In 1996 — when he was just starting out — Ammaniti published a collection of short stories titled Fango. This particular story (which was also made into a movie) is one of the stories from Fango published as a separate book in 2010 and it’s absolutely vintage Ammaniti.
Being one of his earliest stories, it’s coarse and crude and a actually a bit too much for my taste. His later work is more delicate and smart. I think he tries just a little bit too hard to go for the shock effect. But nonetheless the unmistakable Amminiti touch is all over the place. And it’s still a treat.
Recognizable and unforgettable characters that come to live with only a few sentences: this is something Ammaniti has patented and what most writers strife for. It’s not a superficial skill. Amminiti embodies the notion that the better a writer you are, the more you are able to suffer.
The story itself is a clever, seemingly unrelated, chronological timeline of many different characters on the last evening of the millennium. And eventually they all intertwine in a big way. Because, of course they do.