Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Der Junge, der Träume schenkte” as Want to Read:
Der Junge, der Träume schenkte
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Der Junge, der Träume schenkte

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,771 ratings  ·  260 reviews
New York, 1909. Aus einem transatlantischen Frachter steigt eine junge Frau mit ihrem Sohn Natale. Sie kommen aus dem tiefsten Süden Italiens – mit dem Traum von einem besseren Leben in Amerika. Doch in der von Armut, Elend und Kriminalität gezeichneten Lower East Side gelten die gnadenlosen Gesetze der Gangs. Nur wer über ausreichend Robustheit und Durchsetzungskraft ...more
Paperback, 783 pages
Published July 22nd 2011 by Bastei Lübbe (first published March 4th 2008)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Der Junge, der Träume schenkte, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Der Junge, der Träume schenkte

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,771 ratings  ·  260 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Der Junge, der Träume schenkte
Angela M
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Life is tough and brutal for Cetta Luminita at 14 , living in southern Italy in poverty , so she runs runs away with her infant son and does whatever she has to in order to get passage to America. And it continues to be a tough life for her as a prostitute doing whatever she has to do for her son , Natale who in America is now called Christmas. It's a tough life for Christmas too . Amidst the violence of Italian and Jewish gangs , it is this young boy's imagination and story telling abilities
Jana Heinzelmann
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I am going to write this review in English even though the book I am talking about is not available in English. Yet. I honestly hope, that this will change soon! It would be such a shame if the rest of the world would not be able to enjoy this wonderful piece of literature! The title of the book in its original version is “Il grande scomunicato” by Luca Di Fulvio who is Italian. For all Germans among you, the title is “Der Junge der Träume schenkte” (in English: The boy who gives dreams).

Cindy H.
Thank you NetGalley and Bastei Entertainment for providing me with an ARC of THE BOY WHO GRANTED DREAMS by Luca Di Fulvio.

If you thought Jack & Rose from the movie TITANIC was the ultimate love story, wait until you meet Christmas (yes, that's his name) and Ruth! OMG! I am a real sucker for a good immigrant story, especially set in early 20th century New York City, and Luca Di Fulvio has written a giant epic. The Boy Who Granted Dreams is not a quick, easy read. The book is over 800 pages
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

So what's the biggest drawback to our current revolution in indie presses and self-publishing, when things like digital printing plants and places like Amazon now allow pretty much anyone on the planet to publish a manuscript as a finished, polished paperback whenever they want? Surprisingly, it's not the
Marija Krkic
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing! ...more
Maria Grazia
It is everything a good page - turner must be: gripping, well written, fast paced, with believable, relatable, richly painted, characters. I wonder how it is possible it hasn't become a movie or a TV series yet, since it provides perfect material: New York and Los Angeles in the 1920s, gangsters and street life, violence and romance, the American Dream and the birth of radio and cinema, sex and blood, gritty and sentimental scenes.
It was a surprising wave of emotions and a thrilling reading. A
Lolly K Dandeneau
Apr 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story follows Natale (Christmas), an immigrant from Italy growing up in the slums with a mother who wants nothing more than for him to be an American. As much as he is the story, so too is his vibrant mother Cetta Luminita whose own mother, trying to save her from the evil of a man's lust curses her instead. But with a bastard in her belly, she refuses to allow her son's future to be smeared with the stain of sin. In her quest to start a new life in America, she must sell herself and become ...more
Alexia Melocchi
May 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most beautiful books I have read about America in the 1920s and the Immigrants that started a new life there. Not because I am privileged to represent this book for Film and Television, but it is indeed a LOVE LETTER to America. Reminiscent of Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America, it is a moving and riveting read. Be ready to be transported into a world where dreams were dreamt, where the pain and struggle of starting over in a then foreign country allows the protagonists to ...more
Oct 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: had-to-give-up
The book cover mentioned some poverty, violence and despair but it did not prepare me for the book's content. This book was for me long-breathed and violent to the core. It lived of one cliche after another. I did not make it past page 150. At this point, two young girls have been already raped violently and in quite detailed description, on of those girls going on to be a prostitute that develops feelings for her pimp. Seriously? Really? So the man that sends her to sell her body has a soft and ...more
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Story about Chrismas (Natale), a boy who emigrates with his mother from Italy to America to find a better life, only to find that America in the 1930's wasn't really the land of dreams, especially for single mothers and boys without a father.

At first I didn't think the book could hold my interest, but I really couldn't put it down after I started reading.
Alexandra Yacovlef
This is one of the best books I have read in many years. I could not put it down as I was so emotionally involved. It is beautiful, and it is as the writer said "A LOVE LETTER TO AMERICA"
Karisa Austin
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were a couple of chapters that were very hard for me to read as a woman, however, I'm glad I pushed through. It's a beautiful and engaging love story.
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By far, this is one of the best novels about Italian/American life I have ever read. It begins with a young Sicilian girl named Cetta who suffers a rape, despite her mother's attempts to keep the eyes of men from leering at her. With her bastard child, Natale, Cetta sails for America to start a new life, but the cost of her voyage is to endure the sexual advances of the captain. Upon arriving in America, the captain hands her over to a pimp by the name of Sal and Cetta begins work in a brothel. ...more
Oct 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book starts well. That's it, that's my only "pro" for this one. Oh no, I got one more: A lot of people seem to like it (at least here on Goodreads), which is also good. Especially for Luca Di Fulvio since I assume that he put a lot of effort into it. Unfortunately, I do not belong to that group of people.

The characters of the book find themselves in stereotyped roles and lack depth. The story evolves slow using a very simplified, black and white, cliché view of the world and the people in
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story about an immigrant family in Manhattan in the beginning of the 20th Century. It's the story about Cetta, who came to New York as an Italian immigrant and her son Christmas, who falls in love with a rich, damaged Jewish girl. I think I loved Cetta's character the best, as a very young mother who struggles to survive, alone in a new country.
What I did not like was all the violence against women in the book. And the book was long, I mean really looooong!
So, 3 starts overall.
Jana Limbergová
A great story. So inspiring!
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

It took me quite a while to get into the story. After about half of it I was actually drawn in and enjoyed the way Christmas’ and Ruth’s life unfolded in front of me.
What really annoyed me though were the sex scenes. I’m not exactly prude but believe me there are so many that at some point I found myself asking if I really wanted to finish the book. Most of the scenes just don’t add anything to the narrative, development of the characters or description of the overall setting - they are
Daniel Berthiaume
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this great book. I read the French version and I must say I really enjoyed myself. It is an excellent story filled with great characters. The French version was really well translated from the original version in Italian I believe. I never once was bored throughout this 944 page book.

I wish I could give it 4.5 stars. And I can't give it 5 stars as I only reserve that score for a handful of books. But in all of the 4 stars books I read recently, this one is most likely the
Ella Darie
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was brutal, yet beautiful. Painful, yet charming. Heartbreaking, yet lovable. The book brought me on a great adventure through love, pain and sacrifices and did I love it? Yes, I definitely did.
If you're looking for a cute story that you can cry over just because "they should be together", this is not a book for you. It's full of reality, it drags you through dirt with the characters and you won't be able to let go, not until you read to the very last page.
It became one of my favourites and
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like the first 50 pages; the characters were too much previsible and lacked complexity. The story was awful and I could not stand the things that arrived to Cetta (also made me want to shake her, want her to do something...) But hopefully, after, I was attached to the same characters and the story was far more interesting. Nice writing.
Dajana Kavrigina

I can't believe I only discovered this book this year. This is not a hard-to-read book, though it equates to 600 pages. I am amazed at how the author is able to tell such a unique story so simply.
Anastasia Owlbooksreviews
Absolutely amazing story that impressed me a lot!
Stana Seewooth
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about light in darkness.. It's about bravery & misery, hope & despair.. love & fear.
Mademoiselle Bouquine
To be honest, too long, almost painfully bland, and a story I'm probably going to forget in the next few months... It was absorbing, but definitely not memorable.
Mel Bolivar
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really nice book! I loved how the author takes you to a different time and place! I found myself smiling and being worried and happy with the story of the characters
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Took me a while to get into and it's loooong. So much text. But the story is great.
Marie Pi
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captivating, this story between tenderness and violence was just perfect! I think I just love "coming-of-age novel :)
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good although at times super graphic - both in violence and sexually. Not sure if that has to do with the translation (from Italian) or my American aesthetic.
For more of my reviews or even of me and my thoughts, visit me at my blog, Dancing Through the Pages!

Before I really begin this review, I want to say that this is based on the translation of the book. I feel that a lot of the things I felt may have been a result of translation. Things like writing style, pacing, and character development were probably skewed in translation. With that said, I didn’t like how the book was translated. It made the writing style feel kind of choppy. There was a lot
P.e. lolo
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mafia
This is a fantastic story and no review can describe this story in the manner in which the author wrote it. It starts with a beautiful young girl in Southern Italy, who is blond and because of the way she looks the Pardon of the area is keeping his eye on here. Her mother fearing that she will get pregnant makes her a cripple by using a rope and tying a shoulder and a leg so she looks hutched over. This works for a while but when a friend of the Padron’s who is missing a leg sees her working in ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Né d'aucune femme
  • Le Bal des folles
  • La vie rêvée des chaussettes orphelines
  • Changer l'eau des fleurs
  • La Vraie Vie
  • Deux sœurs
  • La Tresse
  • Soif
  • Bakhita
  • Fugitive parce que reine
  • Eldorado
  • Il est grand temps de rallumer les étoiles
  • Les gratitudes
  • Les Loyautés
  • Les Déracinés
  • Ciao Bella
  • La Symphonie du hasard - Livre 1
  • De pierre et d'os
See similar books…
Luca di Fulvio was born in Italy. He is an italian writer.
Di Fulvio studied dramaturgy at the Accademia d'Arte Drammatica Silvio D'Amico in Rome under Andrea Camilleri. Then he was half a year as a member of The Living Theatre, where he could work in London together with Paola Bourbons, Sergio Graziani, Mario Maranzana, Andrzej Wajda and Julian Beck.
Since 1996, Di Fulvio has also worked as a