Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov’s infamous novel, is 50 years old this year. Lovely prose, frightening imagery, beautiful sugary words hiding nasty acts and defiled innocence. This was the first book I read, noticed and marveled at the writing style. I first read it at the Lolitaesque age of 15 (though Lolita was 12 when she first met Humbert Humbert and she was 14 when their “affair” ended.)
Another book with faint echoes of Lolita is Tom Robbins Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. I love Robbins work, the tales and pictures he spins with convoluted sentences and slippery words, but sometimes his course talk and earthy metaphors leave me raw from the rubbing. And he claims to love women. But I don’t know. But I can forgive him pretty much anything (except the pedophilia) when massaged with synchronistic plot twists and his exquisite agility with metaphor.