A very interesting book; Primo Levi writes about previous life experiences from the perspective a a chemical scientist, his occupation before writing full time. The book consists in a series of independent texts, in chronological order, each named after a chemical element. It's an ingenious way to organise a memoir, and he succeeds beautifully. His writing is somewhat austere but always pleasant, and his musings are insightful and intelligent. Through his stories, one becomes acquainted with the situation in Italy during fascism, WWII and the post-war period, not only regarding the Jewish question. And he has the inestimable capacity to turn his reminiscences and reflections about himself and his experiences into a general musing about life in general; this capacity of universalising their experiences and thoughts is the true mark of a great writer.