Marvin's Reviews > If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 19, 2010

really liked it
Read from March 01 to April 10, 2011

I arrived at the library with my two books in hand. As I plunked them down on the check-in counter, a thin matronly woman approached.

"Would you like to check these books in?"

"Yes I would but I would also like to..."

"Oh, I see you read If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino."

"Yes I did. Have you read it too?"

"On starting the first few pages, you were put off by what appears to be a artistic gimmick."

"Why yes a little. but..."

"you soon realized that the author was trying to involve you in his dadaist alternate reality by connecting to the only reality the author and reader have in common. The world of words and symbolism."

"Well, I'm not sure I saw it that way. But now that you mention it..."

"The book caused you to not only suspend disbelief but examine your own concepts of what is means to immerse yourself in literature"

"Actually I just want to check these books in..."

"It is unlike anything you have ever read before. Even unlike anything Calvino has written before. But he tells you that in the first three pages. For the unique part of the novel is that Calvino holds nothing back about the mechanics of his literary mind."

"OK, this is getting a little weird."

"It makes you wonder. Is there any reality except for that which we perceive through our imagination?"

"This is getting a lot weird. Would you please.."

"How do you know that we are not actually in a novel this very moment?"

"OK, Stop that"

"Or maybe we are in a review of a novel"


"Or a figment of someone's web page"


I grabbed a pen off the counter, leaped up, and rammed the pen through her forehead, stabbing her several times. None of the other people seemed to notice except an old man busy in his reading who pointed to the "Quiet" sign and made a hushing sound. After making sure she was quite dead I dragged her into the Mystery section which I felt was as good as any place to leave a corpse. I had just returned to the counter when another woman came out from the back.

"That's funny. I was sure Mrs. Peachtree was manning the desk. Well, never mind. How can I help you?"

"I would like to return these two books"

"Why of course. Did you want to renew your loan on either book?"

"If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, no. But on Crime and Punishment, yes."

247 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read If on a Winter's Night a Traveler.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

01/29/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

notgettingenough I wanted to write something like this about If...but you have done such a better job than I would have. At least I can stop worrying about it now.

Marvin Thanks, NGE.

message 3: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Brilliant review. I can't wait to see the movie (of the review).

Marvin Thanks, Ian. I'm hoping David Lynch will direct.

Sara I think David Lynch would be about the only person on the planet who could successfully direct this one.

Sumirti Singaravel Woah! woah!! that is a wonderful wonderful review :) loved it :)

Supriya Hahahaha xD

Ingvar2000 Magnificent

message 9: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben Hundley Ahahahaha. Devilishly brilliant.

message 10: by Booky (new) - added it

Booky hehe!

message 11: by Beto (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beto Campainha Brilliant!

message 12: by Nathalie (new) - added it

Nathalie Awesome!

message 13: by Kenya (new)

Kenya Wright I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

message 14: by Brodie (new)

Brodie Kendall bahahaha *****

message 15: by T.J. (new)

T.J. Best review I've read in yonks, thanks!

Frances this review is rad

message 17: by Richa (new) - added it

Richa Awesome

message 18: by Mehreen (new) - added it

Mehreen Brilliant!

back to top