Catastrophe and Other Stories

by: Dino Buzzati

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Catastrophe and Other Stories by Dino Buzzati / ISBN 9780062742735 / 224-page paperback with flaps / discounted with a remainder mark, otherwise like new

A 50 Watts favorite.

***

“Each of these stories is steeped in terror. Buzzati is the gatekeeper to our collective nightmares, poised on the threshold between the drawing room and existential hell. Judith Landry’s vibrant translations render him at once witty and sinister.” -- Jhumpa Lahiri

“Out of a gothic tale...Frightening, lyrical, and provocative.” -- New York Times

“Weird, wild, and wonderful…There are shades of Fellini, shades of Dickens, shades of the great Italian horror director Mario Bava.” -- Los Angeles Times

In Catastrophe, the renowned Italian short story writer Dino Buzzati brings vividly to life the slow and quietly terrifying collapse of our known, everyday world. In stories touched by the fantastical and the strange, and filled with humor, irony and menace, Buzzati illuminates the nightmarish side of our ordinary existence.

From “The Epidemic,” which traces the gradual effects of a “State influenza” that targets those who disagree with the government, to “The Collapse of Baliverna,” where a man puzzles over whether a misstep on his part caused the collapse of a building, to “Seven Floors,” which imagines a sanatorium where patients are housed on each floor according to the gravity of their illness and brilliantly highlights the ominous machinations of bureaucracy, Buzzati’s surreal, unsettling tales reckon with the struggle that lies beneath everyday interactions, the sometimes perverse workings of human emotions and desires and, with wit and pathos, describe the small steps we take as individuals and as a society in our march toward catastrophe.

With hints of Franz Kafka and Edgar Allan Poe, Catastrophe, published for the first time in the United States, feels as timely today as ever.