For the first time in paperback--a volume of thirty-seven diabolically inventive stories, fables, and "impossible interviews" from one of the great fantasists of the 20th century, displaying the full breadth of his vision and wit. Written between 1943 and 1984 and masterfully translated by Tim Parks, the fictions in Numbers in the Dark display all of Calvino's dazzling gifts: whimsy and horror, exuberance of style, and a cheerful grasp of the absurdities of the human condition.
Stories that take place between the placing of a call and before you say hello. Stories that transform the invisible cities into women. Worlds where the leaders can be leaders, but they are executed on a schedule. Stories where all of the action (murder, arson, seduction, etc.) takes place in a programmer's head while he codes for an insurance agency...
Some of the earlier stories are almost boring, but many of the middle and later ones are excellent, among his best work, with Invisible Cities and Cosmicomics. Read it for those.
I would recommend this book to those who like short stories, as Calvino seems to write these best. With some of his longer books being just a collection of shorter pieces at heart, like Invisible Cities and If On A Winters Night.