The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

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The Real Life of Sebastian Knight 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Clara53 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As Conrad Brenner wrote so aptly about the author in the Introduction to this novel - "He is NOT the author of only one book ("Lolita") and only one masterpiece. He is not a literary curiosity". True, Nabokov is mostly known for "Lolita" (which I am yet to read - having grown up in that part of the world where Nabokov's books were banned at the time), but I started with "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight" and found it very appealing, particularly because Nabokov's style (at least in this book) has so reminded me of one of my favorite authors - W.S.Maugham. Knowing only the basic facts of Nabokov's life, I nevertheless felt that this book was at least in some small part autobiographical. It greatly impressed me that in spite of the fact that this novel was Nabokov's first book written in English (and not a translation from Russian) - his mastery of the language and the richness of expression are incredibly high. A very worthy read.
Karlus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of an elemental human desire, the Narrator's desire to learn more about the life of his brother, Sebastian, whom he has hardly known during his life, and after it is almost too late, after Sebastian has died. Not knowing how to begin, he finally speaks to people who have known Sebastian and gets to see the Sebastian who was visible through their eyes, meeting a knave or two along the way, including a publisher wouldn't you know! Finally, with the help of one of Nabokov's surely most comical minor characters, he is able to put together a very human side of his brother's life that very few knew about and, in the process, discovers depths of his own affection which he himself hardly knew about. And that, after all, is perhaps not such a strange story for any reader who has lived enough years to think about his own family relationships through the years.This is Vladimir Nabokov telling a story in his own beautifully clear and enigmatic way, challenging the reader to follow the twists and turns of its labyrinthine plot until it all finally becomes clear at the end. Or, perhaps, maybe only at the end of a second reading. It is a wonderfully human quest that you, the Reader, and the Narrator undertake.
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