Niccolò Ammaniti
Che la festa cominci (Let the Games Begin)
A novel, Einaudi Stile Libero 2009, 332 pages

“A hilarious modern farce.”
The Times

“Funny and sharp-eyed.”
The Guardian

You are invited to attend the most decadent fete of the century. Italian high-society and international celebrities are gathered at Villa Ada, once a sprawling public park, now the largest private home in Rome. The host, a rags-to-riches tycoon, has planned an extraordinary wild animal safari—the party to end all parties.
Among the guests is Fabrizio Ciba, a neurotically charming author struggling to write his next great literary tome in order to rebuild his reputation. In an unexpected turn of events, he crosses paths with a beautiful, enigmatic pop singer and the Wilde Beasts of Abaddon, a fledgling satanic sect planning her demise in exchange for global fame. The world outside the mansion gates is soon forgotten, and all rules of civility are broken. What was intended as the most spectacular night quickly descends into apocalyptic chaos as the excesses of modern life are indulged to extremes. What mayhem will ensue once the games begin?
Internationally best-selling author Niccolò Ammaniti strikes a masterful balance between farce and tragedy as he brings a rapturous dose of anarchic absurdity to this portrait of a status-obsessed, self-indulgent society. A calamitous, supercharged, and wildly enjoyable satire, Let the Games Begin will surprise, delight, and frighten.

Niccolò Ammaniti

Niccolò Ammaniti was born and lives in Rome. He made his debut in fiction in 1995 with the novel Branchie. He is the author of award-winning novels and short stories, translated in 44 countries: Fango (1996), Ti prendo e ti porto via (1999), Io non ho paura (2001, Premio Viareggio), Come Dio comanda (2006, Premio Strega), Che la festa cominci (2009), Io e te (2010), Il momento è delicato (2012) and Anna (2015). In 2014 he edited the anthology Figuracce, which includes the short story Marco Risi contro la Maga della Maglianella.

Many of his books have been successfully made into films: L’ultimo capodanno (directed by Marco Risi, 1998); Branchie (directed by Francesco Ranieri Martinotti, 1999); Io non ho paura and Come Dio comanda (both directed by Gabriele Salvatores, 2003 and 2008), Io e te (directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, 2012). Following his work as author and director of the feature-length doc The Good Life (2014), Ammaniti has made his TV debut with The Miracle, a SKY original series for which he was showrunner, co-writer and co-director that also aired in France, Germany, Spain and UK. In 2019 Ammaniti received the Series Con Award. Ammaniti is also showrunner, co-writer and director of Anna, a Sky original TV series, based on the novel of the same name.

In January 2017, Niccolò Ammaniti has been awarded a honorary degree in Philology, Literature, and History.

 

“A hilarious modern farce.”
The Times

“Funny and sharp-eyed.”
The Guardian

“This book pulls off a rare feat: an action-packed but well-paced satire populated with characters rather than caricatures.”
Publishers Weekly

“Niccolò 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… Ammaniti is the most gifted writer of his generation.”
El Mundo

“Riotously, and very readably, satirical, Ammaniti has a ball poking fun at the excesses of the Berlusconi era and the insecurities of writers.”
International Herald Tribune

“Brilliant, smooth, neurotic, and at times scathing.”
Le Monde

“A bittersweet book where you laugh knowing that there really isn’t anything to laugh about.”
La Repubblica

“Let the Games Begin may well be the print version of La Dolce Vita set today.”
l’Unità

Foreign rights sold in
Australia: Text Publishing
Brazil: Bertrand Editora Brasil
Croatia: Profil Multimedia
Denmark: Gyldendal
Egypt: Beba Editions
Finland: Otava Publishing
France: Robert Laffont, 10/18
Germany: Piper Verlag, Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co
Greece: Kastaniotis
Kuwait and Middle East: Dar Kalemat
Macedonia: TRI Publishing Centre
The Netherlands: Lebowski
Portugal: Bertrand Editora
Russia: Azbooka Atticus
Serbia: Plato Books
Spain (Castilian): Anagrama
Spain (Catalan): Angle Editorial
Sweden: Norstedts
Turkey: Can Yayinlari
Uk: Canongate
Us: Black Cat-Grove Atlantic

Italian and international editions

Foreign publishers of Niccolò Ammaniti’s works:
Albania: Botimet Dudaj
Armenia: Zangak
Australia: Text Publishing
Brazil: Companhia das Letras, Bertrand Editora Brasil
Bulgaria: Colibri
China: Shangai 99, Crown Publishing, Horizon Media
Croatia: AGM, Profil, Vorto Palabra
Czech Republic: Havran, NLN, Nakladatelstvì Lidové noviny
Denmark: Gyldendal
Egypt: Beba Editions
Estonia: Pegasus
Finland: Otava Publishing
France: Edition du Félin, Grasset, Laffont
Georgia: Sulakauri
Germany: Fischer, Reclam, Piper
Greece: Perugia, Kastaniotis, Metaixmio
Hungary: Ulpius Haz, Noram kiado, Európa Könyvkiadó
Iceland: Bjartur
Israel: Kinneret
Japan: Hayakawa Shobo
Korea: SeamulkiulSigongsa
Kuwait and Middle East: Dar Kalemat
Latvia: Jāņa Rozes apgāds
Lithuania: Tyto Alba, Alma Littera
Macedonia: Kultura, Magor, Antolog Books
Mozambico: Societade Ediotorial Ndjira
The Netherlands: Wereldbibliotheek, Prometheus, Lebowski
Norway: HR Ferdinand, Vigmostad og Bjørke
Poland: Muza
Portugal: Dom Quixote, Bertrand Editora
Portugal (Mozambico): Sociedade editorial Ndjira
Romania: Humanitas
Russia: Machaon, Inostranka, Atticus
Serbia: Plato Books
Slovenia: Goga, Študentska založba
Slovakia: Slovart, Ikar
Spain and Latin America (Castilian): Grijalbo, Anagrama
Spain (Catalan): Empuries, Angle Editorial
Sweden: Norstedts
Thailand: Butterfly Publishing
Turkey: Can Yayinlari, Doğan Kitap
UK: Canongate
US: Canongate US, Black Cat-Grove Atlantic
Vietnam: Phu Nu

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