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The City of Words Paperback – Sep 3 2007

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Losing yourself in Alberto Manguel's mind... means being led expertly through a complex labyrinth of fact and exposition. (Globe and Mail 2007-10-01)

About the Author

Alberto Manguel is an anthologist, translator, essayist, novelist, and editor. His bestselling and award-winning books include A Dictionary of Imaginary Places and A History of Reading. He was born in Buenos Aires; in 1982 moved to Toronto, Canada, where he became a Canadian citizen; and now lives in France. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honours, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
`.. is it possible for stories to change us and the world we live in?' Aug. 8 2008
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am reading this book for the second time: there was too much for me to consider and integrate on one reading. Alberto Manguel looks at the rise of violent intolerance in our societies. As part of this, he invites the reader to look at what is written (by visionaries, poets, novelists and essayists) and presented visually (by filmmakers) about the building of societies.

Under the following chapter headings, we are invited to think about the future by drawing on the past to interpret the present:
`The Voice of Cassandra'
`The Tablets of Gilgamesh'
`The Bricks of Babel'
`The Books of Don Quixote'
`The Screen of Hal'
Alberto Manguel invites the reader to consider a number of different and important questions:
How does language itself determine, limit and enlarge our imagination of the world?
How do the stories we tell help us perceive ourselves and others?
Can such stories lend a whole society an identity, whether true or false?
Is it possible for stories to change us and the world we live in?

This is a book to keep and to refer back to. The prose is a joy to read for its own sake, the underlying messages are enduring and the questions are timeless.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
Insightful Feb. 26 2013
By doced - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thus far, every effort by Mr. Manguel I've read has proven interesting, well-written, provocative, insightful, and well worth the investment of time to do so. I highly recommend Mr. Manguel's work and encourage those who're curious about it, to delve and discover.