(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)One of the best-loved of Nabokov’s novels, Pnin features his funniest and most heart-rending character. Professor...more
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)One of the best-loved of Nabokov’s novels, Pnin features his funniest and most heart-rending character. Professor Timofey Pnin is a haplessly disoriented Russian émigré precariously employed on an American college campus in the 1950s. Pnin struggles to maintain his dignity through a series of comic and sad misunder-standings, all the while falling victim both to subtle academic conspiracies and to the manipulations of a deliberately unreliable narrator. Initially an almost grotesquely comic figure, Pnin gradually grows in stature by contrast with those who laugh at him. Whether taking the wrong train to deliver a lecture in a language he has not mastered or throwing a faculty party during which he learns he is losing his job, the gently preposterous hero of this enchanting novel evokes the reader’s deepest protective instinct. Serialized in The New Yorker and published in book form in 1957, Pnin brought Nabokov both his first National Book Award nomination and hitherto unprecedented popularity. less
The book is well written but fails to capture my attention entirely. It seems that Nabokov unnecessarily injects clever language to highten the importance of what amounts to be a simplistic story.
I can only recommend this book for academic reasons and not necessarily for vocational reading.
Had two long nights and finished this book...I still love Nabokov very much but he hasn't been nearly as interesting as he has in the past. Reading Nabokov works is still like viewing great art to me though, the world appears more vibrant.