Kathy's Reviews > Marcovaldo

Marcovaldo by Italo Calvino
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Jun 03, 09

Read in June, 2009

Marcovaldo is a hapless (but never hopeless!) unskilled laborer in an industrial city in northern Italy. His life as the head of his large family is filled with hardship and poverty. Yet Marcovaldo is a charming and cheerful dreamer who continually looks for beauty and salvation in the ordinary. Simplicity and innate goodness characterize Marcovaldo, and he is well-intentioned and yearning as he navigates the world. While he is ingenuous in the pursuit of his dreams for a more satisying life, Marcovaldo's sincere efforts never bring the results that he anticipates. The outcomes are humorous while simultaneously demonstrating the hardship and disappointment of life.

Italo Calvino is an extraordinary storyteller, and these 20 stories (5 stories for each season of the year) are well written and appealing. Whether Marcovaldo attempts to water an office plant by strapping it to his bike and chasing rainclouds, treats his rheumatism with a sand pack, or searches for firewood in the forest next to the superhighway, his hopeful attitude and unquenchable longing are endearing. Marcovaldo is a delight, and his misadventures generate laughter and provoke thought.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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baggyparagraphs Nice review! I hadn't know anything about "Marcovaldo"--not even sure if I'd heard of it.


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