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The Path to the Nest of Spiders

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  4,597 Ratings  ·  197 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...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
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Ronald Morton
Something irreparable has happened to Pin now — as irreparable as when he [redacted due to spoilers]. Never again will he be able to return to the detachment, never will he be able to go into action with them now. It is sad to be like him, a child in a world of grown-ups, always treated as an amusement or a nuisance; and never to be able to use those exciting and mysterious things, weapons and women, never to be able to take part in their games. But one day Pin will be grown-up too, and be able
...more
Guido
Mar 29, 2013 Guido rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italia
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
Tyler Jones
Apr 05, 2014 Tyler Jones rated it it was amazing
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
Fabian
Sep 25, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You're only a child interested in spiders' nests, what can you do with a pistol?" (78)

This little rascal, this wee imp, will make you laugh and cry. A pariah, Pin mostly hangs out with adults and is treated like one. So when a German's gun goes missing, who goes to jail?

I cannot help but compare this to American Huck Finn. The Everyboy is a figure that we both love and hate, it is emblematic though, yes, immature. Here, because there is a war going on, our wee one has to get his hands pretty di
...more
Cheol's Star
2.5/3 stelle.
Non sono ancora sicura, nonostante abbia letto questo libro ormai un annetto fa, della valutazione da dargli.
Parto con il dire che ho apprezzato il personaggio del protagonista perchè descrive, con gli occhi di un ragazzino, la cruda verità, senza evitare di usare parole troppe pesanti.
Mi ha, in un certo senso, commossa, la voglia di amicizia che ha questo giovane protagonista e come il ragazzino provasse a farsi amici gli uomini del paese, nonostante venisse preso in giro da tutt
...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
Tonino Mangano
Da molto tempo provavo il desiderio di leggere questa che è la prima opera di Calvino. Prima de Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno, ho molto apprezzato questo autore per il ciclo de I nostri antenati e Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore (che fra tutte le opere finora lette, è quella che mi ha particolarmente colpito).
Avvicinarsi a Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno dopo aver letto alcune delle opere più mature, fa un certo effetto, così come fa un certo effetto quando non si leggono libri di autori nel
...more
Mateo R.
Intertextualidad:

Menciones directas:
-Superpolicíaco (¿Libro real? ¿Superpolizia?).
-El conde de Montecristo (1844), de Alexandre Dumas.
-El libro de la jungla (1894), de Rudyard Kipling (clara alusión).

Indirecta:
-Según el autor (en el prólogo) este libro está influido por: Conversación en Sicilia (1941) de Elio Vittorini, De tu tierra o Allá en tu aldea (1941) de Cesare Pavese, Hombres o no (1945) de Elio Vittorini, Por quién doblan las campanas (1940) de Ernest Hemingway, Caballería roja (1924) d
...more
Alex
Jan 09, 2015 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Raúl
Oct 01, 2015 Raúl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Calvino, criado en el seno de una pacífica familia burguesa, culta y autodenominada 'librepensadora', había desertado del ejército y se había echado al monte junto con su hermano para unirse a las Brigadas Garibaldi, y lo había hecho considerándolo la única respuesta posible en una Italia fascista sumergida en la guerra. Así, un joven que siempre había repudiado la violencia pasó por el trance de tener que usar un arma. Los partisanos que conoció estaban comprometidos con la política, como él, p ...more
Carlo
Sep 04, 2014 Carlo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Isla McKetta
Mar 15, 2015 Isla McKetta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Calvino's first novel. There's so much Pavese in here and yet what glimmers most are the nuggets of the writer Calvino will become - from the fantastical elements to the crystalline way he sees straight into the human condition.
Martina Sabbioni
May 31, 2016 Martina Sabbioni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Forse un giorno si arriverà ad essere tutti sereni, e non capiremo più tante cose perché capiremo tutto."
Alexandra Bradan
Aug 29, 2015 Alexandra Bradan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
" Tutti gli gridano degli improperi e lo cacciano via. [...]I ragazzi non vogliono bene a Pin: è l'amico dei grandi, Pin, sa dire ai grandi cose che li fanno ridere e arrabbiare, non come loro che non capiscono nulla quando i grandi parlano. [...] I ragazzi lo lasciano a parte ed ad un certo punto si mettono a picchiarlo; perché Pin ha due braccine smilze smilze ed è il più debole di tutti. [...] E a Pin non resta che rifugiarsi nel mondo dei grandi, dei grandi che pure gli voltano la schiena, d ...more
Tony
Aug 17, 2014 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elena AmaranthineMess
Buongiorno a tutti, la nostra recensione del giovedì oggi ci porta indietro nel tempo, durante la Resistenza partigiana contro l'occupazione nazi-fascista.
Libro bellissimo che parla di un periodo storico molto complesso visto però dagli occhi di un bambino, Pin, il nostro protagonista.

Qual è l'ultimo libro letto che definireste bello bellissimo?

Continua a leggere: http://amaranthinemess.blogspot.it/20...
Federica
Aug 03, 2015 Federica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non è il primo romanzo di Calvino che leggo, ma questo mi ha preso tantissimo! Uno sguardo nella realtà della Resistenza italiana ma dal punto di vista di un bambino, costretto a crescere troppo in fretta. Si legge velocemente e lo stile di scrittura è il migliore che io conosca (Calvino è il top, lo amo amo amo amo). Ne vale proprio la pena!!
Naima
Aug 13, 2015 Naima rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The novel "The path to the spider's nests", written by Calvino in 1947, was beyond everything I imagined.


The main character Pin is the younger brother of a prostitute. The kid does not depend from her, but is forced to live a boring life around the "carrugio" and at the tavern.

After robbing the German soldier Frick, Pin's life takes a sharp turn.
Adventure after adventure follows, first he's in jail with Lupo Rosso, then he participates at the Resistance in the Dritto's group...


In his first nove
...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
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
Rhys
Feb 10, 2009 Rhys rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Calvino's first book, a 'neo-realist' novel about the partisan struggle against the Nazis and the Fascists in the closing years of World War II in northern Italy. The story follows the resourceful child Pin as he steals a pistol from a German soldier and is forced to escape to the mountains, where he joins a ragged band of partisans -- volunteers in 'Dritto's Detachment', which is made up entirely of misfits who aren't really trusted by the more competent soldiers in the other detachments.

I firs
...more
Moonquake Abbott
Apr 20, 2011 Moonquake Abbott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 16, 2009 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Amerynth
I enjoyed reading Italo Calvino's "The Path to the Nest of Spiders" but I didn't think it was a particularly noteworthy book. As his debut novel, it lacks the utter brilliance of some of Calvino's later works, as you'd probably expect.

This novel is a coming of age story for Pin, an orphan growing up in the shadow of World War II. He steals a pistol from the German client of his prostitute sister and somehow ends up as part of the Italian resistance.

It's a nice little story and fairly entertaini
...more
jeremy
Nov 22, 2007 jeremy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, fiction
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
Jalawa
Apr 16, 2016 Jalawa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Path To The Nest of Spiders was an introduction read to Calvino, for me. This was his debut novel. I found it to be unbelievable and corny at points. I didn't all too much hate it but I can't say that I too much loved it either. Pin's character saddened me. The things that he looked to and valued made me a bit emotional. All in all, it was ok. After all, it was a coming of age novel. 3/5
Karen Michele
Apr 27, 2015 Karen Michele rated it really liked it
I am a real sucker for coming of age novels, so this first work by Italo Calvino was quite enjoyable reading for me even though it was set in wartime. Calvino fought as a partisan, so the book felt accurate, although the main character, Pin, also seemed exaggerated at times. I found him endearing, even when he was being obnoxious, and he made a good catalyst for the story. The conflict between the worlds of childhood and adulthood, especially through the lens of war, was the greatest strength of ...more
Carmine
Per un mio personale gusto personale, non ho mai amato troppo i romanzi a sfondo storico.
Qua Calvino racconta le vicende di Pin, un ragazzino a metà strada tra l'infanzia ed il mondo adulto, ed è interessante constatare la formazione del suo disincanto verso la realtà.
Calvino, nella sua riflessione, inserisce anche l'elemento della resistenza da parte dei partigiani, riuscendo a dare un senso di compiutezza maggiore all'opera.
il voto non è molto alto perché , oltre ai gusti personali, non ho no
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Path to the Spider's Nest by Italo Calvino 1 14 Feb 05, 2015 03:44AM  
  • Altri libertini
  • The Moon and the Bonfire
  • Conversations in Sicily
  • Fontamara
  • To Each His Own
  • The Ragazzi
  • La ragazza di Bube
  • Lessico famigliare
  • The Viceroys
  • L'isola di Arturo
  • Il partigiano Johnny
  • Il sergente nella neve
  • Reeds in the Wind
  • Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore / Enrico IV
  • Un amore
  • I Malavoglia
  • Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year
  • That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana
155517
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...

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“We all have a secret wound which we are fighting to avenge.” 7 likes
“Memory, or rather experience -- which is the memory of the event plus the wound it has inflicted on you, plus the change which it has wrought in you and which has made you different-- experience is the basic nutrition also for a work of literature (but not only for that), the true source of wealth for every writer (but not only for the writer), and yet the minute it gives shape to a work of literature it withers and dies. The writer, after writing, finds that he is the poorest of men.” 2 likes
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