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The Distance of the Moon

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  484 ratings  ·  58 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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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  484 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Laura, Wanda et al
wow - just wow!


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
Tatevik Najaryan
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
Lauren (Cook's Books)
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, owned
Proof that science is beautiful and I'm not just a mega nerd
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.
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
Abhyudaya Shrivastava
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.
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.
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.
Mar 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Great imagination and phrasing, but too little plot or point for my liking.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Moon aficionados; wolves
Read as part of 'The Complete Cosmicomics'

In reality, from the top of the ladder, standing erect on the last rung, you could just touch the Moon if you held your arms up.

Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poor Mrs. Vhd Vhd
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-memoribilia
So much emotions, charmingly beautiful. I find this a true expression of love now lost, lost forever. It's terrific, imagination-rich story. I am thoroughly pushed to tears.
Tam Fung
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Prettiest words i have even read!
Yolanda Sfetsos
This is an adorable little book that my daughter was going to get rid of. Before donating it, I wanted to give it a go. And as soon as I started the first story, I was enthralled.

THE DISTANCE OF THE MOON is a charming & whimsical tale about a time when the moon was close enough to get to via a ladder, and it was possible to harvest moon milk.

This is the story of a particular group of people who go out every month to get on the moon, and the hidden desires they have. For there is one woman m
Eilis O sullivan
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There is something wonderful and weird about Calvino's writing. It invokes both something familiar and completely alien, and these short stories are no different. The fact that each story takes a certain element of science to explore and then completely invents a story of fantasy around it was incredibly enjoyable. When you are forced to view these stories it becomes clear that Calvino wants to subvert what we see as logical and the basis of science. What if the world was completely grey, or if ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another dazzling science fiction entry in the Penguin Mini Moderns -- I was reminded of the previous volume by Stanislaw Lem. Calvino writes with immeasurable grace, wit, intelligence, and invention and makes his characters' relationships and emotional worlds both complex and relatable despite the bizarre and fanciful setting of our planet's deep prehistory. He even gives us a prototerrestrial rendering of the Orpheus myth in "Without Colours", and a strangely beautiful and unsettling discourse ...more
Ritesh Kukrety
I wanted If On A Winter's Night A Traveller to be my introduction to Italo Calvino. Instead, I plunged headlong into the weird charming world of the Italian master with The Distance of the Moon. I don't think I could have asked for a better introduction.

A charming little story about those good old days when the Moon was close to the Earth, so close you could row out to the sea in a boat and stand on a ladder to touch her surface. Calvino explores many emotions - love, envy, happiness, wonder, l
Puri Kencana Putri
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Need to admit that Calvino have such profound knowledge on science and fiction. He made a brilliant love story among the characters. His imagination knows no boundaries. I take one of my favourite excerpts from this book, "we went to collect the milk, with a big spoon and a bucket. Moon milk was very thick, like a kind of cream cheese. It formed in the crevices between one scale and the next, through the fermentation of various bodies and substances of terrestrial origin which had flown up from ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
The Distance of the Moon, first story of this compilation of four, is a fascinating product of an inventive mind. Calvino's phantasmata resemble our world, but slight deviations reveal an alternate dimension that make our reality seem dull.

The following three stories, (Without Colors, As Long as the Sun Lasts and Implosion), felt like decaffeinated byproducts of the first promise. Plots, characters and worlds seemed opaque in contrast to the whimsical and magical reality crafted by Calvino for t
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mixed, this. Reacting to various treatises of scientific thinking, Calvino imagines scenarios that explore the ramifications presented. They vary in excitement and comprehensibility and the most successful is the excellent Without Colour, which imagines a colourless world and its appeal but also the challenge of change. It would be quite a writing exercise and Calvin manages it with mastery.

The others grip less.
Kest Schwartzman
This is one of my all time favorite short stories. I first read it in (was it Cosmicomics? Or another collection?) when my brother, then in college, gave me the book when he finished whatever class he had read it in. Pretty much all of the literature my brother handed me at that point I was rapt with, but Calvino stuck with me. This story occasionally gets played in my ears on some or other literature podcast, and every time I love it more.
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Intricate, imaginative stories of life during the formation of the universe. Particularly demanding was clearly life (and love) on the Earth in a distant past in a time without atmosphere as everything appeared equally grey-collored. Each short story is introduced with some cosmological and astronomic "fun facts".
Gwen Davis-Barrios
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is 98% magical prose that I wish I could have floating around my brain forever and 2% troubling misogyny. I really wish that 2% would go away and stop bothering me so much. I guess that calculation comes out to 4.9 stars out of 5.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
My (unpopular) opinion just after finishing the book: I wouldn't say I even liked those stories, they where "just ok" for me. Of course they are impressive taking into account the time in which they were written, but also plenty of less misogynist and more impressive stuff was written at that time.
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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
“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
“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.” 1 likes
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