Bend Sinister

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The first novel Nabokov wrote while living in America and the most overtly political novel he ever wrote, Bend Sinister is a modern classic. While it is filled with veiled puns and characteristically delightful wordplay, it is, first and foremost, a haunting and compelling narrative about a civilized man caught in the tyranny of a police state. Professor Adam Krug, the country's foremost philosopher, offers the only hope of resistance to Paduk, dictator and leader of the Party of the Average Man. In a folly of ...
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1968 Trade paperback Reprint. Very good. No dust jacket. 217 p.

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Time-Life Books Inc. 1981 Trade paperback Reprint of 1947, Time Reading Program Special ed. xviii, 217p. Fine. No dust jacket as issued.

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Bend Sinister

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Overview

The first novel Nabokov wrote while living in America and the most overtly political novel he ever wrote, Bend Sinister is a modern classic. While it is filled with veiled puns and characteristically delightful wordplay, it is, first and foremost, a haunting and compelling narrative about a civilized man caught in the tyranny of a police state. Professor Adam Krug, the country's foremost philosopher, offers the only hope of resistance to Paduk, dictator and leader of the Party of the Average Man. In a folly of bureaucratic bungling and ineptitude, the government attempts to co-opt Krug's support in order to validate the new regime.

Filled with veiled puns and outrageous wordplay, this work is a haunting narrative about a civilized man caught in the tyranny of a police state.

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What People Are Saying

John Updike
Navakov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

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.

Biography

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins.

The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he 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. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri.

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 also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses -- the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions -- which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Vladimir Sirin
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 23, 1899
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Petersburg, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      July 2, 1977
    2. Place of Death:
      Montreux, Switzerland

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    A Hidden Treasure

    Not the easiest read to get through, but undoubtedly rewarding for those who persevere. It is first and foremost about the philosopher Krug's love for his son, and the bizarre tyrannical world in which they are trapped. Nabokov's use of language evokes conflicting emotions from the reader, making the novel both hysterical and heartbreaking. There are elements of the absurd throughout, but the emotions the novel elicits are very real.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Turd

    Turd

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Karma

    I ish officially retired. @, please leave my friends alone. I'm asking nicely. How can you expect US to be nice to YOU when YOU are here calling us stupid and being rude and stalkerish and acting worse than my pet mango. So please, leave. Now. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Hollyclaw

    Get a life

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Rebecca

    Katara? Are you okay?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Bhff

    Dhjj

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2014

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    Posted July 3, 2011

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    Posted March 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2010

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