A darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry and one-upmanship, and political intrigue from one of the leading writers of the twentieth century, the acclaimed author of Lolita.
"Half-poem, half-prose...a creation of perfect beauty, symmetry, strangeness, originality and moral truth. One of the great works of art of this century." —Mary McCarthy, New York Times bestselling author of The Group
An ingeniously constructed parody of detective fiction and learned commentary, Pale Fire offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures, at the center of which is a 999-line poem written by the literary genius John Shade just before his death. Surrounding the poem is a foreword and commentary by the demented scholar Charles Kinbote, who interweaves adoring literary analysis with the fantastical tale of an assassin from the land of Zembla in pursuit of a deposed king. Brilliantly constructed and wildly inventive, Vladimir Nabokov's witty novel achieves that rarest of things in literature—perfect tragicomic balance.
This novel can be interpreted in multiple ways, which brings the character(s) to life. Reading requires solving your own mystery and looking for the clues. You may choose to ignore some, and others may jump out at you. Overall, an exciting read that leaves you to your own contemplation.
A favorite for life
I was enthralled by this book as a teen and am just as enthralled by it 20 years later. Gorgeous, defiantly melancholy verse unlike anything else I’ve read.
I don’t get it
I found this book to be quite bad. I had to force myself to finish it so that I did not feel that I had totally flushed my money down the drain. Rambling and pointless from my point of view. Maybe someday I will come back to it and see if perhaps there is something I overlooked that others understand.