In a nameless East European nation, Krug, a philosophy professor in his 40s, has lost his wife in surgery just as a revolution has brought a repressive dictatorship to power. The revolutionary tyrant, Paduk, a childhood schoolmate of Krug's, needs the academic star's blessing to help legitimize his power grab, and starts having his men arrest and eliminate the people around the professor, up to and including Krug's 8-year-old son David, in order to force... Despair
Vladimir Nabakov's Despair is a story of a man's obsession with his physical likeness and livelihood. To actually describe the plotline would be to spoil the narrative and thus, the appeal of this "mystery." All that can be said is that Hermann, the main character, undertakes an "impossible" murder: his own.... Lolita (Literature)
Humbert Humbert is a European academic who comes to America and who has a penchant for nymphets--young girls. When he sees the young Dolores Haze he marries her mother so that he can be close to her. When her mother dies, he seduces her and takes her on a journey across the United States. He is in love with her but she is also not innocent and soon she takes off with another pedophile called Quilty. The narrator, Humbert Humbert then goes on a journey to... Lolita (Literature)
"What I heard then was te melody of children aplay and nothing but that, and I knew that the hopless thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that chorus." Humbert Humbert, Lolita 1998. I know that's from the movie, but it sums up the book perfectly. ...
John Shade, a poet and English professor at a small New England college, composed an epic 999-line poem just before his death in July 1959. A colleague named Charles Kinbote, an exile from the east European nation of Zembla, befriended Shade in the final five months of his life, and filled his ear with the story of the Zemblan revolution the year before, the escape of the king to America, and the assassin who is in pursuit of said monarch, hoping Shade w... Pnin
A Russian professor feels out of place in the United States and has awkward relationships with his relatives and colleagues. Timofey Pnin is a professor who has to struggle to understand American society and to repair his relationship with his ex-wife and son. Professor Pnin teaches Russian at a university in the United States, but he is always confused by the way things work in America; for example, when the book begins, Pnin is on a train going in the... The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
The unnamed narrator seeks to unravel the life of the mysterious writer Sebastian Knight, who was also working on a biography on another unnamed writer. This book layers the different stories of Sebastian's life, his loves, and the search for the truth by the narrator and another biographer of Sebastian Knight. The reader is never sure who is telling the story or what is real and what is fiction....