Pale Fire

By Vladimir Nabokov

This is a unique novel that could only have been written by Nabokov. It takes the form of a 999-line poem in rhyming couplets with the addition of a long ‘learned’ commentary on the meaning behind the verse. Don’t be put off by the form – the style of writing is sheer aesthetic pleasure and it is also one of the funniest novels ever written.
~ William Boyd

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Publish Date: 1962

‘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.’ From Penguin Classics’ edition (2000).