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If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler: Italo Calvino

“Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be.”

Plot Overview

Imagine you are waiting for a book with a lot of anticipation. You pre-ordered the book and the day you received it, you started eagerly to devour it. But after some 30-40 pages, you realized that there is a printing mistake in the book and the story is unfinished. What will you do?

You reach out to the publisher and get to know that there has been a mistake and the book you were reading was not the book you expected. But now since you are invested in the story you want to know the end. So, the publisher recommended you another book whose part you were reading.

You pick the other book but soon find that it is not the same as the initial book but still the story pulls you in. But again the same thing happens. There is no ending for this book too. You keep on following the trail to find a conclusion. How far will you go to get an ending?

This is the plotline and you are the protagonist of the book.

My Experience

Have I got you intrigued about the book with its plot? I was intrigued too. This is such a novel idea. And this book has got some really great raving reviews, so I was quite excited when I picked this one.

But sadly my excitement turns into disappointment 60 pages down the book. The book started beautifully but failed to keep me engaged till the end. And I am very sad to say this is my first DNF of the year.

I am not going to judge this book harshly and straightaway say that this is a bad book. It is just not the book for me. And below are the reasons why it didn’t work for me. If it doesn’t apply to you then you can go ahead and check out the book. Because I have heard people saying that it is one of the best books they have read. So, it might work for you even though it didn’t work for me.

What didn’t work for me

  • Along with the main storyline of the reader, the book also has a collection of incomplete short stories presented as the snippet from the book the reader is reading. I love big books and it takes time for me to get engaged with any book. And that’s the reason I don’t enjoy short stories. And since here the stories were incomplete I stopped enjoying reading them after 1 or 2.
  • The main story of the reader is told in a second-person narrative. I have only read books with either a first-person or a third-person narrative. So, this was quite a unique experience for me. I loved it in the beginning but later I started getting irritated because of this. It felt to me that the author is trying to force me to feel something that I am not even feeling and it was really irking to me.

This book is not an easy read. You will need to invest your time and be a little sincere to follow the book. I went into the book with all these intentions, but it didn’t work for me. But as I believe it is not only reader’s job to finish a book. It is also the author’s responsibility to engage the reader through his book.

Published inBooksFiction

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