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Lolita


Lolita, written by Vladimir Nabokov, is an epic. It was published in 1955 and is ahead of it's times, even today. But the way it has been written is brilliant. Very few books can match up. This will probably the best book I read this year.

The book is about a 12 year old Dolores who is called Lolita by Humbert. Humbert is a pedophile. Sure, he has a backstory to justify it. He falls in love with Lolita at first sight and marries her mother. When the mother dies (it wasn't murder), Humbert kidnaps Lolita and rapes her. His version is that she seduces him. But according to my definition of sex, it was rape and not consensual. They travel from one place to another for 2 years till Lolita manages to free herself from him. 

The entire book is an insight into the mind of a rapist. How does a rapist get his victim to give in to his demands and never tell anyone. How does he control another human being? 

Nabokov hardly talks about Lolita. We only hear about her from Humbert. And Humbert is an unreliable narrator. There are hints, how she cries at night every night after Humbert is asleep but you need to read between the lines. He tries to make amends in the end and it is very easy to sympathize with him but I had to keep telling myself "he is a rapist. He is a rapist".

How is it a love story is beyond me. I need to shut down my moral (whatever little is left) compass to think of it as 'love'. 

Put this book on the top of your 'to read' list. You won't be sorry. 

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