cover image The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

Vladimir Nabokov, read by Luke Daniels. Brilliance Audio, unabridged, five CDs, 6 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4418-7334-7

Luke Daniels’s reading of Nabokov’s first novel written in English is over emotive and replete with tearful women and awkwardly pronounced French words. But fear not: all is as it should be—Daniels is simply capturing the tone of this classic book in which a budding literary scholar investigates the life of mysterious writer Sebastian Knight. Daniels’s narration is clear, engaging, and well paced. His reading reflects the spirit of Nabokov’s text, and he offers up a range of accents and voices for the characters, including French dialects that contain more than a hint of Pepé Le Pew in their florid stylizations. There may be shadings and tones of Nabokov’s prose that Daniels does not entirely capture, but the comic verve of this audiobook more than makes up for any omissions and provides for thoroughly entertaining listen. A Penguin paperback. (Aug.)