Wednesday, June 13, 2018

[Book] The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman

I got an advanced readers copy of this book from the first day of BookExpo.  It is supposed to be released in September 2018, but that is preliminary, and the date could slip.

Book cover
I don't usually read true-crime genre books.  If I had never read the Nabokov fiction, Lolita, I would have never been interested enough in this book to read The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman.

A note about Lolita

It's been a few years, but I have always been uncomfortable with the book, Lolita.  It didn't present to me in the same way it presented to so many other people.  To me, it was a beautifully written tragedy in which the narrator has circumstances that show him in a better light, but we can't trust the narrator.  I have said to people that I regret having read that book.

The Real Lolita

This book contrasts the journey of Vladimir Nabokov and his wife Véra while Nabokov wrote his controversial book, Lolita, with the journey of Sally Horner who was kidnapped in 1948 and taken across country herself.  In some ways the book is a little game of what did Nabokov know about Horner, and when did he know it.

I feel better about having subjected to myself to the fictional Lolita after reading this book.  I say this because this book points out the things that made me most uncomfortable about Lolita, and in some ways sets them right.

Ultimately, though this is a true crime story about an 11 year old Sally Horner and her abductor Frank LaSalle.  While I can't recommend the fictional Lolita, I absolutely can recommend The Real Lolita to anyone who has read the fiction, or who is interested in true crime stories.  This book is very well written, and given it still has an edit pass or two to go, I am sure it will be even better in its final version.

The Real Lolita
Ecco Press, an imprint of HarperCollins.
True Crime
Planned Release: 11 September, 2018
Hardcover, 320 pages

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