Excerpt from I'm Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

I'm Not Scared

by Niccolò Ammaniti

I'm Not Scared
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2003, 200 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2004, 208 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Skull didn't reply.

'You must never tell lies. And you mustn't blacken other people's names. You must tell the truth, especially to those who are younger than you. The truth, always. Before men, before the Lord God, and before yourself.' He sounded like a priest delivering a sermon.

'Didn't he even pee in the house?' Barbara persisted.

Melichetti tried to shake his head, but the collar prevented him. 'He was a well-behaved dog. Great mouser. God rest his soul.' He pointed towards the drinking trough. 'If you're thirsty there's water over there. The best in the whole area. And that's no lie.'

We drank till we were bursting. It was cool and sweet. Then we started spraying each other, and sticking our heads under the spout.

Skull said Melichetti was a piece of shit. And he knew for a fact the old fool had fed the dachshund to the pigs.

He scowled at Barbara and said: 'I'll get you for this.' He walked off muttering and sat down by himself on the other side of the road.

Salvatore, Remo and I set about catching tadpoles. My sister and Barbara perched on the edge of the trough and dipped their feet in the water.

After a few minutes Skull came back, all excited.

'Look! Look! Look at the size of it!'

We turned round. 'What?'

'That.'

It was a hill.

It looked like a panettone. A huge panettone that some giant had placed on the plain. It rose in front of us a couple of kilometres away. Golden and immense. The wheat covered it like a fur coat. There wasn't a tree, a crag, a blemish, to spoil its outline. The sky around it was liquid and dirty. The other hills, behind, were like dwarves compared to that huge dome.

Goodness knows how none of us had noticed it till that moment. We had seen it, but without really seeing it. Maybe because it blended in with the landscape. Maybe because we had all had our eyes glued to the road looking out for Melichetti's farm.

'Let's climb it.' Skull pointed at it. 'Let's climb that mountain.'

I said: 'I wonder what's up on top.'

It must be an incredible place, maybe some strange animal lived there. None of us had ever been up so high.

Salvatore screened his eyes with his hand and scanned the top. 'I bet you can see the sea from up there. Yes, we must climb it.'

We gazed at it in silence.

Now that was an adventure, damn Melichetti's pigs.

'And we'll put our flag on the summit. So if anyone climbs up there, they'll know we got there first,' I said.

'What flag? We haven't got a flag,' said Salvatore.

'We'll use the hen.'

Skull grabbed the bag with the bird in it and whirled it round in the air. 'Right! We'll wring its neck, then we'll put a stick up its arse and fix it in the ground. The skeleton will be left there. I'll carry it up.'

An impaled hen might be taken as a sign of witchcraft.

But Skull pulled out his ace. 'Straight up the hill. No curves. No following each other. No stopping. Last one there pays a forfeit.'

We were speechless.

A race! Why?

It was obvious. To get his own back on Barbara. She would come last and would have to pay.

I thought of my sister. I said she was too small to race and it wasn't fair, she would lose.

Barbara gestured no with her finger. She had twigged the little surprise Skull was planning for her.

'So what? A race is a race. She came with us. Otherwise she has to wait for us down here.'

That wasn't on. I couldn't leave Maria. The crocodile story kept going round and round in my head. Melichetti had been kind, but it didn't do to be too trusting. If he killed her, what was I going to tell mama?

Excerpted from I'm Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti. Copyright Niccolò Ammaniti 2002 all rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Canongate Publishing. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Translated from the Italian by Jonathan Hunt.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hot Milk
    Hot Milk
    by Deborah Levy
    When people reach their early 20s, they often choose to go abroad – they want to get away from...
  • Book Jacket: Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    Ninety-Nine Stories of God
    by Joy Williams
    I have to preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of religious fiction - not even books ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.