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The Crossroads

by Niccolo Ammaniti

This is not 'holiday' Italy; instead it's a gritty, ugly, poverty-scarred landscape experienced by Christiano and his drunken father. You just know that something terrible will happen to these people, but it's almost impossible to anticipate the twists and turns of the plot. Much like real life, this story is messy, unexpected and violent; caring deeply about someone is no guarantee that you won't hurt them.

Extract

Why don't you go to bed? The question was on the tip of his tongue, but he checked it. From the way his father was pacing around the room there wasn't much chance of him calming down.

Three stars.

Christiano ranked his father's rages on a five-star scale.

No, three to four. Already in the 'approach with caution' area, where the only strategy was to agree with everything he said and keep out of the way as much as possible.
Translated by Jonathan Hunt

Parallels

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
 

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