If on A Winter's Night A Traveler

Calvino, Italo

Book - 1993
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
If on A Winter's Night A Traveler
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) Introduction by Peter Washington; Translation by William Weaver Italo Calvino's masterpiece combines a love story and a detective story into an exhilarating allegory of reading, in which the reader of the book becomes the book's central character. Based on a witty analogy between the reader's desire to finish the story and the lover's desire to consummate his or her passion, IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER is the tale of two bemused readers whose attempts to reach the end of the same book--IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER, by Italo Calvino, of course--are constantly and comically frustrated. In between chasing missing chapters of the book, the hapless readers tangle with an international conspiracy, a rogue translator, an elusive novelist, a disintegrating publishing house, and several oppressive governments. The result is a literary labyrinth of storylines that interrupt one another--an Arabian Nights of the postmodern age.

Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1993
ISBN: 0679420258
Branch Call Number: FICTION CALVINO
Characteristics: xli, 254 p. ;,22 cm
Additional Contributors: Weaver, William 1923-


From Library Staff

Calvino intersperses 10 different stories of menace, spies, mystery, premonition--with explorations of how and why we read, make meanings, and get our bearings or fail to. Meanwhile the Reader and the other reader try to reach, and read, each other

Join us for the discussion on Jan. 8, 2015. For those with an amorous affair with books, this may, perhaps, be the ultimate love letter to the reader. Calvino's novel, or more precisely, his book of 10 interrelated stories, is both masterfully created and startlingly unique.

Italo Calvino imagines a novel capable of endless mutations in this intricately crafted story about writing and readers. If on a Winter's Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense.

Each chapter is a completely different book, abandoned at its climax.

From the critics

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