John Brooks's Reviews > If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
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's review
Oct 30, 2007

it was amazing

No book has ever taught me more about literature than this one. If you can read it and still want to be a writer, then I think that's a solid litmus test. Calvino's masterclass on the possibilities of literature is still one of the great works of all time. This is a meditation on not just what literature can do to bring people together, but how it can serve as testament to history, bringing to vivid life the moods, languages, and hardships that define the human race as it continues its epic, unending, beautiful struggle to survive. And it's all told in the second person, something only a genius like Calvino could pull off without being gimmicky. "If on a winter's night..." is funny, heartbreaking, brilliant, and the reason I read (and write) at all.
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10/01/2016 marked as: read

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