Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov is an odd patchwork of literature—part poem, part prose, part criticism, part history, and all fiction. The titular poem is written by the recluse and literary titan John Slade while the forward and commentary to the poem are written by Slade’s adoring acolyte, Charles Kinbote. What results is a strange and original work that deals with mortality, grief, hero worship, and political maneuverings. Nabokov’s language is singularly his own and truly something to be savored by any lover of words. Those unfamiliar with his work would do well to start here, but won’t want to stop after reading just one.