The wickedly inventive and richly derisive story of Hermann, a man who undertakes the perfect crime--his own murder. • “A beautiful mystery plot, not to be revealed.” – Newsweek
“Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically.” – John Updike
“One of Mr. Nabokov’s finest, most challenging and provocative novels.” – The New York Times
Despair’s protagonist, Hermann, is another masterly portrait in the fascinating gallery of living characters Vladmir Nabokov has given to world literature. In his pseudo wordliness, his odd genius, Hermann is one with such other heteroclitic neurotic Nabokovian creations as Humbert Humbert and Charles Kimbote. Rapt in his own reality, incapable of escaping or explicating it, he is as solitary in his abyss as Luzhin or Charlotte Haze of Lolita.
Despair is illuminated throughout by the virtuosity and cunning wit that are Vladimir Nabokov’s hallmarks.