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The Path to the Nest of Spiders
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The Path to the Nest of Spiders

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  3,000 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Pin is a bawdy, adolescent cobbler's assistant, both arrogant and insecure who - while the Second World War rages - sings songs and tells jokes to endear himself to the grown-ups of his town - particularly jokes about his sister, who they all know as the town's 'mattress'. Among those his sister sleeps with is a German sailor, and Pin dares to steal his pistol, hiding it a ...more
Paperback, 172 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Ecco Press (first published 1947)
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Garima
What you read and what you experience in life are not two separate worlds, but one single cosmos.

Here I go again! Another review and my Dearest Calvino.

It’s been a spectacular reading year for me. I got to know some great people, got some great book recommendations and of course read some great books written by great authors. Of them I read the following writers for the first time (No Kidding!) : Vladimir Nabokov, Haruki Murakami, David Mitchell, David Foster Wallace, Virginia Woolf, Rohinton M
...more
Stela

Ragni e lucciole

Com’era generosa e affascinante quell'epoca frenetica della “littérature engagée” che investiva l’autore non solo con l’autorità di diventare la portavoce della Storia ma anche con la capacità di influenzare le masse! Com’era seducente e quanti scrittori l’hanno corteggiata, tra cui Llosa, Calvino e tanti altri. Anche se dal loro giovane entusiasmo non sono nate capodopere, ci hanno regalato comunque qualche opera rimarcabile, lontana dall’ideologismo assurdo che prolifererà sott
...more
Guido
Non so nulla della Resistenza. Be', qualcosina la so: ho ascoltato e letto qualche racconto. Ma leggere delle avventure di Pin è stato più utile e vantaggioso: il punto di vista di un bambino come lui - povero, dispettoso, indipendente - è un terreno più fertile di qualsiasi tentativo di narrazione dall'interno. Non possiamo pretendere che Pin ci conduca nei luoghi dell'azione militare, delle notizie storiche, delle battaglie ideologiche: siamo costretti a seguirlo nell'osteria del paese dove ca ...more
Vale
"Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno" è uno dei primi libri scritti da Italo Calvino. L'autore decise di pubblicare il proprio romanzo dopo aver curato per Einaudi "Una questione privata" di Fenoglio. Perché? Innanzitutto Calvino si rese conto che l'Italia aveva bisogno di narrazioni del dolore per ricollegare frammenti di storie tra gli italiani. La guerra aveva diviso, aveva suscitato odio, ma come un pianto spezzato, questo dolore era muto perché si voleva dimenticare, si voleva rimuovere. La narra ...more
Raúl
http://cazadorgamusinos.blogspot.com....

Acompañaremos al pequeño Pin a través de tabernas de marinos borrachos, prostitutas, adolescentes irascibles con un arma en la mano, hombres maduros que se comportan como idiotas, envidias, celos y violencia. El misterioso mundo de los grandes, esa 'raza ambigua y traidora' que no tiene en los juegos 'esa seriedad terrible de los chicos'. La ideología política y la crítica a la injusticia social no está ausente en ningún momento, y no es casualidad que los
...more
Tyler Jones
For the last year or so I have been dipping now and again into the big collection of Calvino's letters that was published in English a couple years back. Today I read something that shocked me at first, but then made total sense when I thought about it - in a 1964 letter (March 20, to Franco Lucentini) Calvino writes: I continue to maintain that I have never loved any writer as much as Hemingway, even though his character can be vulgarized. This seems astonishing on the surface of it. It is hard ...more
Chris
Disappointing, although with a nice twist at the end. It's written in a realistic style completely different from his later, famous works, so don't expect any of the greatness found in If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, for example. In this "restored" edition, there is also too much detail covering the political beliefs of the Italian resistance—few care anymore—which distracts from the quite simple story. I would recommend an earlier, shorter edition, where Calvino himself wisely had removed th ...more
Alex
Calvino lite (to be expected, it was written when he was 23 to some, 24 to Harold Bloom). Imagine a bowl in which you mix Hemingway's dry narrative with Fellini's childish sense of wonder and playfulness (the latter becoming the key, defining elements of his later work). Ivan's childhood.

A very fun concoction, however forgettable. With 'Invisible Cities' Calvino lands on Mars, while in 'Path to the spiders' nests' he has his lift-off. The latter book, As Faulkner would say, 'has the germ of my
...more
Tony
Before Calvino was a eminence of world literature (particularly for his experimental 1970s novels Invisible Cities and If On a Winter's Night A Traveller), he spent almost two years fighting in the Alps with the Italian resistance movement during World War 2. Immediately after the war, he turned to writing, and this slim first novel of his attempts to capture aspects of wartime and life in the resistance.

Set along the coast near the French border, where Calvino grew up, it features an adolescen
...more
Beth
Pin is an orphaned boy being raised by his prostitute sister. He bums cigarettes off the German soldier who frequents his sister's bed and drinks off the men at the local tavern. He mocks and sings for adults, with whom he is more at ease than with other kids. One day the local resistance committee member is at the bar recruiting, and Pin is asked to steal the German's gun. In this way, Pin is drawn into the local resistance movement and ends up an assistant to the cook of a unit in the mountain ...more
Carlo
Mentre leggevo le prime pagine, pensavo di parlare di romanzo di formazione, ma non è così. Il protagonista è il preadolescente Pin, ragazzo di strada aggressivo e sbruffone per mancanza d’affetto: la sua incapacità di comunicare con il mondo degli adulti, infidi e pericolosi, non muta, anzi la diffidenza cresce via via che aumentano le delusioni. Questo vale sia per le pagine, quasi picaresche, ambientate nel carruggio, sia per quelle che descrivono la vita di uno scalcinato distaccamento parti ...more
Pete Young
Throughout his career Calvino had a very ambivalent relationship with this, his first novel, and even when not quite disowning it he was more than happy to point out its various faults and explain just how and why they came about. Written when he was twenty-four after Calvino had lived through some of the kinds of events he describes, and despite clearly trying not to be this is still a very naïve coming-of-age novel. Set in a town on the Ligurian coast at the tail end of the Second World War th ...more
Moonquake Abbott
I enjoyed the book for it's depiction of the ambiguities underlying the world of adults/children, men/women, partisans/fascists, Germany/Italy, etc. Perhaps the most intriguing duality, at least from Pin's perspective, is the one between war/games which he never seems to distinguish throughout the novel.

However, one criticism of Calvino as a critic of his own work is needed for any review of this book considering the addition of a very revealing preface by the author. The preface was added later
...more
Charlotte
I don't really understand why I liked this book so much. But I did. I couldd finish neither invisible cities nor difficult loves, but this book, calvino's first, at 23(!), i picked up at 11 am last friday morning and was 10 pages from the end by the end of the work day. every free moment i was inside those pages.

so apparently i'm not a fan of later calvino.

published in 1947, this is a coming of age tale of a young urchin, abused by his older sister who is a prostitute for the SS, that runs awa
...more
jeremy
italo calvino joined the italian resistance in 1943, and his experiences as a partisan during the final years of world war ii helped shape the ideas he would use for his first novel, written four years later at the age of twenty-four. set in italy during the war, the path to the spiders' nests is a coming-of-age tale about pin, an orphaned apprentice who spends his days hanging out at the bar frequented by his prostitute sister. after stealing a pistol from one of his sister's nazi clientele, th ...more
Andrea
Punto di vista obliquo sulla resistenza

Un punto di vista obliquo sulla resistenza: il protagonista è un bambino, per di più finito nella scalcitata compagnia del "Dritto": irregolari, sbandati, indisciplinati.
Ho ammirato la capacità dell'autore di focalizzare l'attenzione del lettore attorno a dei "vuoti narrativi". Alla fine della lettura è proprio attorno a questioni poco raccontate che la mente continua a fantasticare. Cugino è un assassino? Il Dritto viene fucilato?
Nell'introduzione Calvino
...more
Joe Toledo
Me gusta tanto Italo Calvino que después de ser deslumbrada,por El barón rampante , traté de leer todo lo que pude encontrar de este escritor. Hasta que, en un momento dado, paré, al pensar que prefería que aún me quedaran obras de Calvino por descubrir que resignarme a tener que releerlas (lo que tampoco está nada mal, por otra parte). Uno de los libros que no leí por entonces era éste, de horrendo título: El sendero de los nidos de araña, lo dejé en "reserva", porque leí que era el primero y q ...more
Jan
Italo Calvino bases his story of Pin, the orphan, on his own experiences as partisan in Italy in the later years of the war. It is by his own admission a negative caricature of his fellow fighters, based in area around San Remo. (hence considered part of neo-realism).

(view spoiler)
...more
Meghan Fidler
In the introduction to this book, Calvino's choice words seem almost to lament his first novel. The story, with short phrases and attention trained in a child's perception, presents a fascinating point of view of submerged anger, unspoken needs, and misunderstood desires.
Set in World War II, the main character Pin fights a personal war with abandonment in childhood during an era subsumed by utter adult rule. When Pin ends up in jail, his former boss explains the time period articulately:

"I'd
...more
Christine
Aug 04, 2008 Christine rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard-core Calvino fans
What can I say that Calvino didn't already say in his rather defensive notes to his first novel? He commented at the end of his career that he wished he could have gone onto his subsequent novels never having written this book. He prepared me for mediocrity and I was pleasantly surprised. Compared to his more mature works, this one wasn't as exciting stylistically, but it was a good story in the terse spare way that Hemingway can tell a good story. That post-war, "masculino", neo-realist stuff.
Marco
In questo caso, l'autore stesso ha scritto una review perfetta per questo straordinario libro: Questo romanzo è il primo che ho scritto; quasi posso dire la prima cosa che ho scritto, se si eccettuano pochi racconti.
Che impressione mi fa, a riprenderlo in mano adesso? Più che come un'opera mia lo leggo come un libro nato anonimamente dal clima generale d'un'epoca, da una tensione morale, da un gusto letterario che era quello in cui la nostra generazione si riconosceva, dopo la fine della Seconda
...more
Lisachan
Tremendo e bellissimo. Non so neanche come commentare perché gli ultimi capitoli sono un pugno nello stomaco dietro l'altro. Ho fatto una fatica boia ad arrivare alla fine del penultimo, col senso di disagio e orrore che mi ha messo addosso. E' stata una lettura intensa e orribile e favolosa. Corredata da una prefazione dell'autore di valore altissimo. Cinque stelle mi sembrano quasi poche.
Wessel van der Merwe
Pin is the boy’s name who is very aware of adults and all sexual matters that happened in a small town in Italy. He is the storyteller in bars as well as the singer. His sister is a prostitute. He stole a pistol from his sister's German boyfriend. He ends up in jail then escapes with a partisan and eventually ends up with the worst partisan group of all. After a failed attack on Germans, he somehow got back with another partisan close to town; this partisan got hold of the pistol that sends him ...more
Donato
Ho dovuto leggere questo libro alle superiori e leggendolo sono stato rapito totalmente dalla storia, dai personaggi e dal contesto. Ho letto l'edizione nella quale c'era una piccola introduzione dell'autore dove diceva che si era pentito di aver scritto questo libro così presto, perchè voleva approfondire di più l'argomento e descrivere la resistenza in modo pieno. Secondo me questo libro è gia perfetto così. La sua semplicità rende la lettura piacevole e accessibile a tutti, e nonostante la su ...more
Rubi
Un po' di tutto. Come nelle belle storie.
Una guerra vista con gli occhi di un bambino molto particolare.

"Arrivare a non avere più paura, questa è la meta ultima dell'uomo"
" E continuano a camminare, l'omone e il bambino, nella notte, in mezzo alle lucciole, tenendosi per mano"
Bookaholic
Literatura universală nu duce lipsă de cărţi despre cel de-al Doilea Război Mondial, dar puţine sunt scrise din perspectiva unui copil, aşa cum este Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno, din 1947, romanul de debut al lui Italo Calvino, scris când avea 23 de ani. Într-un stil total diferit de cel prin care Calvino a devenit celebru (din Dacă într-o noapte de iarnă un călător), Cărarea cuiburilor de păianjen, o carte ancorată în realism şi nicidecum bazată pe un nivel metatextual, direcţie pe care avea s ...more
Salvatore Privitera
Una storia sui dolori della crescita, di infanzia negata sullo sfondo della lotta partigiana.
Un mondo popolato di personaggi fin troppo umani in quella che sembra essere quasi una favola, pur senza concedere nulla ad inutili mitologie.
Diana
The story of Pin, a street smart boy in Italy, and his interactions with a group of partisans. The book is very well written. It's from a pre-teen/early-teen boy's point of view and Calvino deftly conveys this through the his descriptions of Pin's interpretations of what goes on around him. As the book goes on I found that I cared and understood more of Pin's thoughts because he was maturing despite wanting to stay a child. Although I really enjoyed the writing, the subject matter didn't do much ...more
Chiara
Romanzo crudo e molto realistico, è un'opera interessante su molti punti di vista. Convincente l'idea di raccontare i fatti attraverso gli occhi di un bambino, che tanto bambino non sembra più, ma che nonostante tutto conserva i timori e i desideri della sua tenera età. La durezza con cui l'autore immerge Pin in un mondo fatto di dolori tradimenti e morte, un mondo che dovrebbe restare lontano agli occhi di un bambino, è commovente. Infine, è la digressione sulla resistenza stessa e su ciò che s ...more
Anita
I should have really payed more attention to the jacket description of the book, because it is exactly what it says on the tin.
The novel is a good piece of writing about a very grim and depressing subject matter.
My empathy got the better of me and I could not be objective the whole lenght of the book, so my review is going to be pretty short.
If anyone is in the mood for exploring the dark and miserable side of humanity, this is your book. If you want an uplifting reading experience then you shou
...more
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Italo Calvino was born in Cuba and grew up in Italy. He was a journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If On a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979).

His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic
...more
More about Italo Calvino...
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler Invisible Cities The Baron in the Trees Cosmicomics Il cavaliere inesistente

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“We all have a secret wound which we are fighting to avenge.” 3 likes
“Grown-ups are an untrustworthy, treacherous lot, they don't take their games in the serious wholehearted way children do, and yet they too have their own games, one more serious than the other, one game inside another, so that it's impossible to discover what the real one is.” 1 likes
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