Italo Calvino was only twenty-three when he first published this bold and imaginative novel. It tells the story of Pin, a cobbler's apprentice in a town on the Ligurian coast during World War II. He lives with his sister, a prostitute, and spends as much time as he can at a seedy bar where he amuses the adult patrons. After a mishap with a Nazi soldier, Pin becomes involved with a band of partisans. Calvino's portrayal of these characters, seen through the eyes of a child, is not only a revealing commentary on the Italian resistance but an insightful coming-of-age story. Updated to include changes from Calvino's definitive Italian edition, previously censored passages, and his newly translated, unabridged preface--in which Calvino brilliantly critiques and places into historical context his own youthful work--The Path to the Spiders' Nests is animated by the formidable imagination that has made Italo Calvino one of the most respected writers of our time.