With his account of his sojourn in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, Carlo Levi undertook to show the reader the Italy usually left out of history and travel books. Now in its seventh decade, Christ Stopped at Eboli remains a classic of its kind—an indelible portrait of a place, its people, and the customs they have fashioned over time. Lewis Gannett (New York Herald Tribune) has praised the prose for its "gray El Greco beauty" and shrewd human insight. "Basilicata—and the rest of southern Italy, for that matter—has changed more in the past sixty years than it had in the previous six centuries," Mark Rotella writes in his introduction, but "Levi's 'story of a year' feels as real and alive today as when he wrote it."
"[Christ Stopped at Eboli] has been called in turn a diary, an album of sketches, a novelette, a sociological study and a political essay. It has more than a trait of each genre; yet it remains as hard to classify as every beautiful book, or as the man who wrote this one."—The New York Times Book Review
"A sensitive and gifted writer with a great sense of style . . . Perhaps the best thing in [Levi's] book is the detachment by which he avoids sentimentalizing the peasants and at the same time renders their undestroyed feelings for human values."—Alfred Kazin