Invitation to a beheading.

Invitation to a beheading. (1959, Putnam)

223 pages

English language

Published March 3, 1959 by Putnam.

OCLC Number:

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2 star (1 review)

A surreal story about a man who has been sentenced to death by beheading for the crime of "gnostical turpitude."

24 editions

Review of 'Invitation to a beheading.' on 'GoodReads'

2 star

Stymied by his penchant for beautiful descriptive passages, Nabokov's plot development falters and circles back on itself. Despite his attempts to dissuade others from the use of allegorical language, it seems that this whole book hints at an allegory which is never quite rendered clearly. Nabokov's main character, Cincinnatus C., is sentenced to beheading for "gnostical turpitude" (knowledge-related deviance?), though he ironically doesn't seem to have much of a clue about why he should be put to death, or understand any of the details surrounding the execution. The reader soon learns that Cincinnatus has performed a few verifiable miracles of sorts in public, including walking on air and disappearing, perhaps related to a talent for transforming Ally McBeal-style daydreams into reality.Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately, repetitive descriptions of his daily schedule during incarceration, and the shifting architecture of the fortress in which he is imprisoned account for perhaps 75% of the …