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Download King, Queen, Knave Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample King, Queen, Knave, by Vladimir Nabokov Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,590 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vladimir Nabokov Narrator: Christopher Lane Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2010 ISBN: 9781441872692
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This novel is the story of Dreyer, a wealthy and boisterous proprietor of a men’s clothing emporium. Ruddy, self-satisfied, and thoroughly masculine, he is perfectly repugnant to his exquisite but cold middle-class wife, Martha. Attracted to his money but repelled by his oblivious passion, she longs for their nephew instead, the thin, awkward, myopic Franz. Newly arrived in Berlin, Franz soon repays his uncle’s condescension in his aunt’s bed. One of the twentieth century’s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961 he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977. “Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically.” — John Updike Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna Chiaramonte | 2/11/2014

    " Started out really good but took a turn about halfway through that didn't engage me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave Russell | 1/30/2014

    " Maybe it's chauvinistic provincialism on my part, but I find Nabokov less interesting when his stories take place in foreign countries. I just didn't find this novel as enjoyable as his later American books. Maybe the humor doesn't travel well, but there were times when this book was a slog to get through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 erin | 1/27/2014

    " Got off to a fantastic start. Fizzled a bit toward the end though... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles Berman | 1/20/2014

    " Nabokov's shimmering but bottomlessly deep prose makes this book a gem on its own. It frames brilliantly the unavoidable dialectic of the aggressively conventional and normative (in Martha and, though her, the obedient Franz) against the whimsical, curious, and creative in Dreyer. Deeply disturbingly, it does this mainly through the eyes of the side I know I always root against. For that alone I feel as if it will hold a place in my mind forever whenever that opposition occurs to me. Characteristically of Nabokov, it's delightful, unsettling, and very rewarding to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Clare Wu | 1/16/2014

    " Unfortunately, his son's translations are all pretty awful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mindy King | 1/10/2014

    " Perhaps I gave this book five stars because it was my first Nabokov book and so I was blown away by his style. I was substitute teaching when I read this and had taken it to class to read while the kids worked on their projects. I remember literally blushing reading it, and thinking I shouldn't be reading this around a bunch of high schoolers. It is by no means a harlequin style book, there is no graphic descriptions of writhing bodies or so forth. However, Nabokov has a way of describing how people feel about one another that is so personal you have no choice but to blush. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristine | 12/29/2013

    " One of my all time favorite books, throughly entertaining! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Af | 11/23/2013

    " Fun in the duration of reading, but already fading from memory - unmeaningful, unmemorable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 11/16/2013

    " A quick read but a fun and somewhat typical Russian story of love, adultery, and mischief. A soap opera told with a better vocabulary than daytime TV. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 11/9/2013

    " This is by far my favorite Nabokov novel. Extremely descriptive and instantly captures you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seth | 10/19/2013

    " Not what I expected, after reading Ada, Or Ardor, but still a very enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 maren | 10/16/2012

    " Although I didn't enjoy this as much as other Nabokov books I've read, it's still a good read. Nabokov captures scenes and emotions so effortlessly, especially self-destructive obsession. He examines the (always) desperate human condition. Nihlistic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vesselin Georgieff | 7/29/2012

    " the way Nabokov strings the metaphors made me reread most pages 2 or 3 times... enjoyed it a lot! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vcondratchi Condratchi | 3/4/2012

    " un fel de roman politist, scris ca la carte, dupa reteta, si din cauza asta cam simplist in idea sa. sau poate atat de clar ca pare simplist. dar i-a oferit lui nabokov ocazia de a se delecta cu jocurile de cuvinte. savuros. citit intr-o noapte si cateva ore pe plaja. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy Allan | 12/15/2011

    " Nabokov is a genius. I've waited to long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Skye | 12/14/2011

    " it's a little hard to get through, but it is a beautifully written book. love nabokov! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex | 9/12/2011

    " the ending was a little Anathem-esque! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill Mead | 5/5/2011

    " Another amazing Russian writer. This is one of his earlier stories. At times it is just brilliant, but you can definitely see him expanding as a writer here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 4/13/2011

    " This is probably my least favorite Nabokov novel. Still gets four stars though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 2/12/2011

    " I remember that I geberally enjoy Nabokov's writing, although I forget the particulars of this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kit | 12/27/2010

    " Oh Vladi, how I love your heavenly gift for prose. Guess you could say this is sort of like "if Nabokov did Double Indemnity in his own wonderful way." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Agnesca | 11/7/2010

    " J'ai beaucoup apprécié le style, mais moins l'histoire, d'où le 2 étoiles (entre 2 et 3 dirais-je) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 8/11/2010

    " It's probably not the best place to start with Nabokov, but it's a strange, funny book. Some plot issues aside, it's also further proof that Nabokov writes better at the sentence level than almost anyone else out there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristine | 7/14/2010

    " One of my all time favorite books, throughly entertaining! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 3/25/2010

    " really great book about a rich german couple. The man's nephew comes to work for him and ends up having an awesome affair with his aunt. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carolyn | 2/11/2010

    " Not Nabokov's best.....despite an attempt to re-write in his later years, this one would have been better off staying in the archives. "

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