Night Train to the Stars

Night Train to the Stars is thought to have been written around 1927, but it was not published until 1941. The story concerns a young, poor boy called Giovanni, who takes a night train through the universe with his friend and classmate Campanella, who has drowned in his attempt to save another friend. During their journey, they experience many adventures and encounter many interesting people. For example, they visit a scholar who digs through a 1.2 million year-old geological layer; a hunter who catches birds on the banks of the Milky Way; and the passengers of a ship that has crashed into an iceberg. Just at the moment that they come upon a "gaping black hole," Giovanni discovers that Campanella has gone. This subtly written masterpiece evokes the mystery and ephemerality of life, and has been made into a film, a play, and a comic book.