«The year of my death had started well. For some time I had begun to go around Rome, alone, to discover things that everyone else had forgotten. I had lived there for more than ten years, but as you fall in love with your best friend, who is almost a sister, I had started admiring Rome as if no other city had ever existed. I could never have imagined that, just as my life seemed to have found a quiet rhythm for the first time, without too many jolts to the soul, fate had prepared a new journey for me. A journey to the world of the dead.»

THE BOOK Thus begins Book of Lightning, Matteo Trevisani’s powerful debut novel, a book unlike no other in the contemporary Italian literary scene.   Trevisani and the character by the same name lead the reader in a dizzying journey through the epochs and secrets of Rome, on a journey along the tracks of the ancient cult of lightning, down into the underworld and then back up into the land of the living, or at least of those that believe to be so.  With a harsh and rhythmic style, ideally based on the archaic Roman tradition of the augural sciences, and entirely based on ancient Latin sources, The Book of Lightning is at once time a compelling story of death and rebirth that winds between two dimensions and two worlds, and an original and surprising coming-of-age novel.


FROM THE PRESS / Selected Praise
“An esoteric, mysterious, coming-of-age, genre-less novel, set in a Rome very different from the one you find in tourist guides. It tells the story of a descent into existential hell, an encounter with death, typical of archaic cults believed to be extinct… A book that defies definition”. MATTEO NUCCI, Il Venerdì di Repubblica

“A book that is enveloped in mystery: an orphic Rome, where the underworld and the aboveworld, the world of the living and that of the dead, the modern capital and the ancient urbe are connected by small tears in the space-time continuum… The Book of Lightening is a thousandyear-long coming-of-age novel where the protagonist grows not by looking inside himself but by going out of himself, making room for the irrational, letting himself be inhabited by an otherness that is not just historical”. CRISTINA TAGLIETTI, Corriere della Sera

“The Book of Lightning literally travels through space-time… Trevisani treads unusual paths, as he
gradually descends in the underworld, Rome’s magical and somewhat disturbing other half”. PAOLO DI PAOLO, La Repubblica

“A novel that evokes Rome with the enthusiasm and passion of a lover, that draws from its most ancient traditions the sap for the construction of a unique work in the contemporary Italian literary landscape. A story that grips you from cover to cover”. LUCA ALVINO, Minima and Moralia

“Mystery is the point of view of Matteo Trevisani’s novel, perhaps the most suitable to discover the bowels of Rome”.


pp. 172
Publication date: Fall 2017
Publisher: Edizioni di Atlantide
Original Language: Italian
English excerpts available – Full manuscript soon to be available

Film and TV rights sold to Grey Ladder/Paco