Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

72%

6 Critic Reviews

Their communication still represents a leap of faith equal surely to any jump God-ward; only this time it is a social faith in the continued correspondence of our private universes and the prospect of enduring community.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“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
 

About Italo Calvino

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Italo Calvino's superb storytelling gifts earned him international renown and a reputation as "one of the world's best fabulists" (New York Times Book Review). He is the author of numerous works of fiction, as well as essays, criticism, and literary anthologies. Born in Cuba in 1923, Calvino was raised in Italy, where he lived most of his life. At the time of his death, in Siena in 1985, he was the most-translated contemporary Italian writer.
 
Published August 12, 2013 by Mariner Books. 182 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Invisible Cities
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average

Their communication still represents a leap of faith equal surely to any jump God-ward; only this time it is a social faith in the continued correspondence of our private universes and the prospect of enduring community.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Eric Weiner on Jan 21 2013

I leave it, again and again, and yet never discover it — never really know it. That is precisely what keeps drawing me back to this strange and wonderful little book.

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Oregon Live

Below average
on Sep 03 2010

The book is nearly plotless, and it is less a story than it is a collection of images and ideas.

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BookIdeas.com

Good

The language is, as is characteristic of Calvino, precise and beautiful.

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Critical Mob

Good

Like most of Calvino's work, Invisible Cities throws a heady postmodern punch, yet simple language balances dizzying contemplations, making for a gorgeous route through history, fiction, and the Mongol Empire all at once.

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Harvard Book Review

Good
on May 01 2010

A deliberate composition of the works contributes to an exhibition experience that is both diverse and closely interconnected.

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Reader Rating for Invisible Cities
85%

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JD Fleming

JD Fleming 27 Jan 2016

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