Saturday’s Book: King, Queen, Knave by Nabokov & More

I took this one!
I took this one!

My husband has been telling me for ages that I must read something by Vladimir Nabokov, but somehow Lolita didn’t sound particularly interesting. So, when I encountered this book at the library, which I had never heard of, I decided this would be my introduction to this author.

He was right (as he often is!). His style of writing is like no one I have ever read. There are passages that I just had to stop a minute after reading them, just to savor the imagery.

The storyline has some unpredictable developments and certainly held my interest. The beginning and the last fifty pages or so were the best. However, the characters themselves, were not characters I find interesting and did not think of them during the day when I wasn’t reading, like I do with other books I read. Frankly, I didn’t care about them in particular.

Two days ago we went to a play, adapted from Nabokov’s short story Lips to Lips, for one actor (it was at a theatre festival in old Jaffa). It was wonderful! I recognized the style right away. I believe I will try other books by Nabokov  – I had no trouble relating to the character in THIS story!

Now, for two books that I did not get along with:

1) The Bells of Bicetre by George Simenon

Perhaps this one is just a case of bad timing, of a book not suited to my current moods. The writing is nice and the reading flows, but I had no patience for it. A man who has had a stroke slowly, very slowly, reviews his life. Even though the book says he’s reflecting because of his illness the feeling is that the reflections are of an old man. BUT HE IS FIFTY FOUR! I’M ALMOST FIFTY ONE MYSELF! Maybe another time…

2) The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

This is the audio book I abandoned. I was tempted to take a lighter audiobook, a mystery, even a murder-mystery sounded fun (especially with the superlatives in the full-page ad in the New Yorker Magazine).

I listened to the first few hours and couldn’t stand it anymore. NOT MY STYLE AT ALL! The kind of story related to the kind of magazines I don’t read or the TV programs  I don’t watch.

Now to choose the last audio book left to my gift subscription….



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