter. To ensure that he stays close to her, Humbert agrees to Marry Lorita’s mother, albeit reluctantly. This arrangement leads to a lot of suffering for Humbert, and when Lolita starts focusing her attention elsewhere, her now step-father gets desperate. He arranges a desperate cross-country where he is hoping to profess his dying love for Lolita. What follows is a flamboyant account of how this man goes to extreme lengths to have sex with a girl who is a child.

Once you know that the story involves sexual relations between an adult and a child, everything else becomes clear. In a heartbreaking yet captivating way, this story covers the grooming part where the adult takes advantage of Lolita, followed by the consummation and the aftermath. This book is told from Humbert’s point of view, and it is written in the retrospective form. Humbert is in prison, and he knows that he is going to die. However, no trial or judgment has been charged yet. He narrates how Lolita seduced him, the agreement between these two on the duration of their secret relationship, and the tragic events that follow when things do not go as planned. The author expertly portrays Humbert’s perverted mind.

This is a dark and disturbing book. It is also charming, lyrical, and seductive. The author’s writing is outstanding, and you cannot help but get lost in the word plays, language, and narration. It is amazing how Nabokov managed to create such believable characters. Your heart will break for Lolita, and despite Humbert’s claims of love, you will see right through him and recognize him for what he is – a pedophile. The author tantalizes you to pass judgment on Humbert, given all the details. Do you believe that Lolita seduced him and he was too blinded by love to protect this child?

Lolita is a brilliantly written book. While the plot is disturbing, the writing is flawless. You will quickly get absorbed and have a hard time putting the book down. Humbert is a selfish man who is so convincing that he may fool you to side with him. Nabokov’s command of the English language will not go unnoticed. While this was his third language, it is amazing how he invents words, hyphenates them, and rhymes his writing, so this book reads like poetry. He also incorporates some brittle humor that taunts you to keep reading even with your growing disgust for Humbert.

Pale Fire
Pale Fire is an intriguing story that starts with an unfished poem. When John Shade, an American poet, dies, his last poem titled Pale Fire is turned into a book. The book comes complete with a preface, notes, and a long commentary by Charles Kinbote, who was Charles’s editor and friend until his death. Kinbote, also known as the Great Beaver, is an inquisitive, haughty, and intolerant man. He is also mad and a potential danger to those around him. As his comments spiral into the personal, the deluded editor will reveal more about himself than he would want people to know. Does anyone take the mad professor’s claims seriously?

As the book progresses, Kinbote starts talking about Zembla country and its ousted King. There is also a crazy professor who cannot stop airing his views to his audience. It is not clear whether Kinbote is the King or the crazy professor. He could also be Shade’s character after faking his death and going ahead to write the notes and commentary about his poem. So, who is Kinbote out of the above three characters? What part of this story inside another story is fiction, and which one is not? Even after reading this book cover to cover, you may still be a little confused about Kinbote’s real identity.

This is a rich, witty, and dark masterpiece that introduces dubious penmanship, a talented poet, and the literary conundrum that follows his death. What starts as an unfinished poem turns into a discussion about a country called Zembla and its ousted King. One outstanding thing about this book is that it rejects common conceptions of novel writing. Despite this, it remains a masterpiece in both structure and form. The book is made up of footnotes. It is amazing that from the commentary, the author manages to create well-rounded characters, locations, and an engaging narrative. Kinbote is also an interesting character, and it is fun following his commentaries throughout the story.

If the reviews from thousands of readers are anything to go by, Pale Fire is among the best novels of all time. Just like in the case of Lolita, the protagonist is not admirable, and his unreliability shows throughout his narration. However, there is something about him that keeps you interested in the story. The author lets you in Kinbote’s deranged mind, and as you dive into the darkness, you will want to keep reading, hoping for some light at the end of it all. This book comes with many ingenious surprises and a good dose of humor. It is safe to say that, just like in the previous book, Nabokov’s writing is clever and brilliant.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Vladimir Nabokov

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