|The book + |
my sweaty post-jog self
This book messes with you. The overall feeling is one of creepiness. It begins with a death sentence and ends with a beheading, and in between, the protagonist, Cincinnatus C., wrestles with the suspicion that his world isn't real. There is lots of evidence to back up his suspicion - the crime for which he has been sentenced, "gnostical turpitude," defies any definition, and his fellow characters are ridiculous. For example, his jailers are offended when Cincinnatus doesn't express gratitude for their hospitality. There are a lot of funny moments throughout the story, but even the humor is unsettling.
Much of this creepiness comes from the fact that Nabokov makes his influence as the writer known within the story. He does something similar in Lolita, but here the involution is much more obvious.
The concept of Invitation is intriguing and the writing style is delicious. I wish I could have read the story in its original language, Russian. Oh well :P