I'm Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti

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The hottest summer of the twentieth century. A tiny community of five houses enclosed by wheat fields. While the adults shelter indoors, six children venture out on their bikes across the scorched, deserted countryside. Whilst exploring a dilapidated and uninhabited farmhouse, nine-year-old Michele Amitrano discovers a secret so momentous, so terrible, that he dare not tell anyone about it. To come to terms with what he has found, Michele has to draw strength from his own sense of humanity. It is Ammaniti's ability to inhabit the mind and perspective of his young hero that makes I'm Not Scared such an affecting and extraordinary novel. The book is a masterpiece of coming of age; a compelling portrait of losing one's innocence and a powerful reflection on the complexities and compromises inherent in growing up.

About Niccolò Ammaniti

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Niccolò 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.
Published January 13, 2003 by CANONGATE BOOKS. 208 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for I'm Not Scared

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Kirkus Reviews

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How, though, could Michele have known that changes at home—his truck-driver father having recently come back to stay instead of making more long hauls, for example—were connected with the bound and bloodied boy in the pit (Filippo Carducci by name, as Michele will learn from the TV news)?

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The Guardian

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It is made clear early on in the book that Michele will survive, but his passage from innocence to experience is of the most traumatic kind, purchased at a price which the terse final words bring home with unflinching honesty and pity.

Feb 01 2003 | Read Full Review of I'm Not Scared

Publishers Weekly

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Drawn back to the site, Michele discovers that the boy is not dead, but weak, disoriented and unable to account for his presence there.

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Time Out New York

This adaptation of a novel by co-writer Ammaniti lays on the atmosphere, and the director is clearly influenced by Gothic fairy tales and child's eye reveries like Night of the Hunter and To Kill a Mockingbird.

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Ammaniti builds the pressure well, the writing is unfussy (the translation, by Jonathan Hunt, never wobbles) and the plot is satisfyingly oblique: the story is told from Michele's viewpoint and the exact whys and wherefores are never fully explained.

Jan 26 2004 | Read Full Review of I'm Not Scared


But while another director might have imbued the story of a Sicilian boy awakened to his parents' involvement in child abduction with more emotional weight and thematic depth, Salvatores' classically illustrative treatment should open arthouse doors for the visually sumptuous production.

Feb 10 2003 | Read Full Review of I'm Not Scared

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