05 May, 2019

The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri - [Book Review]

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Book Details:

Title : The Book of Hidden Things
Author : Francesco Dimitri
Genre : Contemporary Fantasy, Fantasy thriller, Crime thriller
Length of the book : 385 pages
Publisher : Titan Books
Source: A library book

Blurb :

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 nature of mystery itself.

Purchase Link:

My Review:

 It is not very often that I get a chance to pick up an interesting book from the library and finish it. I get a lot of review copies but I don't usually get time to read the books that I pick. I am glad that I chose this book and I really loved reading this.

'The Book of Hidden Things' is a fantasy story of 4 friends Tony, Fabio, Art, and Mauro. These friends from a small town Casalfranca in Italy, make a pact to meet every year. When Art doesn't show up this year, Tony, Fabio, and Mauro decide to check what happened to him. 

While they search for him, they learn mysterious information about Art, his life, his research, and things become more complicated and confusing. When Mauro gets fired by Art's ex-girlfriend, they all step back thinking about the risk they are taking to find Art. At last, Art shows up, reveals information about his research and forces them to trust him and take an important decision with their lives.

There are no words to explain how good this book is! The narration is very gripping and the mystery lingers till the end of the book and even after finishing the book. Characterization is simply superb. While Art is a unique character, Tony is a wonderful mate, Mauro, a responsible husband and friend who is guilty of leaving behind his favorite hobby of playing guitar and Fabio is a person with his insecurities and money problems. 

I could get a glimpse of Southern Italy, the weather, the scenery, and the cuisine as well through this book. The book cover and the name are apt. 

If you love mystery and fantasy, you will like this book. But, fantasy and mystery feel very real. 

My Rating: 5/5

About the Author:

Francesco Dimitri is an Italian magic realist author living in London, a business story-teller, and a lifetime searcher for wonder. He has written in many different forms (nonfiction, fiction, comics, cinema, digital media, essays, magazines) and worked for top business clients. In his quest for wonder he has shot documentaries about UFO cults, slept deep into the forests of Transylvania, conversed with mathematicians, artists, chefs, psychologists, stage magicians, and strangers in crowds.

Until next time,

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