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Difficult Loves: Smog - A Plunge into Real Estate (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

Italo Calvino
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Sep 1993 Vintage Classics
This dazzling collection of stories follows the individual adventures of a varied cast of characters and masterfully illustrates Calvino's unique perspective and narrative gifts. As well as the eleven tales from his Difficult Loves collection this volume also includes Smog and A Plunge into Real Estate.

Frequently Bought Together

Difficult Loves: Smog - A Plunge into Real Estate (Vintage Classics) + Marcovaldo: Or the Seasons in the City (Vintage Classics) + The Complete Cosmicomics (Penguin Translated Texts)
Price For All Three: 18.87

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (27 Sep 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099430886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099430889
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Italo Calvino was born in Cuba in 1923 and grew up in Italy. He was an essayist and journalist and a member of the editorial staff of Einaudi in Turin. One of the most respected writers of our time, his best-known works of fiction include Invisible Cities, If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, Marcovaldo and Mr Palomar. In 1973 he won the prestigious Premio Feltrinelli. He died in 1985. A collection of Calvino's posthumous personal writings, The Hermit in Paris, was published in 2003.

Product Description


"A beautifully translated collection of early stories by the highly regarded Italian writer. The earliest were written in 1945 when Calvino was twenty-two and the latest date from the 1950s when he was in his early thirties. The quirkiness and the grace of the writing, the originality of the imagination at work, the incandescence of vision, make this collection well worth reading, and for more than archaeological reasons" (New York Times Book Review)

"The quirkiness and grace of the writing, the originality of the imagination at work, the occasional incandescence of vision, and a certain loveable nuttiness make this collection well worth reading" (Margaret Atwood)

"The greatest Italian writer of the twentieth century" (Guardian)

Book Description

A spectacular display of this key European writer's early work

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IN THE compartment, a lady came and sat down, tall and buxom, next to Private Tomagra. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful eye for detail 10 Dec 2003
By "mchax"
This collection of short stories inspires the imagination with highly original ways of focussing on the minute details of peoples lives within the space of a few pages. the collection starts with a selection of, 'The adventure of...' stories and each revolve around a person in a situation that if anyone else wrote it would seem mundane but Calvino seems to ease out beauty and sincerity within.
Within each story there is a familiarity you feel whether it is the awkwardness of the soldier or the hightened presense of people around you, when you try to sleep, as in the traveller.
The adventures of a photographer is so original that even if it was written in the postmodern today- of which with his later metafictions Calvino was a pioneer- it would still be deemed as experimental.
'Smog' and 'A plunge into real estate' are good on their own merit but it is really 'The adventure of...' stories that truly inspire. All in all a book well worth reading due to its wit and the way the stories seem to stay with you long after the book has been put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very fine writing 6 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
just, ftr i'm on the 4/5th short story and am having a pause so i haven't read it all. usually, if i stall on a book like this, it's a bad sign. not so with this one - i knew from the first story in i'd stick with it. but when it got to 'adventures of a photographer' (first few stories are headed 'adventures of a .....' ) just wow, exquisite writing, churning some conceptual though but always inward to the story, it isn't dull. literary writing but universal themes. it makes *me* want to write.

so the pause is to summon myself properly to read it and not just rifle through the chapters.
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