Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Silk by Alessandro Baricco

Silk (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Alessandro Baricco, Guido Waldman (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,8401242,050 (3.79)201
Authors:Alessandro Baricco
Other authors:Guido Waldman (Translator)
Info:The Harvill Press (1997), Editie: New edition, Hardcover, 96 pagina's
Collections:Your library

Work details

Silk by Alessandro Baricco (1996)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 201 mentions

English (82)  Spanish (17)  French (7)  Italian (6)  Dutch (5)  Catalan (4)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
Silk - Alessandro Baricco
4 stars

This is a little gem of a book. It’s a fable for adults. I learned a little about 19th century silk production in France, and a bit about the politics of Japan’s isolation from the Western World. But, I felt like a child listening to the predictable, repetitive structures of a traditional tale. And, like a child, when I got to the end, I wanted to go back to the beginning and read it again. So, I did, several times.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Herve Joncour a procurer of silk worms and is set in the 19th Century in France. After a failure of African silk worms Herve travels to the remote land of Japan overland to buy some Japanese silk worms. Here he meets a beautiful non-Asian young girl who is the mistress of the wealthy village lord. Eachtime he travels to Japan the young girl passes him a message written in Japanese and Herve despite being married falls for the girl. Finally he receives a letter preportedly from the girl which describes how she would like to have made love with him. But there is an air of tragedy with the letter as it is in fact from his wife who has died. This beautiful melancholic and highly descriptive novel charged with eroticism will leave you dreaming of its words long after you have read it. "
John Marcel, Resident Scholar

"In the 1860's the silk trade was booming, and Hervé, a merchant travels to Japan to obtain eggs for the breeding of silkworms. He negotions with a Japanese baron to obtain the eggs and he encounters a young woman who does not have asian eyes. From the moment he sees this woman, Hervé is captivated, and though he is married, he returns to Japan to this woman three times. Because they do not speak the same language they cannot address each other, but over these visits they conduct a secret affair.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
C'était bien écrit, engageant, et intéressant. Je m'attendais à quelque chose de plus qui semble manquer au récit. Il y avait une certaine froideur qui a fait que je n'ai ni ressenti ni été convaincue que les deux s'aimaient vraiment...
je dirais un rating de 3.5/5. ( )
  pathogenik | Feb 18, 2016 |
This is a jewel of a book. Poetic and sensual. A short novella. Very spare - hardly any descriptive details, but SOooo much is said! A love so intense it unhinges the mind is how the book was described and that is certainly true. So much is made of Herve’s love for the mysterious woman in Japan, but so little is said about Helene’s love for Herve --- just as passionate, just as intense, just as all-consuming. And her sacrifice is greater, I think.

Also saw the movie – gloriously filmed but the actor is miscast as Herve. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 12, 2016 |
132 pg

novella translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein.

delicate... translated with simplicity...subtle...thought provoking...obsessive...clandestine...deeply emotional
"woven like silk".... ( )
  pennsylady | Jan 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alessandro Bariccoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canela, MercèTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melander, VivecaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smits, ManonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Silk ( [2007]IMDb)
Awards and honors
First words
Although his father had pictured for him a brilliant future in the army, Hervé Joncour ended up earning his crust in an unusual career which, by a singular piece of irony, was not unconnected with a charming side that bestowed on it a vaguely feminine intonation.
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Els productors de seda de Lavilledieu eren, qui més qui menys, gentilhomes, i mai no haurien pensat d'infringir cap de les lleis del seu país. La hipòtesi de fer-ho a l'altra part de món, però, els resultà raonablement sensata. (10)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307277976, Paperback)

The year is 1861. Hervé Joncour is a French merchant of silkworms, who combs the known world for their gemlike eggs. Then circumstances compel him to travel farther, beyond the edge of the known, to a country legendary for the quality of its silk and its hostility to foreigners: Japan.

There Joncour meets a woman. They do not touch; they do not even speak. And he cannot read the note she sends him until he has returned to his own country. But in the moment he does, Joncour is possessed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:58 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the late 1860s, when Japan is still closed to foreigners, Herve Joncour, a young French merchant, makes a series of clandestine journeys across Siberia to Japan, at first to purchase silkworm eggs, and later to pursue an affair with a Japanese nobleman's concubine.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
18 avail.
45 wanted
11 pay3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.79)
0.5 2
1 12
1.5 4
2 58
2.5 26
3 187
3.5 63
4 307
4.5 50
5 208

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 106,753,598 books! | Top bar: Always visible