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FriedEgg

FriedEgg

If on a winter's night a traveler - Italo Calvino This is almost more of a philosophical treatise on reading and writing than it is a novel. The second person narrative is punctuated by fragments (beginnings) of books that the protagonist (you) read but for one reason or another, despite your frustrations, are perpetually unable to complete.

At first the protagonist is more interested in getting to know a female acquaintance met in a bookshop who has started the same book, then you move onto the trail of the illusive and shady disseminator of forged translations on a mission of falsification but end up ruminating on the nature of literatue and trying to define what is that the act of reading is all about.

At first I found I was more interested in the main narrative thread in between the story fragments, later I began to be more entranced by the stories themselves. You may find yourself as frustrated as the protagonist is by the abrupt was in which each story fragment ends. Instead you must try to see them as part of a whole, try to glean the meta story.

At first I wasn't sure if this book was going to be for me but I ended up rather enjoying it although not sure I have fully grasped all that the author was trying to say. Definitely one that would benefit from a re-read at some point. And also an author that I will try read again one day.