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Summary

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 friends have a pact: to meet up on the same day every year in their small hometown in southern Italy. Art, the charismatic leader of the group, has always been adamant about the pact. But this year, he doesn't show up. Searching for him, the friends make a worrying discovery: Art has been farming marijuana, a very dangerous activity in mafia-controlled country. Asking around in town, they hear bizarre and incredible rumours that Art cured a young girl of leukemia. And then, amongst the chaos of his house, they find a curious manuscript written by Art called The Book of Hidden Things, which promises to reveal secrets enchanting as flames, and just as treacherous.... 

©2018 Francesco Dimitri (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"An affecting fable of friendship, magic and nostalgia." (The Guardian)

"In lesser hands, this blend of detective story, organized crime thriller, and supernatural investigation would feel like a grab bag of plot devices, but Dimitri has created a thrilling spectacle that also manages to point poignantly at the way the landscapes we grow up in shape us in ways even beyond our understanding. A deeply felt look at the idea of home, clothed as a popcornworthy page-turner." (Kirkus Reviews)

"An evocative meditation on friendship, adulthood, and the liminal spaces that lie just outside human perception [...] Dimitri's beautifully written tale, steeped in nostalgia, folklore, and religion, will enthrall and terrify readers." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Book of Hidden Things

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Better left hidden

I thought this book was awful - both the story line and the narration. If I could give it 'zero' stars I would. I see I'm not the only reviewer who thought that it has mysogenistic sexual fantacies which I thought that the author should have got over by the time he was 14. The book is divided into chapters narrated by four different characters - it was difficult to know which character was narrating at the time because the narrator seems to have a limited number of voices.

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outstanding narration - frustrating story!

I could listen to this guy's vice all day. I definitely lost track of who was telling the story when (character perspective kept switching). started out so intriguing and promising but just ended up frustrating I'd say! ah well. the narration was enough for me to stick it out!

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leved the birds eye view

Great story to keep you entertained. Loved every second. Re-read it twice. I would recommend this to everyone.

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Excellent

Great story well told, held my attention right to the end highly recommend . Great details of life in southern Italy

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  • Abbe
  • 13-01-21

So many loose ends

There were so many thrilling & interesting details introduced throughout this story I was really looking forward to the big reveal at the end... It never came. The mysteries remained mysteries. Talk about frustrating!

1 person found this helpful

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  • RJreads
  • 28-03-22

hard to get past the narration !

I am an audible reader.
perhaps the story has been lost on translation, but that should not also reflect in the storyteller.

lack of depth and appreciation of the story...?
The narrator/narration lacks substance.

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  • Ellis
  • 20-12-21

ew?

Stopped before I found out what was ever going on. Couldn't stand the unbridled ickiness of the protagonist's unending misogyny and objectification. It's truly gross. Wasted $.

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Profile Image for Mar Turner
  • Mar Turner
  • 20-02-21

Why the English narrator

The book is set in Italy and for some reason they used an English actor for the narrator. Ruined the authenticity of the story.
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Profile Image for EuskoAmericaldun
  • EuskoAmericaldun
  • 01-10-20

well crafted, great writing

Dimitri is an excellent story teller. Wincott reads in a way that you believe he is each character.