Another re-posted review not included in the import

Pale Fire - Vladimir Nabokov, Richard M. Rorty

This is the book that let me see that 'post-modern' fiction can be fun and rewarding at the same time that it is challenging and subversive; it doesn't all have to be literary wanking. The story unfolds in the guise of a collection of poems by character John Shade with an accompanying commentary by stalker-fan Charles Kinbote.


As we read through the poems, and especially Kinbote's commentary (which is more about himself and his own delusional pre-occupations than the poems it professes to expound upon), we begin to see the outlines of a harrowing story of fannish self-absorption and tragic genius. Nabokov's unreliable narrator is once again present and we must carefully sift through everything told to us in an attempt to discover what really happened to John Shade, just who is Charles Kinbote, and what, if any, meaning resides in the poetry of 'Pale Fire'?


An excellent and challenging read that ranks among Nabokov's best.