Michele Amitrano, nine years old, suddenly finds himself dealing with a secret so great and terrible that he cannot even tell it. And to face it, he will have to find the strength in his fantasies as a child, while the reader sees a double story: that seen with the eyes of Michael and that, tragic, involving the great of Acqua Traverse, miserable fraction scattered among the wheat fields. The story is set in the torrid summer of 1978 in the countryside of an unidentified South of Italy, but evoked with rare descriptive force. In this landscape dominated by the contrast between the dazzling light of the sun and the darkness of the night, Ammaniti, the author, alternates the comedy, the world of childish relationships, the language and the funny wisdom of children, their tenacity, the strength of friendship and the drama of betrayal.
The central theme of the novel ‘Io non ho paura’ (‘I am not afraid’ in English) is the solidarity between Michele and Filippo. The two main characters are linked only by being children, while the rest belongs to two completely different worlds. This book is also an initiation novel in which the protagonist comes into contact with evil, discovering that it is closer than it seems. Eventually he will be forced to make a painful choice which will change his life forever.