Let the Games Beginby Niccolo Ammaniti
An irresistible, explosive, and mordantly funny satire of the vices and virtues of our time that “may well be the print version of La Dolce Vita set today” (L’Unitá)
In Let the Games Begin, internationally best-selling author Nicoló Ammaniti, winner of the prestigious Strega Prize, fuses a riotous dose of anarchic absurdity with a clear-eyed critique of contemporary society caught in a narcissistic spiral of longing and striving.
The novel begins on the night of the most decadent party of the century. A rags-to-riches real estate magnate has planned an over-the-top weekend safari for a who’s-who of celebrities at his sprawling residence in Villa Ada. Starlets, politicians, soccer stars, and intellectuals all turn up to rub elbows. Among them is a neurotically charming author, struggling to write his next literary tome and pining for renewed recognition. In an unexpected turn of events, he crosses paths with the Wilde Beasts of Abaddon, a satanic sect scheming to ruin the evening’s festivities in order to go down in history as a world-famous cult. What was intended as the most spectacular féte of the year quickly descends into apocalyptic chaos. In this satirical tragicomedy, Ammaniti reveals a side of modern culture riddled with superficiality and vulgarity that nourishes our deepest dreams and insecurities.
“Brilliant, smooth, neurotic, and at times scathing.” —Le Monde
“Ammaniti has constructed a novel you will not easily forget, rescuing the genius of Federico Fellini to mix chaos, social criticism, and chronic human frailties. . . . A fast-paced, fevered comedy.” —El Mundo
“A bittersweet book where you laugh knowing that there really isn’t anything to laugh about.” —La Repubblica
“This book pulls off a rare feat: an action-packed but well-paced satire populated with characters rather than caricatures.” —Publishers Weekly
“[A] raunchy, satirical romp.” —Ian Rankin, author of the Inspector Rebus series