One of the most disturbing novels I've ever read, yet one of my favorites nonetheless is Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Being a hard core fan of English Literature (I know it's hard to understand to most people) I spend my free time completely lost in classic novels. For the past two weeks I've been lost to the world reading Lolita for the millionth time. This is a classic that I think everyone should read at least once in their life. Yes it is a difficult or slow read at times, and yes it's content isn't the most pleasant there could be, but it is still one of the most intriguing and well written novels I've ever read and I highly recommend it.
The story follows the seemingly charming Humber Humbert who we find has a creepy yet harmless fascination with young girls. From the get go he expresses his love of the female youths he comes in contact with but is very clear that he never acts upon his feelings of interest and desire.
These feelings and accounts of infatuation are recounted in a manuscript left by the protagonist to tell the tale of his unprecedented relationship with the adorable 12 year old Dolores Haze, or as she is known to him, Lolita.
Humbert first encounter Lolita while living in a room in the home shared by her mother and herself. During his stay Humbert grows closer and closer to little Lolita and develops a friendly relationship with her that means something to both parties involved but for entirely different reasons; she has a new friend and he is undeniably in love. Through strange and tragic means Humbert obtains custody of young Lolita and, to me at least, this is where the psychological struggle within the main character truly heightens. The story continues to follow Humbert and Lolita's lives as they make their way across the united states and the relationship between them is accounted for in detail.
Now I know you're probably wondering why in the hell I would love, let alone recommend, a novel with such a distasteful and taboo topic. Well, simply put, it is so beautifully written. If you can put aside the disturbing mental nature of the protagonist and value Nabokov's writing for the genius that it is, this will soon become one of your favorites as well. Nabokov has this magical ability with words to justify and explain Humbert's views and opinions in a way that has you sympathizing with this clearly disturbed man. I don't know how he does it, but simply put, you feel sorry for a pervert and that my dear people, is a talented and skilled writer.