- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; New Ed edition (2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1841959286
- ISBN-13: 978-1841959283
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,659,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tartar Steppe Paperback – 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
This novel is pure literary magic, and it is a shame and a pity that it is so ignored, especially in English-speaking countries. Note: Enlgish-language literature is certainly one of the best corpus of literature in the world, but their ignorance of many other literatures is in their own detriment, unfortunately.
"The Tartar steppe" is a masterpiece which, with an ironic and subtle sense of humor, talks about the desolation, the apparent uselessness of living, the futility of existence. It talks about it, but in a subtle yet powerful manner contradicts those theses: Drogo will show the reader that, no matter how dull and empty your life is, there is ALWAYS something about life that makes it worth living. Fort Bastiani and the Tartar Steppe are both real and symbolic: they may be an office, a shop, a house or a city.
Read this novel and you will love it forever, not only for its content but for Buzzati's excellent handling of words. He showed he was a great writer. But beyond the style, you'll remember it every other time, when you feel you are Giovanni Drogo, eager for something to happen.
Sharing this sense of absurdity with Kafka and Camus, Buzatti creates an atmosphere within which not only the main character gets trapped, but also the reader. They both expect something that never actually occurs, and the tension this anticipation generates page after page makes the novel a compelling read.
The story of Giovanni Drogo, a simple man who attempts to make of his destiny something grand without really doing anything but live and wait and let go, is one of the most fascinating and moving stories in the 20th century literature.
What amazes me about this truly existential novel is that it was written by a realtively unknown, mediocre writer more than five years before the "quintessential" existential work, Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT.
I consider Buzzati's novel a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. You suffer with Drogo throughout his years of meaningless service, and the ending brings you to your knees. I literally wept. A truly moving testiment to our insatiable need for struggle of any kind.
Dino Buzzati is a major Italian author and the Tartar Steppe his masterpiece. So I am amazed at how little known he is in the English speaking world.
The book is certainly worth reading. The writing is beautiful (including the translated version) and the plot well suited to the philosophical message the author wished to convey.
The story tells of Giovanni Drago and his fellow soldiers' futile thirst for glory while they are posted to a desolate fort overlooking the barren Tartar Steppe.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The ambience created draws you into the time passing by slowly but surely.Published 3 months ago by christine meier
Being in my 40’s the idea of leaving a decent paying job, taking out loans, and going back to college to finish my degree is, honestly, scary. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dan Harlow
Makes you think if the road your on has an exit sign, should you take it before you run out of time for other things?Published 9 months ago by ROMEO
Giovanni Drogo, a new officer, is sent on a mission on Fort Bastiani, a remote location where he is to watch over a potential invasion of barbarians, in a rough frontier where... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Arthur Martinasso
I read this book years ago and thought it was a good read--compelling characters, surprising plot and overall a good tale. I'm now reading it a second time, slowly and carefully. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Charles A. Krohn
A beautifully written book although I did find it a sad and somewhat depressing story. The prose is evocative and haunting. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Cphe
This is the story of Lieutenant Giovanni Drogo who finally finishes his education and is to embark on a life full of possibilites and glory at the desolate outpost of Fort... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Haakon Hals Rød