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Invisible Cities Paperback – May 3, 1978
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Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, the Kindle edition is an embarassment. The publisher rushed a part-time intern into a room with a scanner and an OCR program and made sure they clocked out on time. Maybe they should have thought about proof reading? Italicized words appear randomly throughhout the text, obviously not intentionally. Perhaps that's supposed to be a tribute to the author's first name? But the words that are simply mis-recognized by the OCR software are the worst: "faces" becomes "feces" tipping us off to the standard of quality the publisher had in mind for this edition. Come on you cheap bastards, just hire someone to proofread it before you throw it out there as a Kindle edition.
The characterization works like a photographic negative. He never tells us of Genghis Khan or Marco Polo; no descriptions or personality traits given. What he uses is their ideas and the things that they talk of to describe what kind of people they are. Thus, it is through their impressions on the template that I could tell what kind of characters they are. That is good, confident writing, I think.
The imagery is powerful too. Calvino strives to make his cities visible in the imagination. This is one trait that I think will make him be read years and years from now.
Take your time with this novel. In fact, I don't think that it is possible to even race through it. It's shortness is misleading, it is very dense and laden with vitality and deserves to be savored in enjoyment and not raced through in the reading. But if you can slow down and enjoy it, I think you will find it to be well worth the effort.
Calvino is a masterful story teller - with an uncanny abililty to create space, setting, scene and mood. I found Invisible Cities a personal, intimate read. Marvelous.
Calvino really lets his imagination get high, to create the most bizarre, beautiful, horrible and crazy cities as any you yourself can imagine. Cities of all places, ages, shapes and peculiarities come to your mind. Calvino is really good at depicting impossible places, but also places that somehow remind you of real cities you've been to.
A remarkable work of imagination, well written, this is the ideal book to read in a dreamy scenery, but also in one of these quasi-impossible cities we humans have created, the craziest ones, such as NY, LA, Tokyo, Mexico City, etc.
The comparison to Borges is instructive, because what works in the short form begins to show signs of strain in this novella. Calvino sprinkles bons mots and truisms liberally amongst the tightly structured chapters (whose interwoven, enumerated headings might build, some readers argue, a sine wave or a skyline or something meaningful). Reading the book is to waver back and forth between admiring the clever wordplay and recognizing its cynical candor: "The city displays one face to the traveler arriving overland and a different one to him who arrives by sea." "There is no language without deceit." A city made entirely of pipes; a city divided for the dead, the living, the unborn; a city whose trash expands outward, trapping its citizens within; a city that looks just like the city you just left; a city that exists only in old postcards depicting a different city that never really existed--you'll recognize aspects of every city in each of these cities, or (more precisely) you'll recognize Venice.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this a long time ago. I's about Marco Polo and is very dreamy. You feel that you're inside a dream.Published 20 days ago by Paula
This book was like dessert to read-- full of fantastical imagery and philosophical musings about people, cities, space, and time.Published 25 days ago by Jesse
One of the best novels ever written-and vastly influential. Cloud Atlas adopts same experimental structure. Calvino an original and a genius.Published 1 month ago by Richard A. Wilson
In your journey among books of shapes and sized varied, you are rare to find one such as this. A story, a memory, an account, this book is all and none. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Max E. Mager
I bought this because I heard a short by calvino on Radio Lab, "The Distance Of the Moon" in Cosmicomics. I fell in love with his writing.Published 1 month ago by A. Holmquist
One of the best books I've read in a long time. So dark, magical, mysterious, haunting. Great book to read before bed as the chapters are so short.Published 2 months ago by Jane M Tardo
The book is great! It's a series of short stories (1-2 pages each) describing a different design of cities and it's really beautifully written. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Crayon King
A poetic masterpiece that you come back to over and over throughout your life.Published 3 months ago by LM