Collodi, Carlo: Pinocchio (illustrated by Gris Grimly)

Pinocchio, written by Carlo Collodi and illustrated by Gris Grimly, came to my attention at the Tor party at Boskone. Many of the pages were scattered around (along with the more usual book covers), and I found the illustrations very striking. Bookstores seemed strangely baffled when I inquired about this edition, so here’s a link to Amazon (ISBN 0765344580); click on “more pictures” for some of the illustrations.

I’d never read Pinocchio before, and saw the Disney movie years ago. The book is certainly stranger and more complex than my recollection of the movie. For instance, Pinocchio’s primary character flaw in the book is his utter fecklessness, rather than lying. The translator is not listed, for some reason, but the prose is sprightly and engaging, and it has the sort of chapter headings that I’m a sucker for: “Pinocchio is hungry and searches for an egg to make himself an omelet; but just at the most interesting moment the omelet flies out the window.”

I can’t say I’m confident that Pinocchio has truly, permanently reformed by the end, but that’s Geppetto’s lookout, not mine. And his antics provided a quick, amusing read and the platform for some great illustrations. I quite enjoyed this edition.

(There was some discussion at Boskone about whether this edition was abridged. Since I don’t read Italian, I can’t say for sure, but this web site has a side-by-side translation, which looks like about the same amount of text as in my copy.)

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