Pale Fire (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141185262: Pale Fire (Penguin Modern Classics)

The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum.

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Review:

Like Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire is a masterpiece that imprisons us inside the mazelike head of a mad émigré. Yet Pale Fire is more outrageously hilarious, and its narrative convolutions make the earlier book seem as straightforward as a fairy tale. Here's the plot--listen carefully! John Shade is a homebody poet in New Wye, U.S.A. He writes a 999-line poem about his life, and what may lie beyond death. This novel (and seldom has the word seemed so woefully inadequate) consists of both that poem and an extensive commentary on it by the poet's crazy neighbor, Charles Kinbote.

According to this deranged annotator, he had urged Shade to write about his own homeland--the northern kingdom of Zembla. It soon becomes clear that this fabulous locale may well be a figment of Kinbote's colorfully cracked, prismatic imagination. Meanwhile, he manages to twist the poem into an account of Zembla's King Charles--whom he believes himself to be--and the monarch's eventual assassination by the revolutionary Jakob Gradus.

In the course of this dizzying narrative, shots are indeed fired. But it's Shade who takes the hit, enabling Kinbote to steal the dead poet's manuscript and set about annotating it. Is that perfectly clear? By now it should be obvious that Pale Fire is not only a whodunit but a who-wrote-it. There isn't, of course, a single solution. But Nabokov's best biographer, Brian Boyd, has come up with an ingenious suggestion: he argues that Shade is actually guiding Kinbote's mad hand from beyond the grave, nudging him into completing what he'd intended to be a 1,000-line poem. Read this magical, melancholic mystery and see if you agree. --Tim Appelo

From the Inside Flap:

In Pale Fire Nabokov offers a cornucopia of deceptive pleasures: a 999-line poem by the reclusive genius John Shade; an adoring foreword and commentary by Shade's self-styled Boswell, Dr. Charles Kinbote; a darkly comic novel of suspense, literary idolatry and one-upmanship, and political intrigue.

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Vladimir Nabokov
Published by Penguin Books Ltd 2000-08-31, London (2000)
ISBN 10: 0141185260 ISBN 13: 9780141185262
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Nabokov, Vladimir
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Book Description Book Condition: New. Publisher/Verlag: Penguin UK | A novel constructed around the last great poem of a fictional American poet, John Shade, and an account of his death. The poem appears in full and the narrative develops through the lengthy, and increasingly eccentric, notes by his posthumous editor. | The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should.Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. | Format: Paperback | Language/Sprache: english | 198 gr | 245 pp. Bookseller Inventory # K9780141185262

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Book Description Penguin UK Mrz 2010, 2010. Taschenbuch. Book Condition: Neu. Neuware - The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. 245 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141185262

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Nabokov, Vladimir
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Book Description Penguin Classic---ENG, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: NEUF. The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous? - Poids : 240g - Langue : eng. Bookseller Inventory # N9780141185262

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Book Description Penguin UK Mrz 2010, 2010. Taschenbuch. Book Condition: Neu. Neuware - The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. 245 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141185262

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Book Description Penguin UK Mrz 2010, 2010. Taschenbuch. Book Condition: Neu. Neuware - The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. 245 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141185262

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Vladimir Nabokov
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Book Description Penguin UK Mrz 2010, 2010. Taschenbuch. Book Condition: Neu. Neuware - The American poet John Shade is dead; murdered. His last poem, Pale Fire, is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal and the fantastical, Kinbote reveals perhaps more than he should. Nabokov's darkly witty, richly inventive masterwork is a suspenseful whodunit, a story of one-upmanship and dubious penmanship, and a glorious literary conundrum. 245 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141185262

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0141185260

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Vladimir Nabokov
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Book Description Penguin UK, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1. The famous American poet John Shade was murdered in 1959. This book contains his last poem, Pale Fire, together with a foreword, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he - can he possibly be - mad, bad, even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal, he reveals perhaps more than he should about 'the glorious friendship that brightened the last months of John Shade's life. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # MM-40012821

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Book Description 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. A novel constructed around the last great poem of a fictional American poet, John Shade, and an account of his death. The poem appears in full and the narrative develops through the length.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 256 pages. 0.250. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141185262

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