First and foremost, Vladimir Nabokov is a fantastic author - he fills his book with fantastic puns and turns of phrases. It is thought provoking and has psychological depth. A lot of people seem to believe it is purely about pedophilia or even romanticises pedophilia but it’s quite the opposite. Nabokov tries to make the point that ignoring the suffering of others is as bad as causing the suffering. Humbert Humbert ignores the suffering of Lolita, whom he is abusing, to satisfy his own desire and Nabokov tries to show how manipulative and cunning he is by making the reader almost believe that what is taking place is a love affair, as opposed to pedophilia. That seems to go over a lot of people’s heads - more so those who watch the movie because this doesn’t come across in the movie, just the book because of how well it’s written. As an author he elicits a feeling from the reader that one would not expect given the nature of the book - empathy, and the reason we feel such emotions is because of how manipulative the character is. That is exactly why it’s such a good book.
I often feel when people say the book is solely about pedophilia and therefore vile and horrific that they missed the entire point. It is vile and horrific, yes, but it is also literary genius.