“Read a selected list of book quotes here: http://www.lunch.com/cafelibri/Lists-74-2262-_Lolita_by_Vladimir_Nabokov_Book_Quotes_.html
As most of Nabokov's books are, this one was an exceptional joy to read. Even though the subject matter is deplorable, the writing style, imagery, and emotions that comprise this story make it a great piece of literary fiction.
As I read the book, I found myself in another time and place that was described by a detestable pedophile named Humbert Humbert. From the very beginning of the book, it's easy to tell that he is an unreliable and disturbed narrator. His distorted view of life and his "relationship" with Lolita is supposed to make the women and men of the jury pity his pathetic existence. He considers himself an educated individual who was unjustly accused of a crime. Instead, his musings reveal him as an unstable monster; no better than the "brother" he tries to protect Lolita from.
Every person the reader meets is distorted by Humbert's eyes, especially little Dolores Haze. He not only takes her innocence but her very name, which transforms from Dolores to Lo, Lolita, and eventually his nymphet. It is difficult to tell the nature of the characters because Humbert polarizes them: They are either a threat to his way of life or a mere annoyance not worth notice.
There were many questions I asked when reading the book: What is the truth? What is fiction? Is the entire book merely the imagination of a crazed pedophile? Who is Lolita outside of Humbert's prisoner? Often, these questions did not have any answers, but glimpses of solutions kept me feverishly reading, especially as they concerned Lolita. She is the real mystery. Even though the story is about her, the reader never sees anything from her perspective, which leaves us feeling helpless. We are a victim of Humbert's madness as well!
There were numerous slow spots to the story, which detract from the main interactions between Lolita and Humbert. After a short break from the reading, though, I was able to engage myself in the description of scenery during the characters' travels. The places they go to are reflections of their personalities. The beauty of nature starkly contrasts with Humbert, who is an abomination to all that is right and moral in the world.
Thankfully, there are no pornographic scenes in the book. Instead, Nabokov hints at the sexual intrigues that occur with clever word play. Anyone with an imagination and an understanding of the English language will know what is going on in certain scenes. This type of writing reminds me of the older horror films where a lot of the macabre killing happened off-screen.
Overall, I can see why this book has been challenged and censored in many parts of the world. It forces the reader to look into the darkest parts of human nature. What we find there is disheartening; there is no hope for redemption.”