Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 2001
CS ISBN $85.95 Thirteen cassettes
This is a subtle and canny biography of a very smart but prickly woman. Véra Nabokov was far from being the first or only love of Vladimir’s life, yet she managed to so intertwine herself in his personal, intellectual, and literary endeavors that it becomes difficult, or impossible, to separate her from him. Véra attended all of Nabokov’s lectures, often graded his students’ papers, typed almost all his manuscripts and letters, and herself wrote many of the letters he signed. Granted, Nabokov was a great artist, but there is so much strange ego in Véra’s submersion of self in this marriage that one can’t quite tell if it’s love or pathology. Anna Fields does a generally fine job reading, though when it comes to pronouncing unfamiliar place names and foreign words, she seems to have been left to make things up. (Shouldn’t the audio publisher take some responsibility for accuracy in pronunciation, as a print publisher does in copyediting for textual mistakes? And while we’re at it, should it worry us that Vladimir is misspelled on the audiobook’s front cover?) B.G. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN/JUL 02]
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