Nor is it the hardest, once you get into the rhythm of it, the weaving in and out of story, to and fro with the anti-author's narration. The story of a narrator who is a reader.
I don't write to defend it, but I do urge you to laugh.
It's a book that's frustrating to read, sure, but its main topic is frustration, after all. The book is therefore a joke book. At the same time it's a mystery, and as I read (and not for the first time) I can't help but remember my long-past afternoons with Nancy Drew mysteries. How desperate I was to know it was all going to be solved, that the criminal would pay, that there was justice. I was so desperate that I couldn't wait till the end of the book but had to read ahead, usually skimming the last three or four pages to find the answer. Afterward, satisfied, I would return to the middle to enjoy the ride. Every book I would promise myself that I wouldn't cheat, wouldn't look ahead, but I couldn't ever resist. That's the feeling I have with Calvino--what's the truth about this story? Will these people ever get their book? And will they ever have sex? I want to look ahead. But I've read the end, and I know what I always suspected, and what you must suspect, too.....