Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

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The novel is presented as a poem titled "Pale Fire" with commentary by a friend of the poet's. Together these elements form two story lines in which both authors are central characters. The interaction between Kinbote and Shade takes place in the fictitious small college town of New Wye, Appalachia, where they live across a lane from each other, from February to July, 1959. Kinbote writes his commentary from then to October, 1959, in a tourist cabin in the equally fictitious western town of Cedarn, Utana. Both authors recount many earlier events, Shade mostly in New Wye and Kinbote mostly in Europe, especially the "distant northern land" of Zembla.

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The 74th greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 1st on 20th Century's Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction (Larry McCaffery)
  2. - 7th on The Ideal Library (Book)
  3. - 13th on El Pais Favorite Books of 100 Spanish Authors (El Pais)
  4. - 13th on 100 Best Books (Montana State University)
  5. - 14th on In Which These Are the 100 Greatest Novels (
  6. - 21st on 100 Best Novels in English Since 1900 (Counterpunch)
  7. - 34th on The Top 10: The Greatest Books of All Time (The Top 10 (Book))
  8. - 35th on The 100 Greatest Novels (
  9. - 53rd on The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels (Modern Library)
  10. - 64th on Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books (Harvard Book Store)
  11. - 95th on The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time (The Novel 100)
  12. - "Our Readable Century", The Best Books of the 20th Century (January Magazine)
  13. - The New Lifetime Reading Plan (The New Lifetime Reading Plan)
  14. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)

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