Monday, 20 September 2010

I'm Not Scared

I'm Not Scared is the story of Michele; a young boy who lives with his mother, father and sister in a poor farming community in southern Italy. One day Michele and some friends stumble upon an old abandoned house which Michele has to enter as part of a forfeit for losing a race. Once inside the house he finds something that changes not just his life, but the lives of the community around him, forever.

The book is technically well written, moves along at a nice pace and keeps the reader guessing what will happen next. Characters are well developed and the conversations had between the children are very believable.

From what I had heard about the book I was expecting to be scared by it. A quote from The Observer newspaper confidently asserts the book “Sucks you in like The Blair Witch Project” I cannot see where this comparison came from as the book is really nothing like that horror movie at all. It wasn't frightening or even particularly suspenseful. The story itself is almost completely unbelievable and really makes little sense. I couldn't understand why Michele never reported his discovery to the police or why the whole town seemed to be involved in some way. There were dozens of questions raised in the book, most of which were never answered. The characters were, without exception, unlikeable and their personal situation was difficult to empathise with.

Towards the end I couldn't wait to get it finished so I could read something else. A very disappointing read.

Final verdict 2/5

By Chris


  1. Huh. I was considering reading this, but now perhaps I won't. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. That's too bad. From your description, it sounded interesting, but maybe not. Maybe I'll grab it and try 50 pages from the library.

  3. Eh, doesn't sound like a book I'll be rushing to pick up. Thanks for the review.

  4. Oh no I am really sorry that you didnt enjoy this one as I read it earlier in the year and thought it was excellent, something in it seemed to hit the exact mark as just thr read that I needed right then and there. I have lent it to my mother who is also loving it.

    The film is incredible if you get the chance to see it do.

  5. Too bad. Oh, well... on to the next book, eh?

  6. Oh, what a pity you didn't like it. I haven't read this one, but I have read two other ones by Ammaniti, they don't seem to have been translated into English (yet), so that's a pity - because they were great (I thought).

    Well, happy reading with the next book!

  7. Oh man, from the book cover and the start of your review, I assumed this would be a great book. I am sorry that wasn't the case!

  8. Ah, another example of not judging a book by its cover.

    Yeah, the cover is fantastic.

    Thanks for the review! I'm a new follower.

  9. Oh that's a shame you didn't like it - I absolutely adored this book, I found it to be so real and heartbreaking. I thought the actions of the characters were totally appropriate for the time it is set in too. Oh well, everyone has their own tastes/enjoyments, that's what makes the reading world go round :-)

  10. @ Clover: Please don't let my review put you off, it's only my opinion. If you think it sounds like your sort of book you should give it a go :o)

    @ Amanda: That sounds like a good idea, I do love that rule of 50!

    @ Amy: It wasn't my cup of tea but others obviously like it alot!

    @ Simon: Cest la vie, I won't lose any sleep over it :o) I'll keep an eye out for the film but if I didn't like the book I guess it is doubtful I will appreciate the film

    @ La Coccinelle: Exactly; onwards and upwards!

    @ leeswammes: I'm Not Scared is selling so many copies I bet it isn't long before his other books are translated

    @ Stephanie: Ironically this is not the book cover on my copy, mine isn't so nice as that one. My wife picked this book for me to read and our tastes differ so much I should have known better ;o)

    @ Janna: Welcome and thanks for posting :o)

    @ Mummazappa: I agree we all have different tastes and that is what makes blogs worthwhile; if we all agreed there would be nothing to say :o) Jessica told me after I finished the book that during the 70s there were big problems with people from the south of Italy kidnapping people from the North. This was never mentioned in the novel which is why the actions of the characters weren't obvious to me. After being told this a few more pieces fell into place but I still felt there were more questions than answers by the end. Ho hum you can't win them all :o)


  11. Oh no! I have seen wonderful things about this book and already own a copy. I still plan to read it, but hope I enjoy it more than you did.

  12. @ Jackie: I hope you do too. The reivew is only my opinion so you may well love it! :o)


  13. I'm so sorry this did not work for you --hate when that happens.

  14. I hate to side with the papers against you, heck I just hate to side with the papers at all, but I remember liking this one a lot. Four out of five stars. I thought no one could go to the police because the whole town was involved in the crime on some level or knew that so many were there was nothing they could expect from the police.

    I do think you're probably right about none of the characters being altogether likealbe, but that didn't bother me so much, probably because the books is so short.

    I think the characters in the movie are more likeable, and it's scarier overall. But I don't think you should watch it.

    Knowing when to move on to other things can really save one a lot of time.