From the internationally best-selling author of I’m Not Scared
comes a dizzying and compulsively readable novel set in a moribund town in industrial Italy
, where a father and son contend with a hostile world and their own inner demons.
The economically depressed village
, where Cristiano Zena lives with his hard-drinking, out-of-work father, Rino, is a world away from the picturesque, light-drenched towns of travel-brochure Italy
. When Rino and his rough-edged cronies Danilo and Quattro Formaggi come up with a plan to reverse all their fortunes, Cristiano wonders if maybe their lives are poised for deliverance after all. Perhaps the beautiful and aloof Fabiana will take notice of him, and perhaps he will no longer have to worry about child services coming to separate him from his dad. But the plan goes horribly awry. On a night of apocalyptic weather, each character will act in a way that will have irreversible consequences for themselves and others, and Cristiano will find his life changed forever, and not in the way he had hoped.
Gritty and relentless, As God Commands
moves at breakneck speed, blending brutal violence, dark humor, and surprising tenderness. With clear-eyed affection, Niccolò Ammaniti introduces a cast of unforgettable characters trapped at the crossroads of hope and despair.