52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
An Absolute Essential,
This review is from: If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (Everyman's Library (Cloth)) (Hardcover)
You have to read this fascinating treatise on reading and writing. I've seen others complain about the weak ending and the lack of structure, but for chrissakes, it's not a Dragonlance novel- it's avant-garde prose. But that doesn't mean it's not accessible. Unlike Andre Breton's shoelace knots of words that you have to dwell on endlessly to untie, Italo Calvino is so easy to read that the prose slips past you a little too quickly. But that doesn't mean it's not worth reading in the first place- Originally I checked this out at my college library and when I finished it, I bought a copy for myself and another copy for a friend. It's extremely hard to describe the book appropriately, but I'm hoping my enthusiasm for it will get my message across- Calvino's insights are worth the price of the book alone, and this fragmented narrative marked by stretches of crystalline, dreamlike beauty make what would normally be a dry work of literature philosophy into a vivid sensual book that I'll probably continue to re-read for the rest of my life.