The Castle of Crossed Destinies, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


A group of travellers chance to meet, first in a castle, then a tavern.

Their powers of speech are magically taken from them and instead they have only tarot cards with which to tell their stories.

What follows is an exquisite interlinking of narratives, and a fantastic, surreal and chaotic history of all human consciousness.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144 pages, 8pp colour halftones, b&w illustrations throughout
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780099268055



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A most splendid case of meta-textual literature! Calvino defies all canonical approaches to story-telling and reinvents many pillars of our literature. From Perceval to King Lear, from Oedipus to Hamlet, but also drawing from no specific work and writing himself into the narration as well, this fantastic author transforms all of these different stories and uses them to create a story that is more than a story; it is, more significantly, the story of crossed destinies, made real from the metaphorical crossings of tarot cards, which represent any thing the reader wills them to be. It was definitely a book that I read with all the enthusiasm of a die-hard fanfic reader & sometimes writer; I loved how the quirky and witty style of a writer who was born decades before fanfiction as we know it today existed, often prosaic and humorous, but also surprisingly apt to profound considerations, adapted itself so well to the kind of narration requested of this marvelous book.