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The Crossroads

The Crossroads

Niccolò Ammaniti

  • awardLonglisted, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Ireland, 2011
  • Translated by Jonathan Hunt

    Thousands of depressed little towns, villages and hamlets dot the vast plain where Cristiano Zena lives with his hard-drinking father Rino. Unfocused urban sprawl with no centre to look to and nothing to look forward to.

    Rito Zena and his cronies Danilo and Qauttro Formaggi are planning a ram raid on an ATM using a converted tractor. The wary, adoring Cristiano sits in on their meetings, watching their half-baked plans unravel, and thinks about the unattainable Fabiana Ponticelli.

    He has no idea that something very, very bad is about to happen. Or that it will change his life forever.

    Niccolo Ammaniti, author of the loved and acclaimed I’m Not Scared, brings an extraordinary blend of tenderness, buffoonery and violent tragedy to this gritty, compelling novel from Italy’s industrial wastelands.

    Niccolo Ammaniti
    About the Author

    Niccolò Ammaniti was born in Rome in 1966. He has written two collections of short stories and six novels, four of which have been translated into English. He was the youngest ever winner of the Italian Viareggio Literary Prize for Fiction for his best-selling novel I’m Not Scared, which has been translated into thirty-five languages. The...

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    Text publication date:
    4 January 2010
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    Praise for Niccolò Ammaniti
    andThe Crossroads

    ‘Ammaniti…writes with a freshness and vitality, not to mention a gross humour, that reflects modern pulp fiction and pulp cinema at its finest. And I mean that as a compliment…The Crossroads is no exception. The portrait it paints of Italian life is so bleak, and sometimes so crudely hilarious, that it should invite the fall of yet another Italian government…Ammaniti is the real deal. His novel proceeds at breakneck pace.’

    ‘The interweaving of the action with the various colliding stories is absolutely masterful. Ammaniti continues to cement his reputation as Italy’s best young writer. Written with pace and a precision that is crafted with care and intelligence, The Crossroads is a rare novel that brings the human condition bluntly to the fore…Both confrontational, and a delicious pleasure to read.’

    ‘Ammaniti has cranked up the volume for his blistering new novel…The Crossroads is a rollickingly dark horror-comic, a gruelling piece of fun…Ammaniti is a fearsomely gifted writer.’

    ‘Ammaniti writes about an Italy you don’t read about in the travel books…Ammaniti excels here—as he did in I’m Not Scared—in capturing the thought processes and fears and desires of children. His style is gritty and, once you start reading him, you can’t put him down.’

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