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Vladimir Nabokov: Pale Fire (1968, Berkley Books) 4 stars

A 999 line poem in heroic couplets, divided into 4 cantos, was composed--according to Nabokov's … "
acabal 11 days ago | parent | context | favorite | on: Don't be terrified of Pale Fire

Pale Fire has been my favorite book for a long, long time, ever since I read it as part of a course in university. After all these years I haven't read a better, more intricately-constructed book.

It was suggested to me to read the intro first, then skip the poem and read the endnotes start to finish, then to go back and read the poem. The index is part of the fiction and must also be read.

I think the keys to really enjoying Pale Fire are 1) to realize that while the subject matter is ostensibly serious, Kinbote is really a comic figure, and you're meant to be laughing a lot of the time; and 2) the great puzzles to unravel are who is John Shade, who is …

Lev Grossman: The Magicians (EBook, 2009, Penguin USA, Inc.) 3 stars

A thrilling and original coming-of- age novel about a young man practicing magic in the …

Harry Potter for adults?

2 stars

Not really, there is no attempt to build up a magical world more consistent in any way, and on the other hand what magic is there does not feel magical. I had trouble relating to all characters because all seem to have a complete lack of drive or motivations.