After reading several books by Mr. Nabokov, I was very excited to receive and read this book. As with his other novels, the wording and phrasing of the story is beautiful, though the content itself is extremely demented; The book never finishes, though within the pages that have been completed, we find two major characters- Flora Wild; a flirty, flighty young girl who only married her husband because of his large amounts of money and cheats on him almost constantly, and Phillip Wild: An awkward, grotesque and overweight old doctor who wants to be recognized by his fellow peers. There are two main conflicts; the first one is rather strange. Dr. Wild decides that he wants to kill himself, and does so through imagination; thus, he can reverse the effects whenever he wishes. He feels extreme ecstacy every time he destroys a part of himself, and is obviously an unfortunate masochist. The second conflict is a bit less disturbing; Dr. Wild agreed to marry Flora only because she reminded him of a past lover-thus, the two have nearly no feelings toward each other and their relationship is not at all satisfying. We find out that a book has been written by one of Flora`s admirers, which makes Dr. Wild very angry. However, we don`t ever get to see how their relationship is affected by this, or if Dr. Wild ever succeeds in killing himself, because the novel comes to an ubrupt halt, as it is not completed-I nearly cried when it ended. The bad part is that I`ll always yearn to know the ending, though there will never be one. Although, since it was at my own discretion that I started reading the novel, I can`t complain. The design of the book itself is stunning; I love how realistic the notecards look--you can even punch them out if you so desire! It`s very ingenious and I love it. This book deserves nothing less than five stars-it`s magnificent!
The Original of Laura by Vladimir Nabokov (with an introduction by Dmitri Nabokov)
February 10, 2010