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Catastrophe: And Other Stories

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In Catastrophe, the renowned Italian short story writer Dino Buzzati brings vividly to life the slow and quietly terrifying collapse of our known, everyday world. In stories touched by the fantastical and the strange, and filled with humor, irony, and menace, Buzzati illuminates the nightmarish side of our ordinary existence.

From The Epidemic, which traces the gradual
ebook, 240 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Ecco (first published February 1966)
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Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Dino Buzzatis stories fit into the bleak European country of the subconscious that occupied the writing of Franz Kafka, Bruno Schulz, and Stefan Grabinski. He summons up a strange feeling of distress and anxiety that lingers over his tales, with characters often trapped on their way towards the end. Seemingly hidden branches of bureaucracy govern strange places, and the world is inhabited by queer, half fabled creatures. But the lingering weirdness and dread that his stories hint at come into ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best short story collections I've read in a while. These stories are always unpredictable and inventive, with lots of variety. One wonders where an author gets such consistently impressive and original plot ideas. I could compare this with Kafka and Borges (who did come to mind at times) but Buzzati really deserves to be cited in his own category.

These stories are often macabre, sometimes supernatural, but not always explicitly so. Often events are just bizarre and
Nancy Oakes
What a great collection of sophisticated, strange and offbeat stories from a master of his craft.

My thanks to Patrick G. P. for the recommendation.

Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been waiting for over two decades for a reprint of Dino Buzzati's stories. I first heard of Dino Buzzati in an interview with Thomas Ligotti. You should get a sense of deja vu when reading such stories as 'Seven Floors', 'The March of Time', and 'The Alarming Revenge of a Domestic Pet'. This collection should be read by any serious fan of modern horror.
I really liked this collection of oddball, eccentric little stories. Most were so fresh and vivid, with hints of fables, tall tales and the like - that Ill be reading more Buzzati, no doubt. Quite enjoyable! ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dino Buzzati is one of my favorite authors, and I have no idea why he isnt better known in the English-speaking world. I suspect its because he defies easy categorization: his most famous work is a novel (The Tartar Steppe), he published a large number of short stories, he wrote extensive nonfiction thanks to his career in journalism, he authored plays, and he even wrote and illustrated a graphic novel (which is now available in English thanks to a New York Review Books edition). His range alone ...more
Robert Wechsler
The stories in this collection are an odd combination of turn-of-the-century Decadence and a grotesque sensibility that was way ahead of its time. These oddly formulated stories are a revelation, different in so many ways from even unconventional stories, dismissive of rules, but a hundred pages at a time is enough. I look forward to reading the second hundred pages another time.
Željko Obrenović
Dino Bucati je strogo čuvana italijanska tajna. Na srpski jezik je prevedena njegova zbirka Prodavnica tajni, kao i romani Tartarska stepa (poslužio je Kuciju kao inspiracija za Čekajući varvare) i Ljubavna priča. Na engleskom nije ništa bolji slučaj, premda je reč o veoma plodnom i veštom piscu.

Bucati je u domovini najčešće poređen s Kafkom (što ga je izuzetno gnevilo) i premda ova paralela ima osnova, ona ga i ograničava jer je njegov opus znatno razgranatiji. Svakako, birokratska iščašenost
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several tales of enchanting terror and each riddled with their own anxious tension of reality shapeshifting between dreams and nightmares. Ranging from a journalist searching for a landslide that has yet to occur. To a children's egg hunt which incurs the wrath of a scorned mother.

The longest story, and in my opinion best:"The Scala Scare" details the cultural elite enjoying a night out only for a shady intelligence agency sowing seeds of unease during an opera while just outside the chamber
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall: (Beware this review is super long, I reviewed all 19 short stories in Catastrophe. Also I really suck at formatting, this is how it follows for each mini-review: Title, reading, and review.)
Overall, I would rate this short story collection 3.5, because I felt like when I really enjoyed a story, I would rate it 4 stars, but there were also stories in this collection that I felt like were not as good or okay. I think that Dino Buzzati knows how to come up with different stories, all the
Tyler Jones
Dino Buzzati passed away almost fifty years ago and his work is not particularly well known in North America, so coming across this new translation into English is an unexpected treat. These stories are almost uniformly terrifying; like vivid nightmares that follow their logic of doom, but there is also a lively imagination at work and I found myself admiring the prose even as it unsettled and disturbed me. Buzzati was a great writer and I hope this book introduces more English readers to his ...more
Claude Bouchard
Jan 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
NOTE: This review is from an advance reader copy.

Apparently, this writer has quite a fanbase, though I'm not quite sure why. The short stories within this collection are very short (something I usually enjoy), but they don't go anywhere. They all start out with very imaginative premises (a reporter sent to cover a landslide that has yet to occur, a flu that affects only government enemies, a heatwave that turns a crowd murderous), and they're all different, but it's as if they were all stuck in
My favorites are the seven floors, the scala scare, the egg, the enchanted coat and the saint
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I fail to understand how Buzzati is not more widely known. These are imaginative, well written (well translated?), often terrifying vignettes which kept me captivated. More so, the open endings left so much food for thought afterwards that perhaps they are not 'short' stories after all???

A bit perplexed by some of the criticisms in other reviews here, particularly an expression there were no "denouements". Struck as very modern age comment --- should we have an expectation of every last thing
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had never heard of Mr. Buzzati prior to coming across this book in a Italian-centered bookshop, and decided to take a chance on it. I'm so glad I did, as this collection of stories was utterly mesmerizing. Each story was like something out of an episode of the Twilight Zone. Each was so engrossing, appearing as some wild amalgamation of Kafka/Poe. Buzzati's stories are expertly crafted, filled with dread and suspense imposed against moments of levity and pure fantasy, often leaving me conflicted ...more
Christie Maloyed
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this up on a whim in an independent book store in D.C. on a recommendation from a sales clerk. Described as Kafka meets Poe, Buzzati writes micro stories - very short, short stories - that invoke a sense of dread. I also found similarities to Shirley Jackson's works. It's not exactly something that I looked forward to reading, but, I found most of the stories captivating and intriguing.
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up not knowing anything about the author and got a delightful surprise. Most of the short stories are very short (a few pages) but manage to build feelings of unease into delicious horror. Definitely read if you like getting creepy stories that are perfectly constructed
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Stories. Some good. Some great. All about impending disasters - real or imagined. Fascinating.
Piotr Grebski
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Something special !
Stacey Nguyen
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a lovely collection of stories, each one sweet and short, yet haunting and relevant in our trying modern times. I'm still surprised that Dino Buzzati's is not better known in English literature.
Nicholas Stahl
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great short story collection.

Catastrophe is thrilling and my favorite.
The Landslide is unpredictable and hilarious.
The Scala Scare is challenging but worth it.

Really enjoyed this.
David Rice
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great companion to "The Tartar Steppe" -- one level less brilliant than that, in my opinion, but wonderful nonetheless.
Scott Pomfret
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A quirky collection of old fashioned and slightly musty tales redeemed by flirtations with the supernatural anchored in very precise detail.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, tiny stories where rectitude, conception, and execution repel each other.
Yvonne Ang
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very creative and varied short stories. A lot of which triggered some thought after reading them. Interesting read
Joe Canas
3.5 stars
Amy Libby
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely in love with this package of short stories. They are all so uniquely and bizarrely terrifying. Cant wait to read through them again. ...more
Natalina Pereira
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Oct 14, 2018
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Nov 07, 2019
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Dino Buzzati Traverso was an Italian novelist, short story writer, painter and poet, as well as a journalist for Corriere della Sera. His worldwide fame is mostly due to his novel Il deserto dei Tartari, translated into English as The Tartar Steppe.

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