If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

Front Cover
Knopf, 1993 - Fiction - 254 pages
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Introduction by Peter Washington; Translation by William Weaver

Italo Calvino's masterpiece combines a love story and a detective story into an exhilarating allegory of reading, in which the reader of the book becomes the book's central character.

Based on a witty analogy between the reader's desire to finish the story and the lover's desire to consummate his or her passion, IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER is the tale of two bemused readers whose attempts to reach the end of the same book—IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER, by Italo Calvino, of course—are constantly and comically frustrated. In between chasing missing chapters of the book, the hapless readers tangle with an international conspiracy, a rogue translator, an elusive novelist, a disintegrating publishing house, and several oppressive governments. The result is a literary labyrinth of storylines that interrupt one another—an Arabian Nights of the postmodern age.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Charon07 - LibraryThing

A book for every reader who likes to think about reading! A tour de force about the role of fiction, the function of writers, and especially the act of reading. It's also the only book I can think of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - alexlubertozzi - LibraryThing

“At times a title is enough to kindle in me the desire for a book that perhaps does not exist.” When I first attempted to read Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler years ago, I was not ... Read full review

All 52 reviews »

Other editions - View all

About the author (1993)

Italo Calvino's works include Numbers in the Dark, The Road to San Giovanni, Six Memos for the Next Millennium, The Baron in the Trees, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, Invisible Cities, Marcovaldo, and Mr. Palomar. He died in 1985.

Bibliographic information