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I'm Not Scared

by Niccolo Ammaniti

Feel the heat. The description of summer in the small poverty-stricken village in southern Italy where the action takes place is so real you almost sweat. Told in the voice of a 9 year-old boy, it’s a lyrical evocation of childhood combined with a deeply disturbing discovery of what it means to be adult.

Extract

I closed my eyes and opened them again hoping something would change. The hole was there. Black as the plughole in a sink. I staggered closer. My feet in the mud. I wiped one hand across my face to dry it. I was almost collapsing on the ground, but I kept going forward. He’s not there. Don’t look. Go away.
Translated by Jonathan Hunt

Parallels

Reading in the Dark by Seamus Deane
Skellig by David Almond
 

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