• Wonderful . . . full of wit and erudition

  • A brilliant, original approach to literature, a key to Calvino's own work and a thoroughly delightful and illuminating commentary on some of the world's greatest writing

    San Francisco Chronicle
  • A genial as well as a brilliant writer

    John Updike
  • Calvino will continue to glitter, this strange, lonely prospector in the universe of words. . . a master in the empire of the imagination

    Ian Thomson, Independent
  • Reading Calvino, you're constantly assailed by the notion that he is writing down what you have always known, except that you've never thought of it before . . . he tells us, joyfully, wickedly, that there are things in the world worth loving as well as hating; and that such things exist in people, too. I can think of no finer writer to have beside me while Italy explodes, while Britain burns, while the world ends.

    Salman Rushdie
  • No-one can read Angela Carter or David Mitchell without thinking of Calvino. Salman Rushdie is enthusiastic in his naming of Calvino as a major influence on his work, as am I.

    Jeanette Winterson
  • Rich and deeply satisfying ... this is very much a book that sets you off thinking ... there is a universe in here

    Nick Lezard, Guardian