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Time On My Hands

Giorgio Vasta
Translated by JONATHAN HUNT

Time On My Hands by Giorgio Vasta is a vivid and hellish description of Sicily in the late ’70s, an extraordinary journey into the world of fierce absolutism, and an all-round unforgettable novel.

Date Published
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Palermo, Sicily, 1978. The Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro has just been kidnapped in Rome by members of the notorious Red Brigades. Two months after his disappearance on 9th May, Moro is found dead in the boot of a car.

A trio of eleven-year-old schoolboys, Nimbo, Raggio, and Volo, avidly follow the news of the abduction as their admiration for the brigatisti grows. When the boys themselves resolve to abduct a classmate and incarcerate him in a makeshift ‘people’s prison’, the darkness within their world, and the world of the novel, becomes all-pervasive.

A vivid and hellish description of Sicily in the late seventies, Time on my Hands is an unforgettable novel from a significant new voice in Italian fiction.

Critic Reviews

Time on My Hands can be seen as a politicised Lord of the Flies ... This is sophisticated, fascinating fiction.

Independent on Sunday
Critic Reviews

A taut, gripping psychological thriller.

Catholic Herald
Critic Reviews

Hunt's translation is outstanding ... the text fizzes. Vasta's novel is a gift to wordplay, riddled with allegory and literary influences.

Critic Reviews

Vasta still gets across the sense of a stagnating country that won't address the issues facing it, and of childhood dynamics against a backdrop of real political turbulence.


Giorgio Vasta was born in Palermo in 1970 and now lives and works in Turin. A former editor at the publishing house Einaudi, his stories have been published in various anthologies.Time on my Hands is his first novel.

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