Source – my own copy ,

Well book one of Italian week is the modern classic by the Italian Mastero Italo Calvino ,the cuban born Italian writers Marmite book ,this is a book for reviews I ve read whilst blogging is a book that either people love or hate ,well what did I think ?

You are about to begin reading Calvino’s new novel ,If on a winter’s night a traveller .Concentrate dispel every other thought .Let the world around you fade .

wise words from the sage himself .


The book is a book that talks ,you may laugh but every other chapter is telling you about how you read the book and what it is to read the book ,this is a unusual to start of with but is witty and a little tongue in cheek ,like my fellow blogger Parish lantern the humour was a real surprise ,the other chapters in between are a thee story of a man in a made up-country  Cimmeria ,this would appear to be italy through Calvino’s eyes ,the is a relationship and some fraud ,but there is also a number of different separate stories on various subject’s .The plot is hard to explain as there really isn’t one this is like a tour of talents like Calvino’s portfolio it him nudging you and going  to you look at this ,the book draws you in to you feel like you were a character written by Calvino .

Listening to someone read aloud is very different to reading in silence .when you read, you can stop or skip sentences :you are the one who sets the pace .When someone else is reading it difficult to make your attention coincide with the tempo of his reading : the voice goes either to fast or slow .

I heard Ben Okri say something similar ,the opening of chapter Four .

Well as you may tell I loved this book ,and my doubts were silly ,I should have known I loved  invisible cities ,I tend to doubt myself with these books that are experimental or off beat novels ,because everyone I ve read I love this brought to mind B S Johnson whose works I loved when I read them .I can see why people don’t like it there is little plot not many names and it is maybe a male book more than a female book .This is translated by the wonderful William Weaver probably the best Italian translator alive .

Winston’s score –

I was going use the leaning tower of Pisa but choose to use my own land mark our twisted spire here in Chesterfield ,If you know how it got there it loses its wonder ,the beauty is in the way it looks and the same is true of If on a winter’s night , analysis it too much and the beauty of the first reading is lost, the feeling of floating on a sea of words  with the good captain Calvino .


here we are and off the prince goes ,war and peace post 1

I miss calculate pages but just means last weeks of  reaalong .so what happen in the first 150 pages ,we meet the cast at some parties well that is how it felt there are lot people in this book to get to know ,this remind me of a tv show when you see the cast in the opening titles so you know who they are .Then Prince Andrei set off to were a tearful send off from his family his sister had a touching seen with him then his father gave him advice .The we see the troops (Hussar’s) depart ? I m hook so far ,little to many footnotes but the are helpful and I like the inclusion of the original french as Tolstoy wrote it in the russian version .


January 2011


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