John Banville praises Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov for The New York Review of Books:
The most striking characteristic of the fictional works of Vladimir Nabokov is uncanniness. In one of his many pronouncements on the art of literature the author said that “there are three points of view from which a writer can be considered:…as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three….” Certainly in his own case he qualified in all categories, a fact that he was complacently aware of and ever ready to profess—as Gore Vidal tartly observed, no one enjoyed Nabokov’s books as much as Nabokov did. He does tell a wonderful story, he does teach us many subtle and intricate things, he does thoroughly enchant. Yet when we press past the surface dazzle of his work—no small feat—we find ourselves in a world as strange and yet strangely familiar as the one into which Alice stepped through the looking-glass.
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