212 pages

English language

Published Oct. 29, 1989 by Vintage Books.

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4 stars (5 reviews)

25 editions

reviewed Despair by Vladimir Nabokov (Vintage international)

Review of 'Despair' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I don't attempt to understand every pun, every literary critique, every stroke of genius in Nabokov's works. I read Nabokov for mental training, to push the boundaries of how I view and work with the English language. I was first introduced to Nabokov like everyone else, through Lolita in high school. Almost 10 years later, I feel like I am just beginning to understand just how god damn brilliant Nabokov is. I started Despair a bit confused on the plot, but stayed with it because how can you not adore Nabokov's style. The rest came in pieces. The unreliable narrator. Nabokov's recurring theme of the power of language. The biting satire of literary criticism. While I can't say I understood everything Nabokov was striving for in this book, I can absolutely say that I enjoyed every sentence.