Paperback : 31 Aug 2000
The famous American poet John Shade was murdered in 1959. This book contains his last poem, Pale Fire, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he - can he possibly be - mad, bad, even dangerous? As his wildly eccentric annotations slide into the personal, he reveals perhaps more than he should about 'the glorious friendship that brightened the last months of John Shade's life'.
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‘Pale Fire must be one of the most brilliant and extraordinary novels ever written, let alone in the twentieth century’ William Boyd, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Century
‘A Jack-in-the-box, a Fabergé gem, a clockwork toy, a chess problem’ – Mary McCarthy