Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Brilliant book

Almost a first for me - a book in translation that I couldn't put down. Niccolo Ammaniti's I'm Not Scared has been so masterfully translated from the Italian by Jonathan Hunt that there was never one instant when I felt I wasn't in touch with the original - and yet at no time felt any lack of magic in the language I was reading.

Told by nine-year-old Michele, the story of a baking Italian summer gathers in intensity and bewilderment as his secret discovery threatens his entire way of life. In the same way as "To Kill a Mockingbird" puts life into perspective, "I'm Not Scared" shows us what a child sees and tells us with the honesty of childhood what he feels. Horror and beauty are juxtaposed in such a way that I was almost scared to turn the page, and by the end of the book I felt that anything was possible.

It made me late for Synod. Try reading it on a hot day, with the sweat trickling down your back. Really.


  1. Anonymous5:26 PM

    This nearly made my top 5 Chris - the film of it is beautiful too :-)

  2. Was just about to make up my summer reading list. This will be the first entry.
    Any other recommendations? Would be fun if you wrote a books tag entry? See - - for details.

  3. Anonymous9:33 PM

    I agree - I couldn't put this down when I read it. Simple and beautiful, and also quite shocking.

  4. Wendy, I did that tag - though some of the books were of poetry! I think I did it in May...

  5. Thanks, Chris. That's another few for my list.