I'm Not Scared

I'm Not Scared

By (author) Niccolo Ammaniti , Translated by Jonathan Hunt


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One 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.

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  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 16mm | 199.58g
  • 15 Feb 2004
  • Canongate Books Ltd
  • Canongate International
  • Edinburgh
  • English
  • Main - Re-issue ed
  • 184195442X
  • 9781841954424
  • 8,883

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Author Information

Niccolo Ammaniti was born in Rome in 1966. He has written three novels and a collection of short stories. His first novel, Steal You Away, was longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and he won the prestigious Italian Viareggio-Repaci Prize for Fiction with his bestselling novel I'm Not Scared, which has been translated into forty languages and became a prize-winning film. In 2007 his third novel, The Crossroads, received the Premio Strega, Italy's equivalent of the Man Booker.

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Review quote

'I'm Not Scared is an exquisite parable. Ammaniti's short staccato sentences effectively describe the isolation and simplicity of rural subsistence, while long passages of direct dialogue touchingly portray the children's naive perceptions.' Daily Telegraph

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Review text

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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Customer reviews

I'm Not Scared

I had to read this book for school so it wasn't choose! When I got it into I really enjoyed it alot. The ending isn't the best maybe if it had a better ending I would have given it a 5/5. My friends (that had read it) told me that the there was a bit of a twist to the end. I think that they were right. If you have read this book you will know what I mean. I would recommend this book to all you book lovers (like me) out there but I wouldn't recommend it to people under the age of 12 because there is some parts that has swearing in it. I would say that it isn't the BEST book that i have read in my life but it is far from the WORST! I hope that you guys enjoy this book as much as I did! :)show more
by Victoria