Ada or Ardor: A Family Chornicle
Paperback, 604 pages
The Great Vladimir Nabokov
Have you ever read a book so good, that eventually left you with nothing but a reminiscence of that good story that will haunts you for the rest of your life? Have you ever read a book so good, that you just wish you could read that one book again and again for the rest of your life?
“Time is rhythm: the insect rhythm of a warm humid night, brain ripple, breathing, the drum in my temple—these are our faithful timekeepers; and reason corrects the feverish beat.” Vladimir Nabokov
I’ve read quite a handful of books; young adults, contemporaries, historical fiction, fantasy, a few classics, whatever you name it. But nothing, no books ever reach the same level of satisfaction as Ada or Ardor. And it’s not just like any other fiction, or novel. It’s a book of prose. An allegorical and satirical prose, that exists in an entire different universe than our own. There are lots of historical facts thrown here and there from various time frame in our world, and a lengthy footnotes that have a story of its own.
There are no concept of time, whatsoever.
Well, there is a past, present and future. But each of them live in their own frame, permanently. Like two different events that appear to occur simultaneously, but different when it’s observe from a different frame of reference. Much like the Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. (But more of that later).
What I’m trying to say is, reading this book is like looking at a painting. With colors that seem to make sense and alive, but at the same are illusion (I guess not necessarily illusion, but more like a decorative ornaments) and you need to see behind the strings of colors – the words – to see what Nabokov is really trying to say.
The story itself, is a romance (of course! where’s the beauty of reading a story without any ‘romance’ in it?) between two cousins (or are they siblings?). I know, I know. You’re probably saying; ‘Ew, but that’s incestuous!’ But, oh no you mere mortals. This book is far from the creepy toxic incest relationship (no offense books alike). The story is so convincing, it doesn’t leave any room for doubt (and made you rooting for the characters). Nabokov has a history of writing stories on controversial topics (see the infamous Lolita, for example), from the point of view of subversive character. And that’s what made this book, and the rest of his books, so very much intriguing to read. (In case you’re the typical reader who only wants to see a normal healthy relationship that is proven by the society, then the rest of my ramblings wouldn’t do much good for you). It’s a troubled fairy tale, it’s dark and it’s genius.
The characters (oh, the characters!) are rich, vivid, and eccentric. I know the story line is about a rich European-ish family, set in a vast Russian (or a more advance Russia) background. I, personally, is a huge fan of Russian culture (I know, I know. With all the Vladimir Putin thing going around, but hey, everyone have their own preferences..).
I know Russia have a, err, troubled history. But all of that aside, their rich culture, their waltz, and classical piece from the likes of Tchaikovsky are what I thrive for. So, yeah, whatever. Back to our main topic.
I think it’s safe to say that this book kinda permenantly change my perspective towards life, in general. I love love it’s philosophical approach and it’s deep twisted concept.
Nabokov seriously wrote a hell of a book. I really like the way his mind works. I don’t think that this is just a book. It’s a piece of art.
*I bought this book from BookDepository.com*