Invitation to a Beheading, by Nabokov Rothdas book review RSS
5.0 Stars

A wonderful, absurd, surreal, and darkly comic novel about a man condemned to die. It is like Nabokov took the last section of _The Stranger_, stretched the narrative out like taffy, and then subjected Meursault to a hundred different farces and indignities. Except in this case the protagonist is more likable and more innocent than Meursault, and the society that imprisons him more totalitarian and more Zemblan, and the ending more ... something? In any case, there is a neat sort of solipsistic shadow struggle carried on through out the book, and naturally it reaches its climax at the final scene.

Overall it is a delightful book. Two notes of caution though: Note 1) the first 20-30 pages are a bit slow, so stick with it for bit until the pieces start fitting together. Note 2) In my printing, the back of the book had horrible, terrible spoilers. Like, 3 sentences that just ruined some of the wonderful situations that Nabokov set up. So, grade A trolling on the part of the publishers. I'm not sure why people complain about 4Chan or Reddit when hooligans like Random House are allowed to roam free. If you are interested in the novel at all, rip the back cover off the book and toss it to the wind.

Ok, I cannot resist, here is a final bonus note. The next book on the Nabokov list is _Pale Fire_, which I would be reading already if I hadn't accidentally reserved the audio book version from the library. Pale Fire is a re-read, and while doing some browsing about it I came across this original, hilarious, NYTimes review of Pale Fire from when it was first published.
Wow. I'm sure I've misread a book this badly at some point in my life, but fortunately I've never published it on the internet to be preserved for all time.