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Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories
     

Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories

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by Italo Calvino
 

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For the first time in paperback--a volume of thirty-seven diabolically inventive stories, fables, and "impossible interviews" from one of the great fantasists of the 20th century, displaying the full breadth of his vision and wit.  Written between 1943 and 1984 and masterfully translated by Tim Parks, the fictions in Numbers in the Dark display all of

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Numbers in the Dark and Other Stories 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
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While not every story works (certain stories feel more like didactic interpretations of historical figures, most notably his stories about Montezuma and others) it is his more pristinely surreal stories that play around with narrative styles and the nature of reading and writing which most fully transport the reader into a world of playful mirth and ecstatic imaginations, that make this posthumous collection worth perusing. The best of the collection (including Cassanova's nostalgic reveries over past lovers) trigger memories of Calvino's masterpiece 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveller'. Conjuring up the ghosts of Borges and Lorca (as the book jacket implies) with the simplicity of a Magritte painting, Calvino proved himself the master of the medium. Post modern, yet never distancing or elitist in his musings, Calvino proved to be both accessible and erudite, without ever ostracizing his audience. A wonderful introduction to the world of Italo Calvino, but not the be all and end all of his prolific menagerie of works.