Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 02/01/2024
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Bookseller Reviews

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A Rare Talent
A modern gothic story that shines bright with an original mix of clever wordplay, compelling mystery and unpredictable shifts in tone, shot through with a ... READ MORE
Aaron Myles
Another masterpiece from a literary genius
Among the promotional material for this novel are a couple of assertions that Michele Mari is the greatest living Italian author, or something along those ... READ MORE
Sam E
A glorious novel, my favourite of 2023. Mari is a magician, with a mischievous glint in the eye and shadows at his back. This is the story of a teenage bo... READ MORE
John - Glasgow Silverburn


At the tail end of the 1960s, the thirteen-year-old Michelino spends his summers at his grandparents' modest estate in Nasca, near Lake Maggiore, losing himself in the tales of horror, adventure, and mystery shelved in his grandfather's library. The greatest mystery he's ever encountered, however, doesn't come from a book - it's the groundskeeper, Felice, a sometimes frightening, sometimes gentle, always colourful man of uncertain age who speaks an enchanting dialect and whose memory gets worse with each passing day. When Michelino volunteers to help the old man by providing him with clever mnemonic devices to keep his memory alive, the boy soon finds himself obsessed with piecing together the eerie hodgepodge of Felice's biography . . . a quest that leads to the uncovering of skeletons in Nazi uniforms in the attic, to Felice's admission that he can hear the voices of the dead, and to a new perspective on Felice's endless war against the insatiable local slugs, who are by no means merely a horticultural threat.

And yet nothing could be more fascinating to Michelino than Felice's own secret origins. Where did he come from? Is he the victim or the villain of his story? Is he a noble hero, a holy fool, or perhaps the very thing that Michelino most wants and fears: a real-life monster.

  • Publisher: And Other Stories
  • ISBN: 9781913505905
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Dimensions: 177 x 110 mm

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