Audiobook: ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov (Part 2)

Listening to Lolita, Part 2

This is the second week at Crash Symphony Productions that we’re listening to Lolita, the audiobook as read by Jeremy Irons. This is one of the best-made audiobooks I have ever listened to. It is absolutely sublime. Jeremy Irons, of course, impeccably cast as Humbert Humbert in the film adaptation of the novel, reprises his performance in this audiobook and there is no better voice for the demoniac H.H. He is able to encapsulate in its sonorous poeticism the repulsive duality of Lolita, namely its ‘disturbing loveliness’. I thoroughly recommend it. And it is the audiobook by which I rank all others. I listen to it at least once every year.

Excerpt from the Audiobook:

Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze.
Hair: brown. Lips: scarlet.
Age: five thousand three hundred days.
Profession: none, or “starlet”
Where are you hiding, Dolores Haze?
Why are you hiding, darling?
(I Talk in a daze, I walk in a maze
I cannot get out, said the starling).
Where are you riding, Dolores Haze?
What make is the magic carpet?
Is a Cream Cougar the present craze?
And where are you parked, my car pet?
Who is your hero, Dolores Haze?
Still one of those blue-capped star-men?
Oh the balmy days and the palmy bays,
And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen!
Oh Dolores, that juke-box hurts!
Are you still dancin’, darlin’?
(Both in worn levis, both in torn T-shirts,
And I, in my corner, snarlin’).
Happy, happy is gnarled McFate
Touring the States with a child wife,
Plowing his Molly in every State
Among the protected wild life.
My Dolly, my folly! Her eyes were vair,
And never closed when I kissed her.
Know an old perfume called Soliel Vert?
Are you from Paris, mister?
L’autre soir un air froid d’opera m’alita;
Son fele — bien fol est qui s’y fie!
Il neige, le decor s’ecroule, Lolita!
Lolita, qu’ai-je fait de ta vie?
Dying, dying, Lolita Haze,
Of hate and remorse, I’m dying.
And again my hairy fist I raise,
And again I hear you crying.
Officer, officer, there they go–
In the rain, where that lighted store is!
And her socks are white, and I love her so,
And her name is Haze, Dolores.
Officer, officer, there they are–
Dolores Haze and her lover!
Whip out your gun and follow that car.
Now tumble out and take cover.
Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze.
Her dream-gray gaze never flinches.
Ninety pounds is all she weighs
With a height of sixty inches.
My car is limping, Dolores Haze,
And the last long lap is the hardest,
And I shall be dumped where the weed decays,
And the rest is rust and stardust.

You can find Lolita on Audible or Amazon.

  • Listening Length: 11 hours and 32 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Release Date: September 26, 2005
  • Language: English