If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler – Italo Calvino


Summary (Amazon): 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. Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers, a male and a female, pursue both the story lines that intrigue them and one another.

My Review: So one day, I am sitting at work realizing that I haven’t phoned one of my friends in a while. I texted her to see if she was available to chat that evening, and she said she was. When I got home from work that day, there was a package from her husband with this book inside. Maybe I intrinsically just knew they were thinking about me. Who knows?

Sorry to say though, this is not so much of a review because I just could not get into this book. I struggled away for about half of it, and I finally decided that I didn’t want to waste any more of my time reading a book I wasn’t that interested in.

The book is written in the 2nd person. It’s weird, but it could be doable. I mean, how many Choose Your Own Adventure books did you read as a kid? But here’s the problem that I had with this 2nd person interpretation. This 2nd person is a man. I am not a man. I do not want to fall in love with the female character.

And then to make matters more difficult, the plot is overwhelmingly confusing. “You” find a book and you find that it was misprinted, so you return it and meet the pre-mentioned female character who is also returning hers. So then the book store gives you the book of the story that you were reading and then you find there is a problem with it and you track down the publisher and find that there’s more problems. So all in all you are reading snippets of various unrelated books with various unrelated characters. If I had known from the beginning, I would have tried to keep a list of what character was who because I took a break reading for a couple days and had no idea what was going on or what character the author was even speaking about.

Anyway, this doesn’t count as a book for me this year since I didn’t finish it. But if you are up for a challenge, go ahead and try it out!


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