Tim Pendry's Reviews > The Castle of Crossed Destinies

The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino
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Jul 15, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: cultural-studies, esoteric, literature-general, modern-european, twentieth-century

This may be a very clever book but, I am afraid, it is unutterably dull. There are some brief moments of fine writing in the second half but even these falter - the Tale of the Vampire's Kingdom takes off only to crash and burn into incomprehensibility.

There are two quite interesting half-essays on art and how Calvino came to write the book, one embedded in the 'Tavern' section and the other as postscript, but these are articles for a literary magazine and scarcely justify the effort of ploughing through the rest.

Indeed, my irritation grew to the degree that I realised that Vintage had a full paperback price for a slight work, padded out with imagery, wide margins and blank pages to give us the illusion of value.

If you are interested in the tarot, go to a book on tarot, rather than waste time on yet another narcissistic literary work about literature that the world can do without in the age of the internet. The whole thing is a failed experiment.
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