152 of 160 people found the following review helpful
A Fantasia of the Imagination,
This review is from: Invisible Cities (Paperback)
Once more, I have grown in my appreciation and respect for Calvino's works. He writes using precise words and never quits until he has portrayed an image in sentences. He is inventive, an original. This short novel has incredible power not for plot, but for characterization, imagery, and sheer force contained in the words.
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.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 7, 2008 7:37:00 PM PDT
L. Hedden says:
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2009 7:54:26 PM PDT
Amazon Customer says:
Posting this correction was not any more necessary than a comment chiding someone for posting an unnecessary comment that amounts to correcting someone's grammar.
Posted on Nov 18, 2009 8:20:45 AM PST
Richard A. Nanian says:
Well, to be fair to the first commenter, there would be quite a difference between conversations with Genghis Khan and conversations with Kublai Khan.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2013 9:04:04 PM PDT
AZ Reader says:
Absolutely, a difference. Kublai was Genghis's grandson and is remembered for entirely different reasons. I'm sure the reviewer simply slipped up, but it's an important slip.
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