I have been learning Italian for several years, and this book is my first Italo Calvino exposure in Italian. It is a fantastic and delightful story, set in northwest Italy in the eighteenth century, about a young baron who decides for reasons of his own to take to the trees for the rest of his life. Without that information, a foreign reader such as myself would be into the book several pages before stopping to say, "What's going on here?" The account of the baron's experiences up above whatever else is happening on earth reminds me of certain English novels written in the eighteenth century categorized as picaresque, and even though this one is written two centuries later, it is just as enjoyable.
I can recommend it to any Italian learner, and I am sure I do not have to recommend it to Italians, who are very well-acquainted with the artistry and craft of Calvino.
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