Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
"The only convincing love story of our century."
Hm. I'm afraid I'll have to disagree. I picked this up at the library about a week ago - not my normal type of book, but I just felt like maybe I should slowly start introducing books into my list that are actually my level, instead of just living in the children's section. Not that I'm deserting the children's section... Never!! It's where some of the best literature is. I just want to try to read more from the adult section, so that I can impress people. Well, not exactly impress, but I'm beginning to realize why I get weird looks when I'm telling people what I'm reading... "The Phantom Tolbooth. For the TENTH TIME!!" But all this is so tangential...
I really want to like the book, but I just... don't. And the reason I don't like it isn't because of the weirdness of it. I can get over that part, because while I think large age differences between lovers are rather unusual and strange, I also think love is love, so why put an age restriction on it? But the main reason I don't like it is that it's called a love story, but I don't think Humbert actually loves Dolores, he's just creepily obsessed and consumed by her. And it's a very selfish relationship; he is constantly bribing her and blackmailing her to get her to comply. He only has an obsession with the age that she is, he doesn't actually love her since he's always saying that as soon as she reaches "that difficult age" he will be done with her, or, sickening as it is, stay with her solely for the pleasure he'll derive from her having a child.
Of course, I'm not done with it yet. But I'm not sure it'll improve.