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Anna (2015)

by Niccolò Ammaniti

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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14212159,824 (3.46)None
Summer has ended, but the heat will not let up. Ash has covered everything. Weeds and wheat grow around the cars abandoned in the road.Anna and Astor live in the house behind the fence, surviving in a world stripped of adults. The rooms are piled high with rubbish. Their mother's skeleton lies perfect on the bed.And every few days, Anna must head out beyond the fence for provisions and medicine. Each time she goes, she may never come back.A huge bestseller in Italy, Anna is a story about the survival of the human spirit after the worst has happened.… (more)
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English (9)  Italian (2)  German (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Un'altro libro quasi-profetico, visto che è pure ambientato nel 2020 (ironia della sorte la produzione della serie TV è stata bloccata proprio dalla pandemia vera).

Più che uno romanzo di fantascienza/distopico vero e proprio, è inteso come una metafora della crescita/romanzo di formazione, e alla fine mi è sembrato che la cosa fosse un po' la scusa per tirarsene fuori facile con un finale aperto, perché "L'importante non è guarire, ma stare insieme".....

Alcune descrizioni truculente hanno un po' urtato la mia sensibilità (starò diventando delicata con l'età ( )
  JaqJaq | Jan 7, 2022 |
Proprietario
: Cristina Bolelli
Prestito: Mignogna
  CristinaBolelli | Jan 7, 2022 |
3.5 *

Niccolò Ammaniti is one of those writers who enjoy success with the reading public and general (if not unanimous) critical acclaim. One of the reasons for this must surely be that he brings a literary sensibility to popular genres, be it novels with a Mafia/"low-life" theme ( such as [b:Io non ho paura|151633|Io non ho paura|Niccolò Ammaniti|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1345927249l/151633._SY75_.jpg|1185887] and the Strega-winner [b:Come Dio comanda|1304612|Come Dio comanda|Niccolò Ammaniti|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1295369878l/1304612._SY75_.jpg|6527293]) or bittersweet coming-of-age stories such as [b:Io e te|9666790|Io e te|Niccolò Ammaniti|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1295688303l/9666790._SY75_.jpg|14549397]. Ammaniti's engagement with pop culture and his ability to read and reflect the "signs of the times" is confirmed by the fact that his books and stories have been made into movies by directors such as Salvatores and Bertolucci, and the title of [b:Ti prendo e ti porto via|1304611|Ti prendo e ti porto via|Niccolò Ammaniti|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1312482672l/1304611._SX50_.jpg|421377] was appropriated by cult Italian rocker Vasco Rossi for his hit single of the same name (belted out in Blasco's trademark half-spoken/shouted style).

In Anna, Ammaniti turns his sights onto the YA market and the dystopian/post-apocalyptic genre which seems to take up quite a chunk of new adult readership. He imagines a Sicily ravaged by a mysterious virus which wipes out adults, leaving only children as survivors. Until they reach puberty, because then the symptoms of the illness appear and they die as well. Further disasters (including uncontrolled fires and explosions) wreak havoc and break down all electronic means of communication. Unsure of the situation in the rest of the world (where, allegedly, a cure might have been found), and with adulthood fast approaching, the protagonist Anna sets out on a journey seeking survival for her and her younger brother Astor.

If I have a reservation about Ammaniti's latest novel, it is that it does not bring anything particularly new to the genre. We've come across "apocalypse by virus" before, not least in Shelley's proto-science-fiction novel [b:The Last Man|966835|The Last Man|Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1392984325l/966835._SY75_.jpg|835097]. There are also obvious parallels with [b:The Road|6288|The Road|Cormac McCarthy|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1600241424l/6288._SY75_.jpg|3355573] whilst the nature of the virus, dubbed "La Rossa", could be a tribute to Poe's Masque of the Red Death. As for children returning to a primitive, violent, cruel state, one could hardly better [b:Lord of the Flies|7624|Lord of the Flies|William Golding|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1327869409l/7624._SY75_.jpg|2766512].

That said, nothing by Ammaniti should be written off. And Anna is, as most of his novels, engaging and, quite often, page-turning. The protagonist is an endearing character - strong and yet sensitive - bravely coming to terms with an oncoming adolescence which, for her, will mean almost certain death. This might not be a groundbreaking novel then, but certainly a well-crafted and gripping one, and several notches above the average YA fare.

I generally prefer to read Italian novels in the original, but I really enjoyed the idiomatic, fluent translation by Jonathan Hunt for Canongate Books. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Jan 1, 2022 |
Un romanzo che ,come Ti prendo e ti porto via ... ti prende e ti porta via. In un futuro distopico popolato solo da ragazzini, Anna lotta per la sopravvivenza e per quella del suo fratellino guidata da un quaderno delle istruzioni scritto dalla madre prima di soccombere al virus letale che sta sterminando la popolazione adulta. Lettura coinvolgente, torrentizia, estraniante. ( )
  LauraLaLunga | Feb 15, 2021 |
Lord Of The Flies writ large. An apocalypse brought on by an incurable virus has swept the world, leaving only pre-prepubescent children unharmed. Anna and her younger brother have survived four years since the virus came and their mother died. Anna was 9, her brother Astor 5. Isolated in an old farmhouse they have managed to survive by dint of Anna's scrounging for food and by following their Mother's advice, written down in an old exercise book as she lay dying.
Circumstances force them to flee their sanctuary and venture out into the wild. Gangs of children roam the countryside searching for food and an answer to the virus. There is no subtlety in the quest for survival, the week tag after the strong, the strong take what they want.
With occasional flashbacks to fill in their backstory we begin to have an idea of who Anna and Astor are. Anna is driven to uphold the promise made to her mother to look after Astor. Every minute, let alone every day, is filled with the challenge to keep them both alive and to teach Astor how to look after himself. Anna has to grow up fast.
Ammaniti cleverly captures the mixture of Anna's childish innocence mixed with worldly ennui as she battles the daily issues of finding food, water and medicines. Narrated through Anna's POV rather than an all seeing wise narrator her problems are those of a child as are her solutions.
It makes you wonder, what would you do? A frightening scenario. ( )
  Robert3167 | Jan 19, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Niccolò Ammanitiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hunt, JonathanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he.

Eden Ahbez, 'Nature Boy'
Dedication
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Hij was drie, misschien vier jaar.
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Een vlinder vloog op uit een johannesbroodboom, zwevend tegen de wind in. Een windvlaag trok hem naar de jongen en het meisje. Hij raakte de haren van Anna en werd naar Astor geduwd, die zijn hand uitstak, heel even rustte hij op de handpalm van het jongetje en hervatte toen zijn wankele vlucht. Vervolgens kwam er nog een vlinder, en nog een, totdat ze werden omhuld door honderden vleugels die als een geel-zwarte sneeuwbui boven de weg dansten.
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Summer has ended, but the heat will not let up. Ash has covered everything. Weeds and wheat grow around the cars abandoned in the road.Anna and Astor live in the house behind the fence, surviving in a world stripped of adults. The rooms are piled high with rubbish. Their mother's skeleton lies perfect on the bed.And every few days, Anna must head out beyond the fence for provisions and medicine. Each time she goes, she may never come back.A huge bestseller in Italy, Anna is a story about the survival of the human spirit after the worst has happened.

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