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Author Calvino's Book Reviews

Cosmicomics
Qfwfq is the age old entity that narrates the stories in this book. Each story starts with a statement about the universe, life, quantum mechanics or astronomy and then Calvino constructs a story around the statement. The stories range in breadth from what it was like when all the matter in the universe was contained in one point, discussions about how the more distant galaxies are the swifter they move away from one another, a description of the dino...
If On A Winter's Night a Traveller
A little travel into books, and its effect on people. It is composed of 10 beginnings of 10 different romances, a true torture for the Reader (as well as the reader, yourself) which combines the search for these continuations with the newfound joy of meeting a female Reader. Skillfully told and very good! ...
Invisible Cities
The explorer Marco Polo has a long conversation with the emperor Kublai Khan about his various travels and all the cities he's been to, either literally or metaphorically. The all-conquering emperor Kublai Khan listens to the Venetian traveller Marco Polo recount his tales of many cities, all different in their own ways but with common themes running through each one. He is often disbelieving but has no choice but to take his word for it because he has t...
Mr. Palomar
A series of brief chapters each in sets of three exploring Mr Palomar's universe. The first chapter in each set is based on a visual experience and is descriptive. The second is of story form being cultural in essence and exploring language, meaning and symbols. The third is meditative concerning the cosmos, time, infinity and the relationship between self and the world. We have Palomar on the beach reading waves, trying not to look at a naked bosom...

Calvino booklist

The Baron in the Trees
In 1767, 12-year-old Cosimo Piavosco di Rondo refuses to eat the snails he's been served at table, and takes to the trees. He spends the rest of his considerably long life in the trees -- with an occasional stopover on a roof or ship's mast, but never touching solid ground again -- in protest against his father and his family, then society in general. The delightful and witty tale, related by his younger, well-behaved brother Biagio, covers Cosimo's love...
The Path to the Spiders' Nests
This is Italo Calvino's first novel written years before his internationally acclaimed novels. It tells the story of a boy called Pin, during wartime in Italy. Pin can't relate to children his own age and so hangs out with the adults in the local bar singing them songs and generally clowning about. However he doesn't understand the adult world, these are people who are enemies and friends at the same time, whom he can laugh at until he has vented hi...