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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb read...
'Me and You' once again illustrates the skill of European authors in saying more in a condensed form than in many novels three times the length. Focussing on the character of Lorenzo, a sad and troubled young boy, who deceives his parents by not actually attending a ski-ing trip, but hiding out for the week in the basement of his building. Ammaniti constructs a...
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by Raven

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars this has a lot going for it - but try his other novels first!
This very short novel is about an encounter between the narrator as a 14 year old and his 23 year old half-sister, each of whom has a reason for hiding in the basement of the appartment block in Rome in which his parents live.

This has many of the wonderful qualities of Ammaniti's other novels (I've the only three I think have been translated - I would...
Published on 14 Feb 2012 by William Jordan


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb read..., 31 Jan 2012
By 
Raven (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Me and You (Hardcover)
'Me and You' once again illustrates the skill of European authors in saying more in a condensed form than in many novels three times the length. Focussing on the character of Lorenzo, a sad and troubled young boy, who deceives his parents by not actually attending a ski-ing trip, but hiding out for the week in the basement of his building. Ammaniti constructs a beautifully compact examination of how easily family relationships can go awry and the alienation that can ensue. When Lorenzo's equally troubled half-sister enters his hideaway, this theme of family really comes to the fore as she battles her own demons and gains some solidarity with the little brother that she barely knows. The close of the novel contains a shocking but incredibly poignant denouement. A wonderful novel that was both thought-provoking and beautifully written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars this has a lot going for it - but try his other novels first!, 14 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Me and You (Paperback)
This very short novel is about an encounter between the narrator as a 14 year old and his 23 year old half-sister, each of whom has a reason for hiding in the basement of the appartment block in Rome in which his parents live.

This has many of the wonderful qualities of Ammaniti's other novels (I've the only three I think have been translated - I would recommend them all very strongly): a very sensitive grip on the hopes, aspirations and fears of young people just turning into adults, the creation of episodes that combine deep feeling with comedy, and forward narrative drive - it's a very easy read.

If I prefer Ammaniti's other novels, it's mostly that they are simply more substantial - but also that here I found that the set-up of the main situation took quite a bit of the book (and was not the most interesting/captivating part), that the framing device (of a first and last chapter set 10 years later) seemed a bit obvious, and in 'Black Cat' paperback when you finish reading the novel, you are faced with 20 odd questions for discussion, asking why the author refers to Batesian theories etc - which I could have lived without!

Having said all that, there is very much to enjoy. I look forward to the next novel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Me And You (Kindle Edition)
This is a fast and touching read. It is short but deep, with realistic and beautifully developed characters. The narrative is smooth and real without dramatising for a bitter story.

I recommend it and will definitely read more of Ammanini.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Like Ships Passing in the NIght, Two People Find Each Other, 22 April 2014
This review is from: Me and You (Paperback)
Yet another small novel - 150 pages - of exquisite writing and heartbreak that says so much more than something twice its length. This is a love story, yes, but not your typical love story. This is a story of a 14 year old boy, Lorenzo Cuni, only child of parents who need to be seen to be fitting in and going to the right places. Like many 14 year olds, he feels disconnected from those around him - his peers and his parents, and really just wants to be left alone. To escape he tells his parents he is going on a week long ski trip with the popular kids from school, but in reality he sneaks away into the basement of the apartment building he lives in, relishing a week of peace and quiet and no expectations. His paradise is suddenly shattered when his 24 year old troubled drug user drop out half sister, Olivia, turns up. Neither wants the other one there - Olivia is estranged from her father, and Lorenzo has grown up only hearing bad things about his sister. But over the few days left of Lorenzo's 'ski trip', they slowly stop circling each other, realise they have much more in common than they thought, and ultimately find the acceptance and belonging neither had ever really had from their family.

The character of Lorenzo captures perfectly the angst - justified or not - that most young teens feel. He is caught between wanting to be his own person, but not really knowing what that is, and like most children, wanting to please his parents and keep on their good side. Like many teens he is ingenious in his thinking to cover his murky tracks and I enjoyed very much the flawed young man I was reading about. Olivia is a tragic figure, not much has gone right for her in her young life, but in meeting Lorenzo, her little brother, she finds a softness and warmth that she had long forgotten about.

Of course the escape has to come to an end, and Lorenzo returns from his ski trip happier and more at peace with himself, and Olivia too leaves and gets on with her life. I almost can't believe so much can be said in such a small book. Stunning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Me and You, 13 Feb 2013
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Excellent storyline, and very easy to read. He has excellent ideas and conveys them will an excellent use of words.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 9 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Me And You (Kindle Edition)
Another absolute masterpeice from an amazing author.. As good if not better than his other books.. Eagerly await his next book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Resounding novella by a brilliant writer, 21 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Me and You (Hardcover)
The me and you of the title are Lorenzo, 14 and his half-sister Olivia, 23. This stunning novella is situated in Rome in 2000. Its introduction and conclusion were written ten years later by an older and wiser Lorenzo. The 2000 story unfolds during a 5- or 6-day period and deals mostly with Lorenzo. Who prefers to be alone and reacts with varying degrees of hostility to other people. Only his beloved mother is fully exempt from his deep desire for solitude. As an intelligent child he recognized his defect and developed methods to control his tantrums following invasions of his private sphere. And he adapted techniques certain flies developed in their evolution to look and behave like their worst enemies. He uses mimicry and camouflage to pass as one of the herd of schoolmates to be considered normal. And lies a lot to reassure his parents (his mother!) that he is doing alright.

Until he becomes entangled in his latest lie, for which he plans a bizarre solution and a longed for state of mind: total solitude, finally alone all by himself (he is jealous of lonesome seabirds and prisoners serving solitary confinement). But then, as if exploding, blazing out of one of his computer games, a real-life monster emerges who can spoil everything for him. This time, he cannot lie his way out, he has to learn to negotiate, and quickly too...

Earlier, Niccolo Ammaniti wrote "I'm not Afraid", a brilliant story from the point of view of a 9-year old boy in a scary, poor and confused setting in rural Italy. In this novella, he confirms his talent of writing marvellous books from unexpected perspectives. More of his novels should be translated into English. And this is a magical tale!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Short but powerful, 8 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Me and You (Hardcover)
You will read this novella in just a couple of hours. Nevertheless, it is a powerful and interesting story with well developed characters which will leave you thinking afterwards.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and thought-provoking, 26 April 2012
This review is from: Me and You (Hardcover)
Me and You is a simple read that belies how very well written (and translated) the novella is. For readers who have read Ammaniti's other work the setting of modern Rome is a change of pace from rural, elegiac Italy but, as always, the protagonists are fascinatingly flawed. A novella that's easy enough to polish off in one sitting, my thoughts keep returning to it and particularly to the ending. Me and You is not Ammaniti's best novel, but they can't all be the best and this one is more than worth the read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I'm Not Scared, 16 April 2012
This review is from: Me and You (Hardcover)
Me & You by Niccolo Ammaniti

I was really looking forward to this book, having read I'm Not Scared and finding it a real tour de force.

Me & You has less narrative drive than I'm not Scared, but still explores Ammaniti's fascination with children discovering the secrets of adults.

Lorenzo Cuni is a 14-year-old loner, whose has an intense (possibly unhealthy) relationship with his mother. To please her, and as part of an internal fantasy, he says he has been invited on a week long ski trip with the `cool` kids.
It is a lie, and to cover his tracks Lorenzo hides for a week in a cellar. But a visit from his estranged half-sister Olivia changes everything...

This is a novella, and as such does not explore all the issues in depth. But it is complete, and succinctly exposes the world of adults as false, leading us to a genuine sadness and empathy with the young people.

I would have liked to see Ammaniti write another 30,000 words and really take us on a journey with this story, as there are lots of `gaps`. But taking it as the novella it is, it is very moving and well written. And maybe the `gaps` are where the reader can make the most powerful connections?
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Me and You
Me and You by Niccolo Ammaniti (Hardcover - 2 Feb 2012)
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