Me And You Hardcover – 2 Feb 2012
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"Exuberant and audacious." (Observer)
"The new Italian word for talent is Ammaniti." (The Times)
"A fearsomely gifted writer." (Independent)
"A master storyteller." (Guardian)
"The story of a young boy who's heading towards adulthood. This book amazed me'" (Bernardo Bertolucci)
"Near perfect [...] this small gem of storytelling has the balance just about right." (Scotland on Sunday)
"An original, thought-provoking and well-written piece of fiction... Ammaniti takes us on a remarkable voyage through the fear of future responsibility which awaits young people on the brink of adulthood and laces it with all the irony, self-criticism and self-indulgence familiar to that age-group. This is a powerful novel, which asks us to consider the relationships we have with our own siblings and the memories of our own adolescence" (Emilia Ippolito The Independent)
"Ammaniti's matter-of-fact, unadorned prose captures Lorenzo's angst-ridden, incomprehending world-view with a confident clarity, and as resolution back in the present day beckons, he plots the course of their filial relationship with a deft, understated skill" (Bram E Gieben The Skinny 2013-02-23)
"Me and You is a slim volume which takes only a couple of hours to read. But thanks to the skilfully presented Lorenzo and the poignant reconciliation of the boy with his half-sister, it lingers in the memory for much, much longer" (Alastair Mabbott The Herald 2013-03-02)
Room meets Stand By Me, in a thrilling tale of the loss of innocenceSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
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!
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?
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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