Audiobook: ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov

Listening to Lolita, Part 1

This week at Crash Symphony Productions, 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.

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita. Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, an initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.”

You can find the audiobook on Audible, or here on Amazon.

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