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Pinocchio (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – November 18, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"Disney's sentimental depiction of Pinocchio bears little resemblance to Collodi's unscrupulous puppet. This new translation revives the sardonic wit and black humour of the original." --London Times

"Carlo Collodi's short on Disneyesque sentimentality (there is a talking cricket, but Pinocchio squashes him), long on satire and farce. Geoffrey Brock's superbly crafted translation and Umberto Eco's introduction bring to life this tale of gumption and greed." --O Magazine

"Geoffrey Brock's new English translation of the subversive parable revives Carlo Collodi's sardonic wit and pitch-black humor, while bringing to life the poverty, moral vacuity, and uncensored violence of late-19th-century Europe...Brock — known for his award-winning translations of authors such as Umberto Eco and Cesare Pavese — strips away the sentimental veneer to reveal the original haunting fairy tale. Readers will be familiar with many of the characters, as well as the story's major plot points, but this version thankfully bears little resemblance to most modern interpretations. Pinocchio may have cast off his own strings, but Brock beautifully restores the historical knot." --BoldType

About the Author

Carlo Collodi (1826–1890) was the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini. He was born in Florence, where his father served as the cook for a rich aristocratic family; his mother, though qualified as a schoolteacher, worked as a chambermaid for the same family. Lorenzini took the name Collodi from his mother’s hometown, where he was sent to attend school. A volunteer in the Tuscan army during the 1848 and 1860 Italian wars of independence, Collodi founded a satirical weekly, Il Lampione—which was suppressed for a time by the Grand Duke of Tuscany—and became known as the author of novels, plays, and political sketches. His translation from the French of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales came out in 1876, and in 1881 his Storia di un burratino (Story of a Puppet) was published in installments in the Giornale per i bambini, appearing two years later in book form as The Adventures of Pinocchio. Collodi, whose writings include several readers for schoolchildren, died in 1890, unaware of the vast international success that his creation Pinocchio would eventually enjoy.

Geoffrey Brock is the prizewinning translator of works by Cesare Pavese, Umberto Eco, Roberto Calasso, and others. He teaches creative writing and translation at the University of Arkansas. His Web site is

Umberto Eco is a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and the author of numerous novels and collections of essays, including The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum, and most recently, Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism.

Rebecca West is a professor of Italian and of cinema and media Studies at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Eugenio Montale: Poet on the Edge and Gianni Celati: The Craft of Everyday Storytelling, and is co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Modern Italian Culture

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Product Details

  • Series: New York Review Books Classics
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics; New Ed edition (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590172892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590172896
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #791,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas A. Deutsch on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'll leave it to others to assess the accuracy of Geoffrey Brock's new English translation of THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO. What I can say is that it reads really well for a North American reader, pungent and precise and funny. What an astonishing book! If you've never read it, or if you've only read it in "adapted" versions, here's a good opportunity to enjoy a faithful rendition. Note, however, that apart from a few decorations reproduced from a 1911 edition, this is NOT an illustrated version of the novel.
This edition comes with a brief, charming introduction by Umberto Eco, and a longer afterword by Rebecca West - full of interesting information and insights, but perhaps too ambitious: it reads more like an outline for a book than a self-sufficient essay. An excellent complement (and corrective) to West is Tim Parks's review of this edition in the New York Review of Books (30 April 2009 - there's a link from the Wikipedia entry on Carlo Collodi). Parks lays out the political, social, religious and personal background to Collodi's book clearly and entertainingly, and his article really increased my understanding and enjoyment.
Finally, consider checking out the recently issued DVD of English composer Jonathan Dove's full-length opera, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO, a fantastically colorful and remarkably faithful adaptation of this classic novel.
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By R. Glickman on October 29, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pinocchio - the classic tale translated into English. This is not your favorite Disney movie. There are many lessons to be learned here, both as an adult or as a child who is hearing the story. Great tale for children teaching life lessons about listening to your intuition, and minding advice given by those older than you.

Perfect Christmas Gift.
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By Mom with Ph.D. on March 9, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too scary for the under 9 set.
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