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The Baron In The Trees Paperback – March 28, 1977
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Like an arboreal Robinson Crusoe who has chosen his fate, Cosimo determines to make his living in the contiguous group of trees that link his family's garden with those of his neighbors and the forests beyond the town. He travels between trees by climbing and jumping from branch to branch, becoming as nimble and elusive as a squirrel, while he trains himself to survive by hunting wild animals for food and clothing and building a flume to draw drinking water from a waterfall. Even in the trees he engages in activities normally reserved for people on the ground: He continues his formal education, befriends a dachshund that helps him hunt, supports a bumbling brigand's reading habit, and even has an adventure on a pirate ship without touching the deck.
Through his life in the trees, Cosimo becomes notorious throughout Europe and attains a reputation for madness that gradually turns into a strange sort of esteem.Read more ›
The story begins, as the first line of the novel tells us, on the fifteenth of June, 1767. Cosimo Piovasco di Rondò is a member of a family whose father has sights on climbing the aristocratic ladder. In the very first chapter there is a family scuffle, during dinner, which results in Cosimo going into the trees and vowing never to come down ("And he kept his word" Cosimo's brother, who narrates the story, states). Cosimo then resigns himself to a life in the trees. After some initial mishaps (dealing with rain, bathing, food, etc), he proves himself very adaptable to living off the ground. Human adaptability seems to be at the back of the story (along with many other things); his family and town almost grow accustomed to Cosimo's darting amongst the branches. Cosimo even makes a name for himself "up in the trees" (Voltaire asks about him, and Napolean insists on meeting him). Of course the big question that comes from this action, in the very opening of the novel, is why did Cosimo go up into the trees?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic and original story. Took a while for it to take hold of me, but ended up being vividly transported into the world at Ombrosa. Read morePublished 4 months ago by kworkshop2d
This one was a gift but mine - reread at least once a year. Complex and thought provoking.Published 4 months ago by coastalkate
A childhood dream written into reality by a master, fantastic read.Published 5 months ago by Battfink Von Wrinklebottom
Absolutely beautifully written story. This is the first novel I've read by Italo Calvino, and it definitely won't be the last. Read morePublished 7 months ago by classics
I didn't particularly like this book, but I read it for school. The edition was fine, the translated text read smoothly and it seemed well done. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Jay Mey