In this exuberant and wildly funny novel, Primo levi celebrates the joys of work and the art of storytelling. The magic is worked through the mesmerizing tales told by Libertini Faussone, a construction worker, and by the narrator, a writer-chemist, who share stories of their adventures. Faussone is a life-loving, self-educated philospher who has built bridges and towers in India, Africa, Alaska, and Russia. His passion for work and travel shines through his stories-- of a monkey who wanted to be a man, of a magnificent machine that caught stardust, and of a first love, a girl who drove a bulldozer. The writer-chemist, himself a rigger of words and molocules, listens, patient and amused, and responds with his own fascinating stories and reflections on the similar joys of labor both physical and intellectual.