Let the Games Begin by Niccolò Ammaniti (Translated by Kylee Doust) - review by Hannah Rosefield

Hannah Rosefield

Satan on Safari

Let the Games Begin


Canongate 329pp £12.99

Villa Ada is a 450-acre park towards the north of Rome. Once the residence of the Italian royal family, it is now open to the public. But in Let the Games Begin, a megalomaniac businessman has bought the land and turned it into a safari park. Then he decides to hold the most spectacular housewarming party the world has ever seen.

Saverio Moneta, leader of a Satanic sect, is equally determined to make the party unforgettable. He has botched his previous attempts at demonic activity and his followers are down to three. If he wants to maintain his position as leader, he has to do something truly diabolical. When he hears that the religious singer Larita will be performing at the party, he makes a plan to sneak into Villa Ada, kidnap the singer and sacrifice her to Satan.

Niccolò Ammaniti received global recognition for his 2001 novel I’m Not Scared, which later became a multi-award-winning film. Before that, he was famous in his homeland as one of the giovani cannibali (young cannibals), a group of writers so named because of their ferocious appropriation of mass culture. Their fiction

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March

A Mirror - Westend

Follow Literary Review on Twitter