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Invitation to a Beheading - Vladimir Nabokov imagination versus reality, utopia versus dystopia. often compared to kafka's "the trial" and orwell's "1984".

i liked:
the constant feeling of watching an absurd theatre play
chapter 18
chapter 19 [absolutely delicious:]
pierre, the executioner. you love to hate him
the spider
cincinnatus - the name. it sounds very brave and historical
cincinnatus - the character. his continuous retreat from people, his writing (wonderfully written soliloquies)

i kind of expected a bit more from it, since it was highly praised by azar nafisi in "reading lolita in tehran". but i'm sure it's just the kind of book you'd re-read in order to get better.