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Writer Primo Levi (1919-1987), an Italian Jew, did not come to the wide attention of the English-reading audience until the last years of his life. A survivor of the Holocaust and imprisonment in Auschwitz, Levi is considered to be one of the century's most compelling voices, and The Periodic Table is his most famous book. Springboarding from his training as a chemist, Levi uses the elements as metaphors to create a cycle of linked, somewhat autobiographical tales, including stories of the Piedmontese Jewish community he came from, and of his response to the Holocaust.
“I immersed myself in The Periodic Table gladly and gratefully. There is nothing superfluous here, everything this book contains is essential. It is wonderful pure, and beautifully translated…I was deeply impressed.” –Saul Bellow
“The best introduction to the psychological world of one of the most important and gifted writers of our time.”–Italo Calvino
“A work of healing, of tranquil, even buoyant imagination.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Brilliant, grave and oddly sunny; certainly a masterpiece.” –Los Angeles Times
“Every chapter is full of surprises, insights, high humor, and language that often rises to poetry.” –The New Yorker
“One of the most important Italian writers.” –Umberto Eco
With a new Introduction by Neal Ascherson
I have really enjoyed this mans works. I look for anything and everything he does. The Periodic Table was a nice play on the experience of his life and its relative element.Published on May 8 2013 by Ina
I happened to read this book shortly after reading a book about a character struggling to come to terms with his wife's suicide (from depression) - 'The Dogs of Babel'. Read morePublished on May 25 2004 by A. G. Plumb
I read this book for the first time about five years ago, but since then I've read it many times (and as a matter of fact, all Primo Levi's books). Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2003 by GNV
Levi is one of my heroes - a scientist who overcame a horrific life experience (the Holocaust camp experience), losing friends and relatives yet did not become bitter or carry his... Read morePublished on July 6 2003 by Avid Reader
I bought and read this book some time ago but some passages were so good they are still fresh in my memory. This story is both unexpected and very engaging. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2002 by Jon S. Folkedahl
Chemistry was never my favorite subject. Nor was the Holocaust. Yet Levi manages to bring these two seemingly unrelated topics together in a novel that I can only begin to hope I... Read morePublished on May 17 2002 by ihgmd2b
"You got a new book? What is it?" my roommate asked.
"It's called 'The Periodic Table,' by Primo Levi. He was an Italian Jew who went through Auschwitz. Read more