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Download The Real Life of Sebastian Knight Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Real Life of Sebastian Knight Audiobook, by Vladimir Nabokov Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 54.14 out of 5 4.14 (28 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vladimir Nabokov Narrator: Luke Daniels Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781441873385
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The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, the first novel Nabokov wrote in English, is a tantalizing literary mystery in which a writer’s half brother searches to unravel the enigma of the life of the famous author of Albinos in Black, The Back of the Moon, and Doubtful Asphodel. A characteristically cunning play on identity and deception, the novel concludes “ I am Sebastian, or Sebastian is I, or perhaps we both are someone whom neither of us knows.” 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. “Witty and sad at the same time. Profound and dazzling." — Chicago Sun-Times 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 Matt | 2/15/2014

    " I finished reading this over a week ago, I'm a little in the dark on remembering much of it. I know that doesn't bode well for the book, or at least my reading of it, maybe. The book was good, I see why it gets all those literary recommendations as the word play is fun. Were I got lost, as in a 'who gives a shit' kind of way, is when the chapters turned into a rebuttal of other books on the life of Sebastian Knight. What glowed in the book was when the writer told stories, you felt the cold of Russia and the living with his brother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hamish | 1/31/2014

    " As soon as I was done I wanted to start reading it again, to pick up on all the little clues and puzzles that would make more sense the second time around. I think that's a pretty high recommendation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 1/26/2014

    " The first english language novel by VN. overlooked but overwhelming moving. smokers beware! I read it when i was still smoking - final pages will stay with you like a horrible (yet true) dream. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 H. | 1/21/2014

    " This is probably the lightest of the Nabokov books I've read. It's fun and distorted as usual. It's also touching and there's a bit of Nabokov's love for Sherlock Holmes in it. A strange mystery novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bertus | 1/1/2014

    " Can compete with books like 1984 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hadrian | 12/26/2013

    " Nabokov's first foray into English, a story about a novelist, his brother, and the search to discover the 'real life' of the former. Nabokov's prove is not as sparkly as usual, as he is still becoming accustomed to English, but it still shines. Recommended to those who know the struggle of an artist's life, or Nabokov fans. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 G | 12/24/2013

    " A precursor of sorts to Pale Fire - not as rich but full of Nabokov's beguiling wit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marat | 12/5/2013

    " very nice - unusual, philosophical, but at the same time about very everyday existence "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate O. | 11/22/2013

    " Favorite novel of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nica Noelle | 11/22/2013

    " This amazing book tells the story of a man in search of his celebrated author brother's secret life in the months following his sudden death. As beautifully written as any Nabokov novel, and strangely unforgettable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R L Swihart | 11/8/2013

    " Not quite on the same level as Lolita, Pale Fire, or even Despair--but still a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 11/1/2013

    " AMAZING. The last 2 pages are just mind blowing brilliance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hope Huntington | 5/12/2013

    " Fictional book, but mirrors many parts of Vladimir's early life and a brother he didn't really know well. Read Speak, Memory to get the real story about his brother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 4/1/2013

    " gonna have to side with edmund wilson and say this is my favorite nabokov book ever. and i'm a girl who likes nabokov a ridiculous amount. don't care if its considered a trial run for pale fire, it pretty much owns most other 20th century lit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel Burton-Rose | 1/28/2013

    " A clever conceit for a quasi-autobiographical novel: both fictional biographer and biographical subject as facets of the author's own persona. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 and | 6/12/2012

    " "No Leslie, I am not dead. I have finished building a world, and this is my Sabbath rest." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Geoff Ross | 5/27/2012

    " Of all the books by Nabokov that I've read, this was my favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 1/30/2012

    " well - a classic I guess. Glad to have read it but did not take my breath away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 11/20/2011

    " This is the best kept secret among Nabokov's books. Cannot recommend it enough if you like Lolita. Nab does really well with first person narration and in the theme of doubles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Gan | 5/29/2011

    " A novel rather like Sebastian Knight himself, elegant and clever but aloof and cold. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hunter | 4/18/2011

    " "No Leslie, I am not dead. I have finished building a world, and this is my Sabbath rest." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 2/14/2011

    " This is the best kept secret among Nabokov's books. Cannot recommend it enough if you like Lolita. Nab does really well with first person narration and in the theme of doubles. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hope | 1/25/2011

    " Fictional book, but mirrors many parts of Vladimir's early life and a brother he didn't really know well. Read Speak, Memory to get the real story about his brother. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrismpadgett | 1/5/2011

    " Nabokov is not one of my favorite authors, yet his writing and style, authenticity and contribution to literature is not to be overlooked. I hope to read more of his works. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Conor | 12/13/2010

    " Not his best, but I do love everything Mr.Nabokov touches. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spotsalots | 11/30/2010

    " I enjoyed this about 25 years ago, and equally enjoyed rereading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cooper | 8/8/2010

    " Lolita absolutely repulsed me and I couldn't finish it, but I found this one interesting and enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valerie | 6/30/2010

    " Nabokov's first novel witten in the English language a mysterious and witty literary jaunt...Nabokov's prose is brilliant! "

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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

Luke Daniels is a narrator whose many audiobook credits range from action and suspense to young-adult fiction, including works by Philip Roth and John Updike. He has been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 and 2014 and has earned thirteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actor, he has performed at various repertory theaters around the country, with an emphasis on Shakespeare.