Let the games begin by Niccolò Ammaniti

let the games begin

Let the games begin by Niccolò Ammaniti

Italian Fiction

Translator Kylee Doust

Source – review copy

Now I must admit this is my first novel by the italian writer Niccolò Ammaniti ,I have had I’m not scared sat on my shelves for a couple of years .But when I was offered the chance to review this book I jumped at the chance the mention of satanic cults ,intoxicated supermodels ,olympic athletes and man eating Hippos how could I say no at time I not the wasn’t enough hippos in fiction but strange enough two books in the last twelve months have had hippos in down the rabbit hole and the sound of things falling both had hippos in ! maybe we are on the brink of Hippo fiction .Anyway back to Niccolò Ammantiti and Let the games begin .Niccolò Ammaniti studied biology but didn’t finish his degree ,he moved onto writing he published his first novel in 1994 and has since written six novels had his books made into a film .He won the prestigious Strega prize in 2007 .Let the games begin is his fifth novel .

Fabrizio Ciba was forty-one years old ,but everyone thought of him as a young writer .That adjective , frequently repeated by newspapers and other media had a psychosomatic effect on his body .Fabrizio didn’t look older than thirty-five .he was slim and toned without going to the gym .He got drunk every evening but his stomach remained as flat as a table .

MMM is this the young-looking Niccolò  making a point about people calling him young a lot ?

Let the games begin follows a number of different characters Fabrizo Chiba a Novelist ( to me he was  a writer trying  to live down a huge novel when young  ala Salinger but italian he is well-known for one book more than his others ) ,he is also a little up himself .Then there is Sasa Chiatti a multi millionaire property guy that has a mansion Villa Ada where a lot of the book is set and has invite a group people including Fabrizo ,A satanic cult leader called Mantos  leader of the wild beasts of Abaddon and a model that was a Satanist that has since convert to the Catholic church ,add in a collection of wild animals and you have a recipe for some real moments of madness and dark with .What happens when a writer and a cult leader meet ? All meeting at the Villa Ada .

Sasa Chiatti had built marshland , river and quicksand and committed himself to repopulation the park .He had brought from neglected zoos and abandoned circuses of the eastern european countries bears , seals , tigers , lions giraffes , foxes ,parrots cranes ,storks macaques , Barbary macaques ,hippopotamus and piranhas , and he had scattered them throughout the one hundred and seventy hectares of Villa Ada .

He want it to be like when he was a boy and came with his mum to go round Vila Ada .

I loved this book it may all sound outlandish a sot of modern take on the exterminating angel a look at what may be considered the modern elite where it isn’t class that gets you place it is celebrities .Maybe it is ,I felt it capture the madness and bizarreness money and power can bring to people the thing is Vila Ada Chiatti world isn’t far removed from the world Michael Jackson and others have built round them selves .I can also see Chiatti as maybe the embodiment of all that Silvio Berlusconi politics and personnel life style stands for there is a message against excess her and wonderful with behind the message .One for anyone that likes a little madness in the fiction .

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jacquiwine
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 17:16:34

    I read this last week and thought it an absolute riot! Great fun and some wonderful satirical touches. Your final paragraph really captures the essence of the book!

    ‘I’m Not Scared’ is such a different novel – very powerful, gripping and well worth reading, if you have an opportunity to get to it.


  2. parrish lantern
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 20:01:47

    I’m sure I’ve read a book by this writer, but can’t think of the title, so I’m guessing I’ve got them mixed up with another writer or it didn’t impress me enough for me to remember it.


  3. amanda
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 22:50:52

    Hippo fiction! Now there’s a genre to explore. I’ve been wanting to read I’m Not Scared for quite a while, but maybe this one would be more fun to begin with…


  4. Col
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 06:41:15

    I like the last line of your review – and as I DO like a little madness in my fiction I’ll be looking out for Let The Games Begin!


  5. Brian Joseph
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 08:40:53

    Great commentary Stu.

    I had heard of Ammaniti and really want to read him.

    I for one love fiction that incorporates a lot of madness. I really am intrigued by these creative over the top worlds.


  6. Lisa Hill
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 08:58:03

    I’m reading this one right now, Stu, so I’m not going to read your review till I’ve finished it.


  7. gaskella
    Sep 24, 2013 @ 13:59:20

    Excellent! It’s on my shelf waiting – can’t wait, and I adore the cover.


  8. Trackback: Let the Games Begin, by Niccolo Ammaniti, translated by Kylee Doust | ANZ LitLovers LitBlog
  9. Trackback: Independent foreign fiction prize predictions 2014 | Winstonsdad's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

September 2013


%d bloggers like this: