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Extended Audio Sample The Enchanter Audiobook, by Vladimir Nabokov Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 53.75 out of 5 3.75 (28 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vladimir Nabokov Narrator: Christopher Lane Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781441872586
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The Enchanter is the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov’s classic novel. At once hilarious and chilling, it tells the story of an outwardly respectable man and his fatal obsession with certain pubescent girls, whose coltish grace and subconscious coquetry reveal, to his mind, a special bud on the verge of bloom. “Masterly . . . brilliant.” — V.S. Pritchett, The New York Review of Books “A gem to be appreciated by any admirer of the most graceful and provocative literary craftsman.” — Chicago Tribune 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. “One of the best books of the year . . . [The Enchanter] displays the supple clarity of a master.” — The Boston Globe “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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alana | 2/17/2014

    " Part horror story, part mystery thriller, "The Enchanter" is a more perverse and morbid predecessor to "Lolita." Though it's clear that "Lolita" was born from this earlier short work, there are enough distinctions between the two pieces for them each to carry their own momentum. Worth a read by anyone who adores "Lolita" and could stomach a more explicit version. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lazarus P Badpenny Esq | 2/8/2014

    " The harmony of trifles assembled. "

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

    " So cleverly written. My one complaint is that Nabokov tends to build upon sentences with dashes, parentheses, etc. to the point where you've lost the original, basic sentence. This forces you (or maybe just me) to go back and read it over again, which with his amusingly creative writing style, isn't necessarily a bad thing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Belynda | 1/21/2014

    " Interesting to read after just having read "Lolita," although clearly a distinct work. Just as interesting was son Dmitri Nobokov's commentary following the text. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 1/21/2014

    " Like the back of the novels says, 'the Enchanter' is "the Ur-Lolita, the precursor to Nabokov's classic novel." A short, quick novella that flirts and throbs with similar themes as 'Lolita', but also a terrible infant work that explores the themes of maddness, indulgence, obsession and fantasy that Nabokov's novels like Despair and Pale Fire also explore. A mad king who reigns in his lecherous and multi-level hell of his own impulses. Distilled down, reading 'the Enchanter' is like eating powdered Nabokovian Jello out of the box. The sweetness quickly disolves in your gut into clumpy images of boiled bones, connective tissues, and the intestines of small, lecherous dead animals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 QVT | 1/17/2014

    " Invaluable as a precursor to the study of Lolita. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K.m. | 1/16/2014

    " Although only a distant relation of the novel to come, this predecessor to Lolita, this preliminary sketch skips with the same funny, eerie, frolicsome language of its big sister. Nabokov says so much in the lightest scrap: discombobulated by a bewitching nymphet, the nameless, proto-Humbert Humbert describes seeing "black lettuce devouring a green rabbit". Who can resist such enchanting wickedness? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adara | 1/11/2014

    " Too creepy for me to actually enjoy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James G. | 1/10/2014

    " gorgeous prose, with insight into common madness and latent labido "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 12/5/2013

    " russian precursor to lolita. the last few pages had me reeling. amazing prose. very good translation by N's son. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorena | 12/2/2013

    " fucking hell, that ending. absolutely mind shattering prose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan | 3/23/2013

    " The first seeds were planted here for Lolita; a good look at Nabokov forming the platform for his greatest work. Very short and worthwhile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Conti | 8/11/2012

    " Lolita prequel....it tells the story of an outwardly respectable man and his obsession with certain pubescent girls. liked it better than lolita. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carly Johnson | 7/24/2012

    " Nabakov's books are all worth reading. Deep, intense storyline's that keep you aching for more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 serrulatae (girl a) | 6/4/2011

    " The story that eventually led to Nabokov's classic tale about one Dolores Haze aka Lolita. Perverse, passionate, funny, and extremely well-written-- not to mention some of the most crude things said in the most delicate language-- it has all the markings of a Nabokov. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 1/26/2011

    " A long 'short story' of a pedophile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 9/20/2010

    " Classic Nabokov. Always love it! I also really liked his son's postscript. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Wetsel | 5/6/2010

    " She bears a certain semblance to her younger more famous sister in that they both like to rollerskate--that is, this mediocre Lolita is quite unlike Nabokov's favorite child. Recommended for those who love Lolita and wish to study her embryo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Belynda | 4/18/2010

    " Interesting to read after just having read "Lolita," although clearly a distinct work. Just as interesting was son Dmitri Nobokov's commentary following the text. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 3/24/2010

    " I picked up this book at the library yesterday, and read it very quickly. "The Enchanter" is a short story, about 70 pages. It was beautifully-written, as Nabokov's stories always are. I'm slowly making my way through all of his books, and this was a nice, quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 2/3/2010

    " Wow - even better than Lolita. Nabokov wrote this novella first. Be prepared for a very different ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lazarus | 11/2/2009

    " The harmony of trifles assembled. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 9/25/2009

    " russian precursor to lolita. the last few pages had me reeling. amazing prose. very good translation by N's son. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 QVT | 8/16/2009

    " Invaluable as a precursor to the study of Lolita. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 3/30/2009

    " O famoso precursor de Lolita, esquecido por Nabokov durante anos. Dizem que quando o autor o reencontrou, surpreendeu-se com a semelhança entre as duas histórias, embora apenas superficial. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan | 12/27/2008

    " The first seeds were planted here for Lolita; a good look at Nabokov forming the platform for his greatest work. Very short and worthwhile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 8/9/2008

    " A short story the memory of which evolved into Lolita. The language is full, the images evocative. A little bit more aware of a sense of shame than Humbert, but that doesn't restrain the narrator. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adara | 7/21/2008

    " Too creepy for me to actually enjoy. "

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About the Author
Author Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1889–1977) was one of the most prolific writers and literary critics of the twentieth century. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, he grew up in a trilingual household and later studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym “Sirin” and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940 when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He died in Montreux, Switzerland.

About the Narrator

Christopher Lane is an award-winning actor, director, and narrator. He is a three-time winner of the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration and recipient of ten AudioFile Earphones Awards.