Pale Fire - W&N Essentials


Paperback (30 May 2024)

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Publisher's Synopsis

'One of the greatest books I've ever read. Its heart is strange, but it is huge; let yours beat in response' MARY GAITSKILL

Pale Fire, a 999-line poem, is the final work of the celebrated - and recently murdered - American author, John Francis Shade.

Here that poem is transcribed, introduced and annotated (at length) by Shade's fellow scholar, neighbour and apparent friend, Charles Kinbote.

Approaching this task with gusto, Kinbote's annotations reveal conclusive evidence of his own impact on Shade, disguised references to the northern land of Zembla, which he may or may not have once ruled over, and fuel for his many preoccupations and paranoia.

And - as his annotations become more desperate, more deluded, more deranged - Kinbote unintentionally sheds new light on the poet's last days and the pair's 'glorious friendship'.

A murder mystery, a work of wild invention, a reimagining of what the novel can do, a piece of exquisite comedy, Pale Fire is widely regarded as Nabokov's masterpiece and one of the most brilliant novels ever written.

A W&N Essential with an introduction from Mary Gaitskill

Book information

ISBN: 9781474620871
Publisher: Orion
Imprint: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Pub date:
Edition: Reprint
DEWEY: 813.54
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Sales rank: 4443
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 250g
Height: 129mm
Width: 197mm
Spine width: 24mm