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The Book of Hidden Things
by Francesco Dimitri




Overview -
From one of the most significant figures of the last generation of fantasy, comes Francesco Dimitri's debut novel in English, an enthralling and seductive fantasy following four old friends and the secrets they keep.

Four old school friends have a pact: to meet up every year in the small town in Puglia they grew up in. Art, the charismatic leader of the group and creator of the pact, insists that the agreement must remain unshakable and enduring. But this year, he never shows up.

A visit to his house increases the friends' worry; Art is farming marijuana. In Southern Italy doing that kind of thing can be very dangerous. They can't go to the Carabinieri so must make enquiries of their own. This is how they come across the rumours about Art; bizarre and unbelievable rumours that he miraculously cured the local mafia boss's daughter of terminal leukaemia. And among the chaos of his house, they find a document written by Art, The Book of Hidden Things, that promises to reveal dark secrets and wonders beyond anything previously known.

Francesco Dimitri's first novel written in English, following his career as one of the most significant fantasy writers in Italy, will entrance fans of Elena Ferrante, Neil Gaiman and Donna Tartt. Set in the beguiling and seductive landscape of Southern Italy, this story is about friendship and landscape, love and betrayal; above all it is about the nature of mystery itself.

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More About The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri

 
 
 

Overview

From one of the most significant figures of the last generation of fantasy, comes Francesco Dimitri's debut novel in English, an enthralling and seductive fantasy following four old friends and the secrets they keep.

Four old school friends have a pact: to meet up every year in the small town in Puglia they grew up in. Art, the charismatic leader of the group and creator of the pact, insists that the agreement must remain unshakable and enduring. But this year, he never shows up.

A visit to his house increases the friends' worry; Art is farming marijuana. In Southern Italy doing that kind of thing can be very dangerous. They can't go to the Carabinieri so must make enquiries of their own. This is how they come across the rumours about Art; bizarre and unbelievable rumours that he miraculously cured the local mafia boss's daughter of terminal leukaemia. And among the chaos of his house, they find a document written by Art, The Book of Hidden Things, that promises to reveal dark secrets and wonders beyond anything previously known.

Francesco Dimitri's first novel written in English, following his career as one of the most significant fantasy writers in Italy, will entrance fans of Elena Ferrante, Neil Gaiman and Donna Tartt. Set in the beguiling and seductive landscape of Southern Italy, this story is about friendship and landscape, love and betrayal; above all it is about the nature of mystery itself.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781785657078
  • ISBN-10: 1785657070
  • Publisher: Titan Books (UK)
  • Publish Date: July 2018
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

Secrets we keep and lies we tell

Italian fantasy writer Francesco Dimitri makes his English-language debut with the masterful The Book of Hidden Things.

When three friends return to their small hometown of Casalfranco in southern Italy to honor a longstanding pact, their friend Art doesn’t show. This isn’t the first time he’s vanished—decades ago, Art walked between a grove of gnarled olive trees, shrieked and disappeared. When he returned a week later, his friends didn’t believe his story of having run away.

Always one for drama, Art has left a trail of mysterious stories in his wake. He’s growing and selling weed. He healed the daughter of a Mafia king. Even in his absence, Art’s alluring antics have a strong pull on his friends.

As they follow the clues to learn where Art has vanished to this time, Fabio, Mauro and Tony wrestle with their own demons. Fabio, a respected yet broke photographer, hates being thrust back into the town he’s outgrown. He learns that his father has Alzheimer’s, and he’s confronted with an unhealthy desire for Mauro’s wife. Mauro is underwhelmed with his status quo life and yearns for something more. And as Tony looks to his sister and her husband for answers about Art’s disappearance, he learns his sister isn’t the innocent girl he believed her to be.

The stark and sensual landscape of Casalfranco begs us to linger in its ancient and mystical hold. Through multiple perspectives, Dimitri weaves a tale of adventure, mystery, friendship and heart-wrenching beauty that will make you re-examine what is holy, what is true and what is beyond the realm of possibility.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

BAM Customer Reviews