In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo-Tartar emperor and Venetian traveler. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts the emperor with tales of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. Soon it becomes clear that each of these fantastic places is really the same place.
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by Italo Calvino
by Shepard Rifkin
"No matter how good the narratorÑand John Lee is quite fine here, precise and elegantÑsome books are difficult to put across in audio. In CalvinoÕs 1972 classic, Marco Polo describes the cities he visited on his expeditions to Kublai Khan. You must set aside everything you expect in a novel, such as character or plot, and be prepared after each city's description to think about what it means and how it fits into the book. Lee never rushes, but you may still feel the need to pause and reflect before going on. You may even want to look at a map as this is a work that talks a lot about atlases. Or you can just sink into the music of Lee's voice. D.M.H. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine"
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