Mary, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Alone in his room in a dirty Berlin pension, Ganin reminisces about Mary, his first love.

He fantasizes that a fellow lodger's wife, due to arrive the next day, is his long-lost sweetheart and plots how they will run away together, leaving everything else far behind ...United by the theme of love, the writings in the "Great Loves" series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds.

Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780141032900



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Mary is the story of Ganin, a Russian living in Germany after being exiled from Russia, as he remembers his love affair with Mary and waits to see her again soon. Mary is a lovely book. While the langauge isn't as bautiful as you might expect from some other Nabrokov book (*cough Lolita cough*) it's still intrieguing and compelling. Mary is a quiet book. It doesn't deal with big events or even big ideas buta more quiet kind of event. It's about a lot of things. It's about love and memory and the different kind of things we can love in different ways. It's about being away from your home but still loving it, it's about futility and hope. Not a lot happens in this book but it isn't about things happening, it's about the inner voyage of the main character and the ending is simply lovely. It's subtle and moving and though I didn't engage with it deeply as I read I found myself days after sat thinking about it, about the idea and meanings and messages, which is surely the sign of a truly worthwhile book.

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