Set in the 1930's film industry, the plot deals with Albus Albinus, a middle-aged art crtic, who cheats on his wife with a younger lady, Margot. Axel Rex, an American cartoonist, falls in love with her, too. As expected for a Nabokov novel, everything that can go wrong does go wrong.
It was made into a movie in 1969.
This novel provides examples of:
- Ephebophile: Margot is only 17 years old, while Albinus is probably in his late forties. Rex is younger, but still over 18.
- Love Triangle: It gets messy.
- The Hero Dies: Like Lolita, but with one key difference. Instead of a fight between the two men, like you'd expect, Margot is the one that kills Albinus.
- Villain Protagonist: While he's not nearly as bad as Humbert, Albinus is still sort of an asshole, abandoning his wife for a not-even-barely-legal girl, jealous of Rex because Margot prefers him over him, etc.