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Most Helpful Favorable Review
13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler
For starters, you are one of the man characters of the book. Yes, you, the reader, with the other character being `the other reader¿ who is a girl that has also picked up a copy of Italo Calvino¿s new book ¿If On a Winter¿s Night a Traveler¿ at just about the same time. In fact, as you start this novel, you are literally starting this novel. The author refers to you in second person, and pulls you into this book in a way that is quite impressive. There is only one problem¿the book you buy is flawed. Pages are missing, which means you have to go an get another one, and a second one is given to you which is supposed to be the correct one, and¿so you and the other reader begin to read this new book and once again, during a climactic moment, your story is stopped. This continues ten times, and you read the beginning of ten different stories, all different in content and style, and all of them incomplete¿and it is through these incomplete books that this book is¿well, completed.
Though it takes a while for you as the reader to settle into this new form of storytelling, I have to say that this was a very engrossing read. Rarely before has an author managed to truly place me in a story as this one has. And in the process he gives a tour of a number of worlds which I am unfortunately left wanting more of just as the characters in the book. Though there are a pair of stories which I could have done without, I found that the majority of them would have made pretty damned good books, and there were a handful that really had me wishing that they were real books, because I would have immediately added them to my list.
A fun read, that is for certain, though beware that the author uses an arsenal of words which can be rather intimidating. More than once I had to find my way to the dictionary, which in a good story can be slightly problematic, because you are left with two options 1) cut the flow of your reading to find out what the word means or 2) skip it and look it up later at which time you may have forgotten the context. Though, with this slight flaw set aside and the fact that in some occasions the details can be daunting, this book is certainly a breath of fresh air for anybody tired of reading the same old stories.
posted by FocoProject on October 27, 2008Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
posted by Anonymous on September 27, 2007Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 14, 2013
This was a strange read for me. I loved the idea of the novel, a
This was a strange read for me. I loved the idea of the novel, and I really enjoyed the first half. It was very interesting to read these small snippets of different books, and I liked the absurd way the search for the rest of one book lead to the beginning of another. The problem for me was the second half, and the introduction of a weird semi-plot. It was completely uninteresting to me, and served to bog down the novel. I really wish Calvino had stuck to what seemed to be the original premise; a kind of post-modern anti-novel, with no plot, exploring vastly different styles and themes, delighting readers with the very things which should frustrate.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.