Laughter in the Dark

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, 1960 - Fiction - 292 pages
14 Reviews
"Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster." Thus begins Vladimir Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark; this, the author tells us, is the whole story--except that he starts from here, with his characteristic dazzling skill and irony, and brilliantly turns a fable into a chilling, original novel of folly and destruction. Amidst a Weimar-era milieu of silent film stars, artists, and aspirants, Nabokov creates a merciless masterpiece as Albinus, an aging critic, falls prey to his own desires, to his teenage mistress, and to Axel Rex, the scheming rival for her affections who finds his greatest joy in the downfall of others.

Published first in Russian as Kamera Obskura in 1932, this book appeared in Nabokov's own English translation six years later. This New Directions edition, based on the text as Nabokov revised it in 1960, features a new introduction by Booker Prize-winner John Banville.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jeffome - LibraryThing

Wow....enjoyed this way more than i expected! However, it was sort of like watching a horrible train wreck in slow motion.....but it was enticing enough that i thought it cannot continue to go this ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - robeik - LibraryThing

Interesting short novel, set in the 1930s, mostly in Berlin. The first lines of the book give it away, but how that works itself out is then revealed. A sad story really, and although fiction, I imagine it's the structure of many cases of infidelity and 'affairs'. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
7
Section 2
14
Section 3
24
Section 4
45
Section 5
53
Section 6
55
Section 7
68
Section 8
83
Section 10
108
Section 11
168
Section 12
186
Section 13
212
Section 14
219
Section 15
232
Section 16
281
Copyright

Section 9
87

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About the author (1960)

John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of fourteen novels including The Book of Evidence, which was shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize. He lives in Dublin.

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