The following books by Venero Armanno are available for your purchase. Explore below.
A 2017 novel bout family, regret, love and the promise of salvation
What if you had one last chance to make amends? This gripping novel asks what’s the high price of success. Charlie Smoke is living out his early retirement from the boxing ring as a bricklayer. It is the mid-1970s and he believes his best days are behind him. He’s lost his wife and daughter to his questionable past, but when he meets Holly Banks and her teenage son, Ricky, he has a chance to do things differently. As an unlikely friendship develops with Ricky, Charlie is unwittingly pulled back into the gambling underworld he thought he’d left behind. In order to make a new future, first he must help settle some old scores.
‘Black Mountain is an eerie and compelling read … Like the best of fiction, it remains with you long after you have finished.’ Christos Tsiolka
Beginning in the sulphur mines of Sicily over a century ago, this 2012 novel is a journey through time and back again.
When a boy sold into slavery finds the courage to escape his brutal life, he is saved by a mysterious stranger, who raises the boy as his own. Renamed Cesare Montenero after Sicily’s own ‘black mountain’, Mount Etna, the boy grows up to discover that his rescue was no accident, that his physical strength is unnatural, and that he has more in common with his saviour than he could have imagined. And when he meets the enigmatic Celeste, he suspects for the first time that he many not be alone.
Based on factual events and ranging through Italy, Paris and the rural fringes of coastal Australia, Black Mountain is a haunting exploration of what it means to be human.
TRAVEL UNDER ANY STAR
My first story collection in nearly 25 years. This 2016 book contains a new novella (the 50,000 word title story), plus novellas and stories spanning a two decades.
As one reviewer wrote: ‘Travel Under Any Star is a collection of stories – old and new – in a style I now think of as Armanno-esque. Fans will know exactly what I mean: passionate men who grapple with fatal flaws, siren women who lure them to their doom, family legacies that haunt one generation after another, mundane happenings in exotic locations – and vice versa.’
AVID Reader Bookstore (West End), Title Books (Southbank) and Dymocks (Brisbane City) have stock. To read a sample story, click here.
The Dirty Beat
Driven by music and passion, The Dirty Beat shimmers with an electric intensity.
Rock and jazz drummer Max is dead. Now, in his coffin as his friends prepare to bury him, Max is surrounded by the ghosts of his life and the dreams that never faded. All the old music is back too – from raw seventies rock-and roll to the type of cool jazz that made legends of John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
In this sea of memory, Max recalls the tragedies, people and relationships that defined his life. From his first love Maree Kilmister he learned about sex; from his great love Debbie Canova he learned about loss; and from the enigmatic Laetecia Sparks, he learned about hope. As the players in his life gather for his funeral, he has one last chance to relive his past and see it for what it was.
Sweeping from Sicily to Australia, spanning generations and very different worlds, this is a novel of power, passion and sheer blazing brilliance.
Winner of the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Fiction Book (2002) and
Shortlisted for the Courier Mail Best Book Award (2002).
The Volcano is a story about Emilio Aquila, a boy driven mad by love for a woman beyond his reach. His passion turns him into an outcast, forced to live away from his village in the caves high on the slopes of Sicily’s Mount Etna. His determination to lead life on his own terms leads him to Australia, but he cannot escape the past. When the book was released in 2001, Murray Waldren wrote a nice piece in The Australian.
To purchase a paperback version of the novel, click here.
This 2005 novel deals with the nature of reality and dreams, of love, identity, despair and salvation.
An Australian novelist is living in an arts community in Paris, trying to write. He is mourning the death of the love of his life, Kiko. Still drowning in grief, one day he is harassed by a beggar, who claims to be a famous American writer, Sonny Lee. As his life is penetrated by Sonny it begins to unravel. Soon the novelist encounters Zoya, a mute Russian girl with whom he makes love, and in turn she introduces him to Les Belles Endormies – a place where, after drinking a potent green tea, clients fall asleep and experience hallucinogenic dreams about episodes in their past.
In the meantime the death of a friend brings the novelist into contact with Emilie, and slowly love begins to seem possible to him again. The story moves from Paris’s artistic community to the maelstrom of a dance party in the city’s streets to its chilling subterranean catacombs to the eerie thermal springs of Pamukkale in Turkey.
To purchase a paperpack version, click here.