Invisible Cities

Front Cover
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978 - Fiction - 165 pages
1006 Reviews
"Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else." -- from Invisible Cities

In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo -- Mongol emperor and Venetian traveler. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts his host with stories of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. As Marco Polo unspools his tales, the emperor detects these fantastic places are more than they appear.

"Invisible Cities changed the way we read and what is possible in the balance between poetry and prose . . . The book I would choose as pillow and plate, alone on a desert island." -- Jeanette Winterson

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Beautiful prose and imagery. - Goodreads
The problem with this book is that its prose. - Goodreads
Whimsical storytelling. - Goodreads
Beautiful, dream-like writing. - Goodreads
Beautiful, atmospheric page turner. - Goodreads
I think the problem was the lack of plot. - Goodreads

Review: Invisible Cities

User Review  - Coral - Goodreads

This is a short book and it is about cities. The writing is wonderful and you'll never look at a city the same way again. Read full review

Review: Invisible Cities

User Review  - Dana - Goodreads

A book that needs to be read like a poem to make sense. I unfortunately didn't realize this until halfway through the book. It reminded me a bit of "The Prophet", although I liked this better (and I ... Read full review

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About the author (1978)

Italo Calvino 1923-1984 Novelist and short story writer Italo Calvino was born in Cuba on October 15, 1923, and grew up in Italy, graduating from the University of Turin in 1947. He is remembered for his distinctive style of fables. Much of his first work was political, including Il Sentiero dei Nidi di Ragno (The Path of the Nest Spiders, 1947), considered one of the main novels of neorealism. In the 1950s, Calvino began to explore fantasy and myth as extensions of realism. Il Visconte Dimezzato (The Cloven Knight, 1952), concerns a knight split in two in combat who continues to live on as two separates, one good and one bad, deprived of the link which made them a moral whole. In Il Barone Rampante (Baron in the Trees, 1957), a boy takes to the trees to avoid eating snail soup and lives an entire, fulfilled life without ever coming back down. Calvino was awarded an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1984 and died in 1985, following a cerebral hemorrhage. At the time of his death, he was the most translated contemporary Italian writer and a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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