"Niccolò Ammaniti's second novel, Steal You Away, published in Italy in 1999, is also about a boy faced with difficult moral choices that will define his future. It traces the path to Ammaniti's follow-up, I'm Not Scared, the global bestseller that became a hit film in 2003. In the end, we get two heart-wrenching love stories for the price of one. This young storyteller exercises the confidence, honesty and sensibility of a master without spilling a drop of sweat." (The Times)
"Again Ammaniti uncovers the tragedy in ordinary people's lives - the awful gap between dream and reality - and skewers it to the page with such elegance that you cannot tear yourself away from the inexorable trajectory of ruin." (The Big Issue)
"Ammaniti...has the gift of authority combined with an instinctive understanding of how his characters will behave in every circumstance...Protracted and entertaining, it is also intensely moving at its accelerated conclusion....This is a Brueghel, a canvas...each character's pathway affecting the poise of the whole spun web, the very weightlessness of which gives the book what Milan Kundera calls the unbearable lightness of being." (Tom Adair)
From the Back Cover
One sweltering summer, in a forgotten corner of Italy, two very different lives collide.
Pietro is eleven years old. His father is alcoholic, his mother mentally disturbed, and he dreams of running away. But before he can leave, a weary traveller arrives in town. This aging Casanova has a penchant for young women and flamenco. Life in Ischiano Scalo will never be the same again . . .
'Ammaniti is not only a master storyteller but has a very nice line in sly humour as well . . . Forget Lucca, Siena and Cortona. You'd be crazy not to visit Ischiano Scalo.'
Michael Dibdin, Guardian
'Exuberant and audacious.'
'You're a long way from tourist Italy with these lowlifes and deadbeats . . . their stories converge to a devastating climax, one that is entirely unexpected.'
Independent on Sunday