Reader #1: A 30ish young woman in a turquoise silk head scarf. I was impressed by her calm and reserve given the rage I myself was feeling as our N-train made local stops through lower Manhattan.
Reader #2: A tall, lanky fellow with neatly gelled Don Draper hair and ribbed beige socks showing above his wingtips. He took notes in the margins—like the people in that New York Times article about taking notes in the margins.
Who is the more typical Lolita reader? Clearly #2. I can’t tell you how many disaffected English major type dudes I’ve met in New York who cite this as their favorite book. It’s always disturbed me, slightly.
What disturbs me even more is… the Vanity Fair quote on the cover, which reads “The only convincing love story of our century.” It’s a worthy book, sure, but not a love story.
Further reading for fans (and the cherry atop our cake of disturbance): Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott is essentially Lolita from the little girl’s perspective. Marketed as YA, but definitely more suitable for adults.