I'm Not Scared
I'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti
Book DescriptionOne relentlessly hot summer, six children explore the scorched wheat-fields that enclose their tiny Italian village. When the gang find a dilapidated farmhouse, nine-year-old Michele Amitrano makes a discovery so momentous he dare not tell a soul. It is a secret that will force Michele to question everything and everyone around him. An unputdownable thriller, I'm Not Scared is also a devastatingly authentic portrayal of childhood and the tension when it must join the adult world.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781841954424
(198mm x 129mm x 16mm)
Imprint: Canongate International
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Publish Date: 15-Feb-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
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UK Kirkus Review » Canongate, the tiny Edinburgh publishing company currently basking in critical acclaim, have found another hidden treasure in the Italian novelist Niccolo Ammaniti, youngest-ever winner of the prestigious Viareggio-Repaci prize. It comes as a shock that he is not more widely known in Britain, since this stunning coming-of-age novel has already been translated into 20 languages. Thank goodness Canongate have seen fit to bring this book to an English-language audience, two years after its Italian publication, and the translation, by Jonathan Hunt, is excellent. The jacket blurb cites L P Hartley's The Go-Between as a comparison, and it certainly shares that aspect of a child's initiation into an adult world he barely understands; it is also redolent of Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills, or even Lord of the Flies, in the casual brutality of its children's secret world. The action takes place in an isolated Italian hamlet, scorched and fly-blown, and far from the sophisticated affluence of Italy's great cities. Michele Amitrano, the nine-year-old narrator, is one of six children spread between the village's five houses. He lives with his beautiful mother and his younger sister Maria in relative poverty; his father is more often than not absent in Rome, but promises that soon there will be money and a better life for the family. On the day Michele's life is to change forever, the children race their bicycles to a derelict farmhouse. Michele's forfeit for coming last is to explore the ruin: in a pit, he makes a gruesome discovery. It is not the discovery itself that marks the loss of his childhood innocence; it is the gradual revelation that unwholesome events are somehow tied in with his father's promises of a new future. The confusing world of adulthood, with its grey areas of morality, as seen through the eyes of childhood, with clear-cut choices and issues of conscience, is dazzlingly portrayed in prose so crisp and evocative you can almost see the heat-haze rising from the arid wheatfields. Essential reading. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Niccolo Ammaniti
Niccolo Ammaniti was born in Rome in 1966. He has written four novels and a collection of short stories. His first novel, Steal You Away, was longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. I'm Not Scared was the winner of the prestigious Italian Viareggio-Repaci Prize for Fiction, and has been translated into thirty-five languages. The Crossroads received the Premio Strega Prize 2007. Translated from the Italian by Jonathan Hunt. Hunt currently divides his time between Italy and Britain. His translations include Niccolo Ammaniti's The Crossroads and Steal You Away, and Tommaso Pincio's Love Shaped Story.
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