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Lolita

by Nabokov, Vladimir

Condition: Very Good+/Good


New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1955. First American Edition. Hardcover. Very Good+/Good. Cloth-backed decorative paper over boards, lettering stamped in gilt and copper on spine, red topstain; dust jacket; 8vo; pp. 319. Spine tips a little wrinkled; boards lightly rubbed; ownership signature on front paste-down. Dust jacket a bit tanned and dust-smudged; some light wrinkling and a few small closed tears along the edges; small chips at extremities; waterstain on rear panel; good in mylar, not price-clipped.

Nabokov's infamous and controversial novel -- always ripe for debate, and (as is so often the case with controversy) pretty good for sales. First published by the rather shady Maurice Girodias of the Olympia Press (Paris), and riddled with typographical errors, it went on to be published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in the UK, where it was seized, then banned. (It also dealt the final blow to Nigel Nicolson's political career.) Its publication in America received no official goverment response, and in a matter of days the novel reached its third printing, becoming the first book since "Gone with the Wind" to sell 100,000 copies in three weeks. This is not a case of un-met hype -- the subject matter is difficult, and the writing is certainly compelling. "Your run-of-the-mill obscene masterwork -- Tropic of Cancer, say -- demands that you, enlightened reader, work your way past the sex and excrement to recognize how beautiful it is. But with Lolita, you must work past its beauty to recognize how shocking it is" (Stephen Metcalf, Slate Magazine). A near fine copy of an important and enduring work, one which Nabokov spoke of proudly. Amongst his comments: "I would say that of all my books Lolita has left me with the most pleasurable afterglow -- perhaps because it is the purest of all, the most abstract and carefully contrived. I am probably responsible for the odd fact that people don't seem to name their daughters Lolita any more. I have heard of young female poodles being given that name since 1956, but of no human beings."

Lolita is widely regarded as one of the greatest books of the 20th Century.  The cultural influence of Lolita cannot be understated, and numerous editions have been printed since 1955. The book has been made into movies, plays, and has sparked countless conversations about relationships and the nature of obsession. Even the covers of the later editions have sparked controversy, as they feature potentially suggestive depictions of the famous "nymphet". Unsurprisingly, Lolita is often at the top of banned books lists in high schools. - - Read more: Identifying first editions of Lolita


  • Bookseller: Sanctuary Books US (US)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: D12934
  • Title: Lolita
  • Author: Nabokov, Vladimir
  • Format/binding: Hardcover
  • Book condition: Used - Very Good+
  • Jacket condition: Good
  • Quantity available: 1
  • Edition: First American Edition
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
  • Place: New York
  • Date published: 1955

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On Aug 26 2014, said:
  "Vladimir Nabokov's postmodern masterpiece about a man's obsession with a young girl is nothing short of remarkable. Not only does Nabokov situate the story within the context of Cold War America, but he has the ability to make the reader sympathise with an otherwise immoral character. Through Nabokov's lyrical, poetic and deceptive writing, the story becomes at once comical and poignant. Underneath all the amusing and colourful metaphors and allusions to American popular culture is a deeply affecting story about obsession, innocence and unrequited love. As with Jack Kerouac's On The Road, the theme of 'the journey' is strongly emphasised throughout, as the lead character descends deeper into madness as he and his step-daughter travel around America. A cult classic and must-read, Lolita is the work of genius."

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fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
jacket
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
gilt
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
G
Good describes the average used and worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted. (as defined...[more]
spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
paste-down
The paste-down is the portion of the endpaper that is glued to the inner boards of a hardback book. The paste-down forms an...[more]

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