The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman

The Real Lolita

A gripping true-crime investigation of the 1948 abduction of Sally Horner and how it inspired Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel, LolitaVladimir Nabokov’s Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner.Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history...


Details The Real Lolita

TitleThe Real Lolita
ISBN9780062661920
Author
Release DateSep 11th, 2018
PublisherEcco
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime, History, Biography, Mystery
Rating

Reviews The Real Lolita

  • Krista
    1970-01-01
    (Note: Unbiased review in exchange for an ARC from Edelweiss.)Robert Frost sees two paths while on a hike, and goes to his desk to write a most famous poem. Should we acknowledge the original influence of the paths, the direct connection between their existence and the poem, or do we think of the poem forever as separate from the reality?That's facetious but it is a distillation of the idea here is at the heart of "The Real Lolita": Where do we s...
  • Lisa
    1970-01-01
    Scored this beauty at BookExpo from the super talented Sarah Weinman. Picked it up and could not put it down. Absolutely riveting.
  • Rachel
    1970-01-01
    As a true crime writer, I loved how Sarah Weinman unearthed a story that inspired so much prurience without engaging in it herself; her Sally Horner is not a footnote or a parenthetical or a caricature of pigtails and lollipops. She is a real girl, the subject rather than the object. Great book, gonna have to read Lolita again for the first time since.... college?
  • Sarah
    1970-01-01
    It’s probably been 20 years since I read Lolita and I remember very little about it; it’s one of those things I keep feeling I should reread but am really not quite sure if I can stomach it. This is true-crime-meets-literary-criticism, exploring the connections between the real-life kidnapping of Sally Horner in the late 1940s and Nabokov’s most famous work. Nabokov never admitted to basing his novel on any story in particular (and indeed, ...
  • Melissa
    1970-01-01
    The real Lolita, Sally Horner, survived a nightmarish ordeal. So have many many other young women. A necessary reminder of what Nabokov's story is really about. Lest its glamour seduce us into forgetting.
  • Rebecca Minnock
    1970-01-01
    This is a tough one to review. Weinman's research is incredibly thorough, the links between the real life story of Sally Horner and Nabokov's fictional character Lolita are clear, although in a couple of parts it feels as though Weinman is making her own assumptions. I didn't love it, I also didn't dislike it, but it was certainly an interesting read.
  • Charlotte
    1970-01-01
    This was both a true crime story, and a discussion of how Lolita came to be written; both were interesting enough, but I never felt they quite came together; I think it could have benefited from a larger, perhaps sociologically oriented, framework binding the two stories more tightly.
  • Monika
    1970-01-01
    This was a really interesting blend of true crime and literary criticism. I think I would have liked a little more the criticism, but the book still came together quite well. The Real Lolita was deeply upsetting, but highly readable and mostly difficult to put down. My only complaint is that Weinman seems to lose focus around halfway through. The book started out quite balanced, in regards to the alternations between chapters on Horner and Lolita...
  • Emily
    1970-01-01
    True crime meets literary mystery. There’s no mystery to the horrifying crime: middle-aged Frank La Salle plead guilty to kidnapping 11 year old Sally Horner and basically keeping her prisoner for nearly two years before she used a neighbor’s phone to call for help. The mystery is how much Nabakov, who name-drops Horner and LaSalle in Lolita, knew about the crime and how much it inspired the classic novel. This is a compelling, interesting, t...
  • Melissa
    1970-01-01
    The Real Lolita is a true crime novel that tells the story of the abduction of 11 year old Sally Horner by the much older Frank La Salle, and how this case influenced Vladimir Nabokov while he was writing the novel that would eventually become Lolita. It is a quick and interesting read, and I think it serves as an excellent companion piece to Lolita. Knowing Sally Horner's story as the victim of a child rapist is protection from Humbert's story o...
  • Mary Lou
    1970-01-01
    It was interesting. A lot of it read like an academic paper though.
  • Stef
    1970-01-01
    I received an uncorrected proof of this book at the American Library Association conference this summer. I was not asked to review, but I am because I just finished reading this book and did enjoy the approach the author took. This is the story of the kidnapping and abuse of Sally Horner of Camden, New Jersey. Her story served as a burst of inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov when he needed it the most. His novel, Lolita, was nowhere near finished a...
  • Soraya Roberts
    1970-01-01
    This was one of the best of a genre that is often kind of rote and sensationalized. Sarah Weinman researches thoroughly the life of Sally Horner and how it influenced Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita (despite his claims to the contrary). What's more, the writing is meticulous and elegant, as opposed to the common sort of colloquial prose that has overrun popular crime fiction and non-fiction. I read it in two days (and that's saying a lot -- I have been...
  • Alex
    1970-01-01
    Sarah Weinman's meticulously researched and enthralling THE REAL LOLITA unearths the untold story of Sally Horner, a real girl who experiences a grueling, horrifying tale that inspired Nabokov's literary classic. Nabokov was not one to dwell on or share the true events that may have influenced his fiction, so, sadly, the Horner case has been buried for decades. This was also due in large part to Horner's own, untimely fate. But thanks to Weinman'...
  • Susan Grodsky
    1970-01-01
    I haven't finished this book, but since Goodreads won't let me write my review until I've marked the book as finished, I will do so.I'm not abandoning this book. I am interested enough to read to the last page. But I'll be skimming rather than reading.I read this book for the JCC book festival. I will recommend that we not include it. It's not a terrible book, but the only Jewish content is that the author is Jewish. That's not enough when the bo...
  • Jane
    1970-01-01
    Part true crime, part literary thesis - proving that Vladimir Nabokov was heavily influenced in his writing of Lolita by the real case of Sally Horner. The true crime parts were interesting, the Nabokov parts were okay but not as interesting. The author throws in a fair amount of stuff that doesn't seem directly connected to the Horner case or her argument, probably to get her page count high enough. Clearly Nabokov knew of and was influenced by ...
  • Patti
    1970-01-01
    I have never read Nabakov’s Lolita and now I don’t know that I want to because I’d feel like somehow Sally Horner was being kidnapped, raped, and destroyed all over again. The author does a great job bringing forth the details of Sally’s life and experiences with what little she has to go on. She also weaves in stories from Sally’s best friend Carol and her rescuer Ruth Janisch who was a complicated woman with possible knowledge of sexu...
  • Marika
    1970-01-01
    Most everyone is familiar with "Lolita," Nabokov's most famous work. What isn't so well known is that it mirrored a true crime/ abduction case in 1948. The case of Sally Horner is a sad one, and has long been forgotten by the general public. What's astounding is that during the time of Sally's abduction, Nabokov was consumed with the theme of prepubescent girls with older men. Did he write Lolita based on Sally? Readers will have to read the book...
  • Shannon A
    1970-01-01
    This is the true-crime that inspired one of the most beloved and disquieting novels written, yet the name of the the real-life victim is rarely known and her story never told.What Weinman has put right in this painstaking researched look at what really happened to Sally and how Nabokov became nearly as obsessed with following Sally's kidnapping as he was about catching butterflies.Proof that the truth behind how the much-loved prose came to be ca...
  • Tracy Bailey
    1970-01-01
    Sally Horner's story is heartbreaking, and I found myself angry with Nabokov for appropriating her story without acknowledging it. Weinman does a nice job balancing the story of Sally's ordeal with the metamorphosis of Nabokov's Lolita. As soon as I finished The Real Lolita, I picked Lolita up for a re-read.
  • Yukari Watanabe
    1970-01-01
    It's a very interesting historical nonfiction about the real crime case which influenced the famous/infamous novel, LOLITA. Weinman's writing is sharp and precise. It gives very important view of the well-known novel. It certainly made me feel differently towards Lolita and its creator Nabokov. I will write more detailed review for Newsweek Japan.
  • Colleen Maclennan
    1970-01-01
    Not familiar with any of the writers or stories so book was insight to both . Sarah was thorough in her research . Book was a sad commentary on life on a innocent girl who never got a break. Sexual predators will always be in our society and we must educate all on their evilness .
  • Hanna
    1970-01-01
    3.5 ⭐'s. A super interesting story but a less than stellar execution. This book could benefit from some more editing and, frankly, it could lose 3 chapters and become so much more compelling. Still an absolutely worthwhile read, though. 3.5 ⭐️'s. A super interesting story but a less than stellar execution. This book could benefit from some more editing and, frankly, it could lose 3 chapters and become so much more compelling. Still an ab...
  • Tobias
    1970-01-01
    A fine blend of true crime and literary history.
  • Caryn Cathcart
    1970-01-01
    Weinman examines connections between the 1948 abduction of Sally Horner and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, one of the most polarizing novels of the twentieth century. The basic takeaway is that Nabokov refused to acknowledge any real-life inspiration for Lolita because he thought it would diminish his genius, which is a big dumb ego thing that totally erases the everyday horrors of childhood sexual abuse. I do think it’s important to have a recor...