The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino

RATING: 9/10 📖📖📖📖📖📖📖📖📖

GENRE: contemporary fiction/fantasy (?)


BOOK DETAILS: Link to book details on  ~

SYNOPSIS:  A lonely tired traveller reaches an ancient Castle. When he enters it, something is not so clear. It seems everything is ok, from the big wooden gate to the taverna inside, but there is definitively something not quite clear. After observing the scene inside a big castle room, the traveller understands there is a spell going on among all travellers that sit together around a common table: they can’t speak. No words for them to be uttered. But our traveller is so eager to tell his personal story as well as the others. Only tarot cards can help them now, crossing one another.

So now. Let’s find out what happens!

MAIN CHARACTERS: the mysterious traveller and many others (counts, knights, princesses, queens and so on).

POINT OF VIEW3rd person narration and 1st person

HOW I MET THIS BOOK: after so many years, finally it was time! One book less on my to-be-read-book list


Calvino raised me somehow. I can honestly say that I started loving reading thanks to Mr. Calvino and his Marcovaldo. Even if here compulsory at school, it is a OOAK book that you can’t forget. A book that you can read as a child and just surf on its pages and laugh out loud, or plunge deep into its water as an adult. And what about If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller?
Anyway, I am here to review The Castle. Readers should be aware that this is literature with  capital L. I read it in Italian, to sip the beauty of the language (which is mine).

The book is a collection of stories, imagining that a group of travellers meet in a Castle after their improbable journeys/lives. Every story is the story of a traveller. But, they can’t talk. They are totally mute, so they help themselves with tarot cards which explain their adventures.
The story I loved more is one of the last ones, i.e. the Writer’s Story. It sums up the journey of a writer, his/her solitudes, difficulties, struggles, misfortunes and sense of discontentment at the end.
If you are a serial reader, who, just like me, loves all kind of writing mainly the Big literature, read it and be inspired. If you read just for pleasure and only contemporary fiction (from YA to Dystopian) don’t read it. 🙂


Here a short quote from the book (in Italian and with my translation):

Così ho messo tutto a posto. Sulla pagina, almeno. Dentro di me tutto resta come prima. p. 113 (Italian Edition)

So now everything is in order. On the page, at least. Inside of me everything remains just like before.

~ ~ ~


If Hemingway was one of your favourite writers, you are definitely one of mine. All the best from this Earth.

© Dom