Laughter in the Dark

Laughter in the Dark

4.7 7
by Vladimir Nabokov
     
 

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Albinus, a respectable, middle-aged man and aspiring filmmaker, abandons his wife for a lover half his age: Margot, who wants to become a movie star herself. When Albinus introduces her to Rex, an American movie producer, disaster ensues. What emerges is an elegantly sardonic and irresistibly ironic novel of desire, deceit, and deception, a curious romance set

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Overview

Albinus, a respectable, middle-aged man and aspiring filmmaker, abandons his wife for a lover half his age: Margot, who wants to become a movie star herself. When Albinus introduces her to Rex, an American movie producer, disaster ensues. What emerges is an elegantly sardonic and irresistibly ironic novel of desire, deceit, and deception, a curious romance set in the film world of Berlin in the 1930s.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written that is, a ecstatically." — John Updike
Library Journal
Published in Russian in 1932, the novel was translated into English by Nabokov himself in 1938. This edition, however, is based on the author's revised 1960 text. Nabokov again offers one of his sad, silly sots in the character of Albinus, an aging critic who abandons his faithful wife for a teenage mistress also involved with a younger man who takes joy in Albinus's destruction. Cheerful it's not. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
John Updike
“Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written—that is, ecstatically.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679724506
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/28/1989
Series:
Vintage International Series
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
309,855
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.80(d)

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.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
April 23, 1899
Date of Death:
July 2, 1977
Place of Birth:
St. Petersburg, Russia
Place of Death:
Montreux, Switzerland
Education:
Trinity College, Cambridge, 1922

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Laughter in the Dark 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
fL0ssi3 More than 1 year ago
this is a perfect precursor to the later Lolita. nabokov's obsession with pairing deadly, bittersweet girls with broken, older men must have begun somewhere around here, and in a way, he does a better job of capturing the hopelessness and sadness of the pairing by aging up his temptress and demonizing her a bit. i read this in about two days, having been unable to put it down, and highly recommend it. one would assume this is all he can write and might see the futility in that, but once his pieces are read all assumptions diminish before the clarity of his truths and the grandeur of the simplest sentences. his characters, with traits repeated, are still refreshing, and while Lolita, in all its sombre moments and dense descriptions, still felt somewhat light, laughter in the darkness is genuinely dark, each character touched by a certain evil, as if all their fingertips were dipped in black ink.
WordSzmit More than 1 year ago
Laughter in the Dark is reminiscent of Lolita and contains the same elements of Lust and the power that it can have over the characters. However, the writing is not as clear as in Lolita and I found at times that I missed something that I did not realize had happened. I found myself re-reading certain parts to make sure I understood what had transpired. For example, at the end of the novel when Albinus is shot; I found at first it seemed he was stabbed by something and I was unsure if it was Margot or someone else. However, Nabokov's prose in this book are just as wonderful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend Laughter in the Dark as a primer for anyone who wants to get a feel for Nabokov's brilliant work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is the best nabakov book i've read (i've read 7 of them). a young, starving actress gets in good with a man who can make her dreams of fame come true. he is older, but flattered by this young starlet's attentions and believes them to be genuine. but when he goes blind, he begins to 'see' her for the woman she really is. if this was a movie, i'd cast drew barrymore as the starlet, josh hartnett as her lover, and billy bob thornton as the protagonist.