0636 | Ada | Vladimir Nabokov


This was very, very hard going. Nabokov is not an easy man to keep up with when he puts all the power of his mind into something, and he just couldn’t stop himself with this one.

The story of two siblings who hit it off and eventually end up lovers and then they grow up and then … I forget. I really do.

Although I’m sure there are some sublime moments in there somewhere, I was so utterly confused and confounded that I simply couldn’t see them. The storyline didn’t help. It’s not particularly interesting and there’s no desperately clear plotline to help things along.

The writing is complex and, I thought, littered with puns and plays on words which, after a while, had all the entertainment value of dad jokes at a Christmas dinner. I found the whole thing really laborious.

When Nabokov wrote Lolita, he was on fire. By the time he had Ada published, he seemed locked in his own world. His flame was no less powerful, but it had more of a scorching effect on me than a warming one at this point.

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