Writing the Lolita Book Review
Lolita was not published in English until 1955, and it was promptly banned from every school library, many college libraries, and most public libraries. The content was considered so horrific and extreme, no one wanted to expose teens or young adults to it. Since that time, however, the novel has been studied because of its themes and its depiction of European and American culture at the time of its writing.
If you are tasked with writing a book review on Lolita, you will have no lack of topics to address. And you must remember, as well, that when you are assigned a book review, you are not being asked to provide a Lolita book summary – that would be a book report.
So, What is a Book Review?
When you write a book review, you assume that the reader already knows the plot. Your job is to take some facet of the book and expound only on it – it may be a characterization, a discussion of the conflicts, an analysis of one or more themes, and so forth. It then becomes your task to select a topic, develop a thesis statement, and then produce an essay that deals only with that thesis statement. In writing a Lolita book review, then, you will have any of many options for topics. Here are just a few:
- Who dies in this novel? What is the significance of each death to the plot? How does Humbert seem to treat death? How is Quilty’s death different from all of the other deaths?
- Has Humbert changed any as we read the scene during which he kills Quilty? If so, how?
- Humbert is a despicable yet complex character. Write a character sketch discussing his intelligence and cultural background as a contrast to the horrible person he becomes.
- Romance book reviews are written about novels that deal with adventures, originally adventures of heroes, but ultimately, any piece of fiction. In what way is Lolita a romance novel?
- How does the narrator (Humbert) attempt to disguise his hideous behavior by the use of language? Give specific examples from the work.
- One of the themes of this novel is isolation, or “exile” from the familiar. How are Humbert and Lolita both exiles?
- How does society treat the subject matter of this novel today, that is, rape, pedophilia, and child pornography?
- The author contrasts European and American culture at the time of the novel’s writing. How do Humbert and Charlotte depict these two cultures?
- View the move, Lolita. How is it different from the novel?
Lolita is a tough book to read, and certainly it deals with the worst types of human beings in the characters of Humbert and Quilty. If you are struggling for a topic, thesis statement, or with the essay itself, you may want to get some help from a good writing service like TrustMyPaper.com.