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Marcovaldo (Easy Readers Italian Level B) (Italian) Paperback – 26 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: European Schoolbooks Limited (26 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: Italian
  • ISBN-10: 0850485541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850485547
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 11.4 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,558,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ash on 21 Dec. 2013
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I do not like parallel readers - they do not teach you how to get the gist of a language but simply teach you to look at the translation and thus encourage you to keep your native tongue going strong in your head. It's a good adaptation of the original well known book
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Amazon.com: 1 review
The search for nature does not run smoothly 6 May 2012
By Mahousu - Published on Amazon.com
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Marcovaldo is a common laborer trapped in a grimy industrial city in 1950's Italy. Yet he continually searches out little traces of nature hidden amidst all the concrete and asphalt, and pursues them to their end - which end, alas, is usually disastrous. A classic collection of stories from Italo Calvino.

This is part of the Easy Readers/Facili Letture series, a sort of "Reader's Digest" of Italian literature. It should be noted that this particular volume is substantially condensed - while the original contained 20 stories, one for each season over five years, this consists of only 8 stories/2 years. The remaining stories are slightly shortened, with somewhat simplified vocabulary, but still seem fairly true to the original in tone and spirit.

While this book is in the series "B" (1200-word vocabulary), it's not really any more difficult grammatically than the series A books. In fact, much of it is written in just the present tense. The difficulties, such as they are, come from the pleasures of the text - the poetic language Calvino uses to describe the joy of a patient who knows he is to be released from the hospital; the odd sight of a herd of cattle being driven through town in the middle of the night, on their way to mountain pastures; the mysteries of a city wrapped in fog or blanketed in snow.

Another of the pleasures in this edition are the illustrations by Erik Strom, which provide charm while they assist with the vocabulary. Marcovaldo is depicted rather differently here from other versions (e.g., by Sto), but somehow this version seems more appropriate. All in all, this is my favorite out of the Easy Readers I have seen so far.

Note: the Easy Readers were published by around a dozen different publishers in a dozen different countries with a dozen different ISBNs. The one here is for the first UK edition. So far as I know, though, all the editions are basically the same except, perhaps, for the covers. So you will find the listings for this scattered around at Amazon - mixed in with a couple of editions of the original, as well as various translations.
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