Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Time on My Hands

Time on My Hands

A Novel

Giorgio Vasta

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

When does a game stop being a game? And what would cause a young boy to commit an act of savage violence? In Time on My Hands by Giorgio Vasta, the year is 1978, and a chilling drama is unfolding in Rome. Members of a leftist terrorist group known as the Red Brigades have kidnapped the former Italian prime minister, Aldo Moro, and are holding him in a secret prison, while broadcasting their demands to the public.
Far from Rome, in Palermo, Sicily, a trio of eleven-year-old schoolboys are following Moro's abduction with intense interest. To their minds, the terrorists are warriors, striking a blow at the stifling conformity and propriety of everyday Italian life. Just like the Red Brigades, the boys give themselves code names: Nimbus, Radius, and Flight. They shave their heads, develop a secret language, and begin a life of escalating crime in worshipful imitation of their heroes. But when Moro's body is discovered in the trunk of a car, riddled with bullets, and as the stakes of the friends' games grow higher, Nimbus, the most innocent of the three, must decide just how far he is willing to go.


(JANUARY 8, 1978)

I was eleven years old and lived among cats ravaged by rhinotracheitis and mange. They were warped skeletons with a bit of skin on them; infected: if you touched them you could die. Every afternoon String...


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About the author

Giorgio Vasta

Giorgio Vasta was born in Palermo in 1970 and currently lives in Turin. In Italy, Time on My Hands was selected for the Premio Strega 2009 and was a finalist for the Prix Dessì, the Premio Berto, and the Dedalus Award. Vasta has edited several anthologies and writes for the literary blog Minima et Moralia.

Giorgio Vasta

Alice Spano

Giorgio Vasta

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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