BOOKS

Lolita

Curator Reviews

Chip Kidd

As a brilliantly merciless portrait of mid-20th century middle America alone, this book is a masterpiece. But we all know it is much more than that. I tend to see it as an intriguingly fiendish parody of “Moby Dick.” 

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Edmund White

This book would probably be shunned today. Even though Humbert Humbert is clearly a villain, the very subject of pedophilia is now considered too transgressive. But Nabokov had to reach far in order to redeem the romantic novel, which had become trite.

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Lena Dunham

This book is unusual in many ways, and gets lots of credit for changing the face of modern fiction—but not enough credit for how fully realized a character Lolita is, despite the fact that we are seeing her through the lens of her stalker. The use of language is just impossibly great.

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Robert Longo

This is simply brilliant writing, especially the way in which he makes the reader complicit. Classically painted, pure American perversion.

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Michael Stipe

His humor and grasp of humanity and language thrill.

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Jo Nesbø

How do you make the reader sympathize, or at least tolerate reading about, a man who is lusting for a child? I don’t know. You have to be good. And it’s probably a good idea to start the novel with the potential child molester declaring his love in a passionate and honest way, so you can always retreat to that later, when you want to flee: he actually loves her.

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Chip Kidd

As a brilliantly merciless portrait of mid-20th century middle America alone, this book is a masterpiece. But we all know it is much more than that. I tend to see it as an intriguingly fiendish parody of “Moby Dick.” 

View Chip Kidd's Top 10 Favorite Books