This is not a book for journalists. Civil servants, too, will feel uneasy while reading it, and as for lawyers, they will never sleep again. For it is about a man in his capacity as homo faber, a maker of things with his hands, and what has any of us ever made but words. I say it is 'about' the man who makes; truly, it is more a hymn of praise than a description, and not only because the toiler who is the hero of the book is a hero indeed - a figure, in his humanity, simplicity, worthy of inclusion in the catalogue of mythical giants alongside Hercules, Atlas, Gargantua and Orion. He is Faussone, a rigger' Bernard Levin, THE TIMES
Primo Levi was born into a Jewish family in Turin, Italy, in 1919. He spent time in Auschwitz and his novel If This Is a Man is a harrowing account of his ordeal. Levi died in 1987.