The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
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The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

3.94 (4,733 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Spurred on by admiration for his novelist half-brother and irritation at the biography written about him by Mr Goodman ('his slapdash and very misleading book'), the narrator, V, sets out to record Sebastian Knight's life as he understands it. But buried amid the extensive quoting, digressions, seeming explanations and digs, Sebastian's erratic and troubled persona remains as elusive as ever.

Nabokov's first novel written in English, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is a nuanced, enigmatic potrayal of the conflict between the real and the unreal, and the futile quest for human truth.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 14mm | 182g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141185996
  • 9780141185996
  • 141,243

Flap copy

"Nabokov writes prose the only way it should be written, that is, ecstatically." -- John Updike
The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is a perversely magical literary detective story -- subtle, intricate, leading to a tantalizing climax -- about the mysterious life of a famous writer. Many people knew things about Sebastian Knight as a distinguished novelist, but probably fewer than a dozen knew of the two love affairs that so profoundly influenced his career, the second one in such a disastrous way. After Knight's death, his half brother sets out to penetrate the enigma of his life, starting with a few scanty clues in the novelist's private papers. His search proves to be a story as intriguing as any of his subject's own novels, as baffling, and, in the end, as uniquely rewarding.
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Back cover copy

The real Life of Sebastian Knight is a perversely magical literary detective story--subtle, intricate, leading to a tantalizing climax--about the mysterious life of a famous writer.
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About Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), born in St Petersburg, exiled in Cambridge, Berlin, and Paris, became the greatest Russian writer of the first half of the twentieth century. Fleeing to the US with his family in 1940, he then became the greatest writer in English of the second half of the century, and even 'God's own novelist' (William Deresiewicz). He lived in Europe from 1959 onwards, and died in Montreux, Switzerland. All his major works - novels, stories, an autobiography, poems, plays, lectures, essays and reviews - are published in Penguin Modern Classics.
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Rating details

4,733 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 29% (1,352)
4 43% (2,029)
3 23% (1,108)
2 4% (209)
1 1% (35)
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