Lolita is his most well known work, and the only work of his that I had heard anything about. I didn't really know the premise to the novel before I picked it up and found it very interesting. I can only imagine the negative reviews this book receives from people who read it today, simply because it deals with a controversial subject matter, and people are always afraid of the controversial. The main character of this novel, Humbert Humbert, who is using a fake name for himself to protect his identity, finds himself to be obsessively in love with a twelve year old "nymphet" named, of course, Lolita.
Humbert Humbert is a very complex and dynamic character. He is so self aware, and I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes where he psychoanalyzed himself, he is not a monster with no remorse of conscious, he is intelligent and can understand to some degree what has caused his problems, but that does not give him the ability to solve them. This novels brings attention the mind and the capabilities it has and the control it can have over a person. Nabokov uses such beautiful words to tell Humbert's story, which serves a higher purpose then to just please the reader. Humbert is appealing his case to "the jury", or the reader and his beautifully flowing words sooth the reader and arose sympathy. This book really gives the reader a lot of things to think about while they are reading it and after they finish it.
I would recommend this book if you are a fan of well written literature and willing to give it a try even though the subject matter is not pleasant. I feel like this a novel that you have to read before you can defend it or appreciate it.
I am interested to see the Lolita film from 1962, have you seen it? Have you read anything else by Nabokov you would recommend? Let me know.