Sunday, February 17, 2013

#8: I'm Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

A child living in a remote Italian village during a long, hot summer finds another child trapped in a hole; what is gradually revealed about the two boys and their relationships is at the heart of Niccolo Ammaniti's I'm Not Scared.

I saw the film version of this novel some years ago and recommend it to anyone as a very solid, suspenseful thriller.  If I had not already known the story from the film I would have thought this book, at the outset, was more of a chiller along the lines of Thomas Tryon's The Other.  The novel has an eerie, unsettling feeling and almost dreamlike qualities at times.

But there is a practical side to the story as you learn more about Italian politics and lifestyles, and the narrator has an interesting, reflective role looking back from adulthood.  The sketch of family life in this time and place seems authentic.

I thoroughly enjoyed this change-of-pace thriller after being surprised with it on the shelf of a used bookstore in Palatine, Illinois.

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