First published: 1972
Page count: 105
The back says: Transparent Things revolves around the four visits of the hero - sullen, gawky Hugh Person - to Switzerland... As a young publisher, Hugh is sent to interview R., falls in love with Armande on the way, wrests her, after multiple humiliations, from a grinning Scandinavian and returns to NY with his bride... Eight years later - following a murder, a period of madness and a brief imprisonment - Hugh makes a lone sentimental journey to wheedle out his past... The several strands of dream, memory, and time [are] set off against the literary theorizing of R. and, more centrally, against the world of observable objects.
I say: For such a short novel this sure felt like a long and tedious read. I had no interest in the protagonist, found him very unlikeable, and none of his actions made sense to me. The only interesting part of the story was the aftermath of the murder, but that happens three quarters into the novel – and doesn’t last very long.
Nabokov uses that annoying narrator that is overly familiar with the reader and interjects silly comments here and there. Surprisingly, I was not impressed with Nabokov’s writing, which is probably why I couldn’t enjoy this at all.
It was all just meh.