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The Distance of the Moon

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  894 ratings  ·  118 reviews
'Time is a catastrophe, perpetual and irreversible.'

Science and fiction interweave delightfully in these playful Cosmicomic short stories.

Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Ack
Paperback, 64 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by Penguin Classics (first published 1965)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  894 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Laura, Wanda et al
wow - just wow!


Katie Lumsden
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed these. They were a bit weird, but in a very enjoyable way.
Matthew Appleton
180th book of 2020.

Several stories taken from Calvino's Cosmicomics: "The Distance of the Moon", "Without Colours", "As Long as the Sun Lasts" and "Implosion". The latter stories fall a little short of the title story, which is by far the most realised of the book. They are whimsical, light and humorous, on the most part. Most of all, they display Calvino's boundless imagination.

The title story imagines a world where the moon was once much closer, and the inhabitants of the earth (and indeed th
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have not really been a fan of what I have read of Italo Calvino's work thus far, but went into this collection of 'exuberant, endlessly inventive stories' with an open mind nonetheless. The tales collected here - 'The Distance of the Moon', 'Without Colours', 'As Long As the Sun Lasts', and 'Implosion' - were published between 1965 and 2009, and have been variously translated by Martin McLaughlin, Tim Parks, and William Weaver. I found Calvino's work interesting enough, particularly with regar ...more
Kyriakos Sorokkou

Δείτε την κριτική στα Ελληνικά στις βιβλιοαλχημείες

So after the bitter disappointment with Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller
this Jägermeister shot of a book was Calvino's atonement, and mine as a reader.

I'm not a fan of these tiny books. They feel like those 30-days free trials. You only get a small taste of the whole work/service.

This less than 60 pages book contains four short stories. 2 of which I liked and 2 of which I found just okay.

These four short stories are part of a larger
Lauren (Cook's Books)
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, favorites
Proof that science is beautiful and I'm not just a mega nerd ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: penguin-modern
A whimsical cosmic sci-fiction narrative that begins in time when the moon was very close to the Earth's surface. A group of denizens and their moon journey, few incidents and love story happened, uniquely absurd and imaginative. At a point it was cute (the names were too memorable and I really like the characters) but somehow I realized how it was too peculiar for me. I appreciate the idea of galaxies and that pinch of fantasy, metaphorically mischievous but still a bit boring to me. As much as ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2018
There is a book from my childhood: green hard cover Italian tales. The title is "Three Oranges". The ilustration on the cover is so beautiful. This one is my favourite. I was arranging my books the other day when I found it and couldn't hold myself back to read it. Some tales I remembered. Some I didn't. There was no author, just the name of translators, who translated the book from Russian. No source, nothing. So I googled about 30 minutes (not kidding) before I found that these tales from my c ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
whimsical and cute, each short story had its own appeal; i actually really want to read more. the one problem is that i can't say i felt all that much towards the characters.

edit: it's been a few days and with each day that passed i ended up giving this collection another star, from 3 to 5. i keep thinking about it, and i've come to the conclusion that these stories, being so short, aren't necessarily about the characters, but rather something more.
Abhyudaya Shrivastava
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
A short story that took me back to my childhood. A ladder to the moon, true love, harp and what-not. This could have been a folk tale from Rajasthan.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: italian-lit
Kristīne Līcis
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: donedone
Fantastic essays from the 1960s. Cosmological concepts play out in surreal situations, like having the Moon so close a ladder is enough to climb up. But the surreal is still kept within the strict laws of physics, so climbing to the Moon means making sure that the climber does not get stuck in the space between the Earth and the Moon.

The essays are also love stories, nuanced, full of beautiful allegories. Transformation of the Earth from gray and featureless to full of colours transforms the rel
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Italy Calvino’s imagination is fantastic in these stories, really curious to read more of him (and I happen to have The Complete Cosmicomics waiting for me on my shelves). However, sometimes I found it hard to stay focused; hopefully I will become more invested once I read a bunch of his stories.
'Implosion', specifically: read aloud to myself in a breathless whisper, stumbling over words blurred by the streetlights, too tangled in the few pages to break their hold & turn on the light. held close to learn from & justify seeing myself in.

the other three stories are a laugh, especially fun if you're familiar with basic astronomy; they're a brief jump into a strange & fantastical world and so would make perfect tales to fall asleep to.
Anna (lion_reads)
Italo Calvino's writing is beautiful and whimsical. He paints a luscious picture of his strange imagination. But the strong dollop of the male gaze was intrusive and annoying. I would have preferred the stories to stay as purely slice-of-life speculative fiction; they lost some of their luster when they approached something relatable and human. ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Maybe even 3.5? It was really interesting and I'm glad I picked it up, it was eerie but fun, loved the F imagery. ...more
Dane Cobain
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is my first time reading Calvino, and I really enjoyed his stuff. I particularly liked how all of the stories related back to the sun and the moon and the stars. Awesome!
Kinjal Parekh
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is one of the richest literature piece I've read since a while. It is a collection of 3 short stories/essays and is 55 pages long (short?).

This happens to be my first sci-fi read. The stories were a little bizarre but I really enjoyed reading them. Particularly because of the way this book is written. I felt saturated.

The first story is about The Moon being only an amr-lenght away from us amidst there is a love/lust story 22 pages long. For anyone who know me knows that anything about the m
Steven Godin
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: italy, fiction
Who else but Calvino would have thought of this? Magical.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: italo
Calvino's universe is my cup of tea ...more
The Humpo Show [ Richard ]
We are introduced to our palindromic narrator Qfwfq in the first short story, The Distance of the Moon, where the story is based on the fact that the Moon used to be a lot closer to the Earth. It is a story of a love triangle between people that jump between the Earth and the Moon. The characters lacked depth and the plot was wafer thin, which left me feeling nothing when the final outcome of the story came about. 

Without Colours is a unique story but the characters once again are under develope
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably a 4.5 star. I'd read the main, first story before about the moon being so close, but it was only after reading it alongside these other stories that I got a better perspective on what Calvino was doing - the collection here all ties together and brings cosmic proportions to our everyday relationships. Not quite sci-fi, not quite magical realism, but all good. ...more
Andreia Marques
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
"It's me. I am yourself exploding as you implode: I'm splashing out, expressing myself, spreading myself about, communicating, realizing all the potential I have; I really exist, not like you, introverted, reticent, egocentric, fused in an immutable self..." ...more
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Calvino's seemingly effortless, surreal writing and childlike curiosity always amazes me. ...more
Jenny Cooke (Bookish Shenanigans)
The titular story is the best.
Via the Word Witch D’Agostino
I never thought I’d like surrealism, but this book changed my mind. Such a good read, even for the most tentative readers of surrealism.
Andy Hickman
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
“The Distance of the Moon” by Italo Calvino
This guy’s imagination knows no bounds!
Delightfully imaginative tale of love awakened and diffused.
“We went to collect the milk … Moon-milk was very thick, like a kind of cream cheese … composed chiefly of vegetal juices, tadpoles, bitumen, lentils, honey, starch crystals, sturgeon eggs, moulds, pollens….” (p5)
“My return was sweet, my home refound, but my thoughts were filled only with grief at having lost her, and my eyes gazed
Owen Townend
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'll admit I went into this collection daunted by the reputation of Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler. Nevertheless I was pleasantly surprised with the light sci-fi he indulges in.

Calvino interacts with astronomical facts of the time in a way that is fun and endearing, drawing absurdity out of gravity fields and planetary implosion. Indeed this book shows that anyone seeking to exemplify the madness of this world would do well to read up on precisely how it came to be in the universe.

Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shorties
It's the first time I come across Calvino's stories, and there is some highly imaginative writing here. ...more
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Goodreads România: The Distance of the Moon, de Italo Calvino 2 13 Mar 08, 2018 04:42AM  

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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 easy to classify; much of his writing has an air reminiscent to th

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“My return was sweet, my home refound, but my thoughts were filled only with grief at having lost her, and my eyes gazed at the Moon, for ever beyond my reach, as I sought her. And I saw her. She was there where I had left her, lying on a beach directly over our heads, and she said nothing. She was the colour of the Moon; she held the harp at her side and moved one hand now and then in slow arpeggios. I could distinguish the shape of her bosom, her arms, her thighs, just as I remember them now, just as now, when the Moon has become that flat, remote circle, I still look for her as soon as the first silver appears in the sky, and the more it waxes, the more clearly I imagine I can see her, her or something of her, but only her, in a hundred, a thousand different vistas, she who makes the Moon the Moon and, whenever she is full, sets the dogs to howling all night long, and me with them.” 2 likes
“To explode or to implode – said Qfwfq – that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to expand one's energies in space without restraint, or to crush them into a dense inner concentration.” 2 likes
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