10 Phenomenally Tricky Books Everyone Should Read

nabokov

Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov

If you’re even a casual visitor to this space, you probably know that we, uh, like Nabokov. A lot. This is one of his masterpieces, second in our esteem only to Lolita, and much trickier. After all, the novel consists of a poem and then commentary on that poem — commentary that leads you down a ludicrous rabbit hole of authorial intention and madness. As for the recent publication of the poem as a standalone volume? Pish posh, we say. That poem was meant to be mediocre. That’s far from the only opinion, but we’re purists, and we’re sticking to it.