Eddie Watkins's Reviews > Pinocchio

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
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Oct 08, 14

bookshelves: italian-fiction, neverending-childhood
Read in January, 2009

What a lively book! and also what a strange book, in its nimble flirtations with death and grotesqueries that add many layers of deftly handled complexities to a seemingly simple tale.

Collodi was clearly conflicted about who Pinocchio actually was. The afterword informs us that the book is actually two parts that have now fused into one. What is now the first half of the book was originally a complete tale in itself, and ended with Pinocchio dying after being hung from a tree. But then due to the character's popularity, Collodi was goaded by an editor to add another installment. Fortunately in tales such as these there's no problem in simply resurrecting a character in order to carry on with the story.

Pinocchio is a bundle of contradictions - at once caring and compassionate and supremely egocentric and even cruel. He can also be at once naively gullible and manipulative. At heart he's a free spirit, cluelessly tied to no moral system; but throughout the book he's periodically tormented by the knowledge that out of love and respect for his "father" he should go to school and become a responsible son.

Everyone knows he becomes a human boy in the end, and it is sweet and touching, but then does he lose his anarchic dynamism that always left him on the ecstatic knife's edge of danger and adventure?
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Matthieu (new)

Matthieu Pinocchio: the original dadaist.


message 2: by Kimley (new) - added it

Kimley I was reading about this book on the Book Soup blog and, of course, was not surprised when I added it to my list to see that you had read it. Wonderful review!

Doesn't seem to have much to do at all with the story I'm familiar with - which is probably a good thing!


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