Saturday 20 September 2014

Pale Fire

Pale Fire
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
ISBN: 978-0-679-72342-4 
Pages: 313
Pale Fire: A Novel
I have a love/hate relationship going with this book.  It is a novel containing a forward, poem of 4 cantos, commentary and an index.  Upon first picking this up for a paper I was studying, I thought I just had to read the poem.  No, this is more than a poem.  The poem is written by the character, John Shade.  Charles Kinbote writes the introduction and the commentary.  The commentary is about a norhtern land of Zembla and the Zembla king...  This has little to do with the poem but Charles manages to make the poem out to be about his own story of his land.  It is quite a novel, full of puzzlement.  You have little idea of what is really going on until the final pages.  Yet, you are still left wondering what is really true. 
Valdimir Nabokov wrote a very interesting novel here.  I was quite happy to just read the poem.  I love poetry and really enjoyed reading it.  That is why reading the rest of the novel just confused the enjoyment I got from the poem.  There is not even a hard and fast way in which this needs to be read.  You can read the poem first, or the commentary, or read from the introduction to the end.  It's all up to the reader.  Very interesting style of writing.
I have to say though that by the end of all the reading, I actually enjoyed it.  I went from hating it to having an appreciation for the story and the writing.  It was unlike anything I have ever read.  Give it try and see what you think. 
This was available from: Book depository, Fishpond and Amazon

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