I met Italo Calvino many years ago when I was still living in Ankara, Turkey and when I was constantly going to and from Istanbul and therefore looking for a book to read on the bus. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller was in the new books aisle. The season was winter, and I was a passenger, so I took it without thinking twice — good thing I did.
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller and books in a book
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller is a perfect book in every aspect. I couldn’t leave it aside for a moment even though I was confused with all the different narrators. And the narration was jumping from story to story. After reading the first few pages of the books in the novel (yes, there are books), I went mad. I wanted to read them all! But then I calmed myself romanticising the idea of finding them all one day. After finishing the book, I took a deep breath and remained unresponsive for a long time. This book is nothing like I read before but still, it was familiar somehow. It was strange and surely unforgettable. Read it on a bus on a train if you can, you’ll love it!
About the book: If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
You go into a bookshop and buy If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino. You like it. But alas there is a printer’s error in your copy. You take it back to the shop and get a replacement. But the replacement seems to be a totally different story. You try to track down the original book you were reading but end up with a different narrative again. This remarkable novel leads you through many different books including a detective adventure, a romance, a satire, an erotic story, a diary and a quest. But the real hero is you, the reader.
About the author: Italo Calvino
Italo Calvino was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best-known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy, the Cosmicomics collection of short stories, and the novels Invisible Cities and If on a winter’s night a traveller.