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Extended Audio Sample Transparent Things Audiobook, 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 (1,220 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Vladimir Nabokov Narrator: Christopher Lane Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781441873507
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“Transparent Things revolves around four visits of the hero — sullen, gawky Hugh Person — to Switzerland. . . . As a young publisher, Hugh is sent to interview R., falls in love with Armande on the way, wrests her, after multiple humiliations, from a grinning Scandinavian and returns to New York with his bride. . . . Eight years later — following a murder, a period of madness and brief imprisonment — Hugh makes a lone sentimental journey to wheedle out his past. . . . The several strands of dream, memory, and time [are] set off against the literary theorizing of R. and, more centrally, against the world of observable objects.” - Martin Amis 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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ben | 2/12/2014

    " If Nabokov wasn't NABOKOV by the time he sent this to his agent, then I doubt it would have been published. I hardly knew the characters and felt very little about their circumstances. Still, there are passages of gorgeous crystalline prose and fascinating ideas that hint of his genius. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michellette | 2/7/2014

    " Great writing; not much of a story. Something's missing, or maybe I am missing something . . . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shawn Lahr | 2/1/2014

    " It's an okay novella. It's a clever little puzzle that I haven't solved (narrator?), and a story that is fun to re-read to see all of the clues one cannot see at first read (fire, snow globe, et cetera). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/13/2013

    " This book did not really feel like Nabokov had anything to do with it until the last 20-30 pages. Those are pretty good, but everything up to that just seems like vague observations of a life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 12/1/2013

    " Lesser Nabakov, but still really cool. Check it out, you person. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marik Casmon | 11/30/2013

    " I'm not sure that I'd call this a serious Nabokov novel, but the writing is incredible, chock full of puns, wordplay, and all manner of impishness. In addition, it's short. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bruce | 8/4/2013

    " A short and somewhat dreary tale of a tragic love affair, saved to some extent by Nabokov's brilliant -- though sometimes infuriating -- prose and his unique way of perceiving reality. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nathan | 8/4/2013

    " While I'm amazed at Nabokov's mastery of English vocabulary and blown away by his wordplay, I can't say I enjoyed this one. Many of his phrases and sentences are brilliant but the book didn't satisfy me at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Morgan | 7/9/2013

    " Expertly written: every word deliberate and beautiful. The themes of memory are universal but under-explored by other authors. The strict categorization of all females as either nymphettes or skotinas (brutes) is off-putting, and the tired Lolita romances bothered me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridget | 9/26/2012

    " Loved this. Beautiful, mysterious, perfectly haunting. I especially loved the last line: "Easy, you know, does it, son." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carly Johnson | 9/4/2012

    " Just another excellent novel by Nabokov. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 m. soria | 8/6/2012

    " this is a great way to introduce someone to nabokov's brilliant use of language. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bajo | 6/29/2012

    " Breathless reader hanging on until the last written sentence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hadrian | 2/22/2012

    " When Nabokov plays with words, the rest of us benefit for it. Short, but thick. Go through it multiple times, to (1) savor Nabokov's masterly use of language and (2) find out what on earth is going on here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lazarus P Badpenny Esq | 11/23/2011

    " Glossy prose from the late, great master. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/11/2011

    " Having read Lolita some years ago I don't think this book represents Nabokov at his best. More thoughts when I finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 10/30/2011

    " This book did not really feel like Nabokov had anything to do with it until the last 20-30 pages. Those are pretty good, but everything up to that just seems like vague observations of a life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 10/9/2011

    " I'm not sure I understood this slender book at all. Nevertheless, Nabokov is an amazing writer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel | 9/27/2011

    " Among other things a window into the Cadillac days of publishing houses in the '60s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adrian | 9/15/2011

    " When Nabokov plays with words, the rest of us benefit for it. Short, but thick. Go through it multiple times, to (1) savor Nabokov's masterly use of language and (2) find out what on earth is going on here. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nathan | 8/28/2011

    " While I'm amazed at Nabokov's mastery of English vocabulary and blown away by his wordplay, I can't say I enjoyed this one. Many of his phrases and sentences are brilliant but the book didn't satisfy me at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carly | 8/5/2011

    " Just another excellent novel by Nabokov. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 7/13/2011

    " Nabokov continues his memory playfulness (from "Ada", and "Speak Memory among others) and narrator unreliability ("Pale Fire", "Lolita") and mixes it with his philosophy of time that he so enjoys. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hunter | 6/6/2011

    " i think nabokov is a haughty prick. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bridget | 5/25/2011

    " Loved this. Beautiful, mysterious, perfectly haunting. I especially loved the last line: "Easy, you know, does it, son." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorraine | 4/23/2011

    " Entertaining and very cleverly written. Not as beautiful, perhaps, as Despair or Lolita -- but rather whimsical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 4/1/2011

    "
    Bizzaro Land. Follows the life (with wonderfully irrelevant (but who can tell for sure) details)) of Hugh Person, a copy editor (I think) who falls in love and marries Armande (totally unsuitable—and one really wonders why she agreed).
    "

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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.