Thursday 30 August 2007

37. I'm Not Scared

I'm halfway done Werewolves in Their Youth, but decided to stop briefly to read this short novel by Italian novelist Niccolo Ammaniti, which I recently received in the mail via

I'm going to Italy for 6 weeks starting at the end of October, and felt like I should start collecting some Italian literature, as I'm not very familiar with it (except, of course, for Dante, Ovid, Castiglione, and Petrarch; but reading them in advance of the trip would be like work, which is the antithesis of the point of going to Italy).

I found a website listing Italian authors and I just started plugging their names into Bookmooch until I found books that were available. This is the first one to have arrived; I've got some others coming, including one by Primo Levi who I somehow didn't even know was Italian.

I'm Not Scared is okay; it started off slowly and is getting better. It's about a boy who discovers another boy being held captive in an old abandoned house near his village. He starts bringing him food and trying to figure out what's happening from the boy, but what with being tied up in a hole, he's starting to go crazy.

Just now, though, Michele (the 9-year old narrator) has discovered by accident that his own father is involved in the kidnapping and he's trying to figure out what to do, his plan of telling his father about the boy he's found understandably evaporating. I suspect this isn't going to end well for the kidnapped boy, as Michele's father is threatening to cut off his ears and send them to his mother...

As for the writing, it's not great, but I don't know if it's that Ammaniti isn't a very good writer or if this just isn't an excellent translation. I think I'll finish this either tonight or tomorrow and then I'll get back to Chabon.

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