is a 1996 novel written by Stefano Benni, one of the wittiest and most famous writers in Italy, whose works were also translated in other languages
The story is set in "Tristalia" (a crapsack parody of 1996 Italy
), where the "Nova Repubblica" is ruled by the 20 presidents
(parodies of various italians politicians and actors
) and the all knowing Zentrum
. The various free Counties must win certain "challenges" with the government of the Nova Repubblica in order to keep their indipendence. However, the champion of County Eight, Elianto
is currently recovered because of a mysterious illness called the "Sweet Plague". However, he can dream of mysterious worlds which can be reached with a mysterious "Nootic" Map.
In this background, the book follows the stories of three groups of people who must venture these worlds:
- The first group, the "Brave Kids" composed by Elianto's friends Boccadimiele, Rangio and Iri: Using a Nootic Map found in a Eel's Can they travel to the Alterean Worlds in order to find a cure to Elianto's disease.
- The second group is composed by Fuku Tiger Eyes, a Cloud Warrior and the ''tiny'' yogi Pat and Visa from the Mountain County, who must retrieve the legendary Cloud Warrior Sad Tiger who went in voluntary exile in the Alterean Worlds, so that he can fight the champion of Tristalia Rollo Napalm.
- Third group: the three Devils Ebenezer, Carmilla and Brot are send by Lucifer himself to find the legendary beast known as Kopfs, who can destroy the Zentrum (who's removing the free will, and thus the challenge of tempting mortals) from the people of Tristalia.
Elianto contains Examples of:
- Angst: Sad Tiger went in great depression and left for other worlds after accidentally killing a cat with an arrow.
- Affably Evil: The devils and even Lucifer, who's "not more wicked than humans themselves".
- And I Must Scream: Purgatory is actually a huge building with many rooms, and there the souls are forced to do the same action and always the same action (eg: reading the same book, eating only pizza, and so on) and can have only two pauses for the tea (which sucks). Thankfully, it's not eternal.
- Apocalypse How: The Desert world of Yasmerius was once a great nation and now, after an unclear nuclear disaster, is a cold desert inhabitated only by bands of cannibals and locusts.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Rollo's ambitions are to win the fight, take over Tristalia, eventually take over all the other states in the world.... and finally learn how to tie his own shoes. In that order.
- Bad Ass: Fuku Tiger Eyes and Sad Tiger.
- Berserk Button: Do NOT, for any reason, call Sad Tiger a cat-killer.
- Big Bad Ensemble: The Zentrum, Baby Esatto and Rollo Napalm.
- Big Brother Is Watching: The government of the Nova Repubblica employs such methods.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Used in a humorous, squicky way during Carmilla's strip number in the "Willyougetout" bar on Bludus.
- BFS: One of the Triperot warriors on Neikos wields a sword "that three normal person couldn't lift" with the words "My Lord thou art my Shepherd" carved on it.
- Black Comedy: One of the challenges of the Counties was a Gypsy hunt.
- Blessed with Suck: Light Tiger, the chief abbot of the Cloud Warriors has reached such a greated illumination that risks to fly to the ceiling if he doesn't think "earthly" thoughts. (That include reading a manga called "Horny Schoolgirls".)
- Brainwashed: Many people from Tristalia. Others live under fear. Even Elianto's family. They eventually manage to remove the control chips and return to Elianto.
- The Brute: Rollo Napalm, the strongest fighter from Tristalia and champion of "Wicked fight".
- Came Back Wrong: Trimaster, a cyborg-golem-zombie version of the deceased Rollo Napalm.
- Camera Fiend: Iri with her trusty "Okumi".
- Chekhov's Gun: The Huang Chestnut Tree. Also many, many other fact and notes, sometimes played for laughs.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Several characters, but Talete and Noon take the cake. The former can even believe that nuns have whiskers like the mice.
- Collector of the Strange: Dr Satagius collects various syrups from various ages.
- Crapsaccharine World: The Nova Repubblica is the crap, the Counties are the saccharine.
- Dashing Hispanic: The Tango Dancer. Alias Death.
- Deal with the Devil: The legendary musicist Snailhand Slim did one with a strange man named "Toad" Brown alias Brot. Lucifer at one point complaints about such deals, stating that now making them is far too easy as all mortals are already oriented toward evil.
- Dr. Jerk: Dr Siliconi, a plastic surgeon who only cares for the money and would like to turn the clinic (Villa Bacilla) in a modern superclinic of plastic surgery.
"Remember, a patient without a kidney can easly live, a man without cash can't!"
- Dream World: Mnemonia, where all the memories, gifts and dreams are kept.
- Driven to Suicide: The cat killed by Sad Tiger was actually trying to kill himself because of Love Hurts.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Nail, a nail-shaped smogscraper where the Zentrum resides.
- Extreme Omnivore: Brot. He's shown eating basically everything, including lava-flavoured pasta, alien flesh, meat, weird animals, ice-creams and even himself at one point.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Partly subverted, true hell is actually a huge traffic jam with cars full of sinners which proceed slowly. Oh, and the sinners are sometimes bothered by devils disguised as annoying hitchhikers.
- Gag Nose: One of Posidon's pirates, "Narvhal" Peter, who even use it to stab several opponents to death.
- Gag Penis: During Carmilla's strip number, we see many, squicky examples of this, including a subversion (a huge, black man who reveals a six centimetres long round penis.)
- Gasshole: Brot even uses his mega-farts to fly straight. It turns in deadly Fartillery in battle.
- Gonk: Many characters, though Brot stands out.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Talete.
- Horny Devils: Carmilla, and Malcinea.
- Insufferable Genius: Baby Esatto, son of Essie Esatto (correct), a parody of Mike Bongiorno.
- Intellectual Animal: Rangoutan, the sentien ape living in Yasmerius' zoo. Also the philosopher fish in Posidon's waters and the Kofs itself (who gathers and has gathered all the information that happened and ''could'' happen in the universe.)
- Ill Boy: Elianto.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Persefone on Yasmerius.
- Jerk Ass God: The "Shunter" is often hinted to be this.
- Just Desserts: Dr Siliconi is devoured by the carnivorous fungi on the Huang Chestnut.
- Kiai: Fuku's Cloud Warrior's Battlecry, used to throw enemies in fear and to call the taxis.
- Klingon Promotion: After the 20 Presidents of the Nova Repubblica are elected, they indulge in wiping each other out until only one survives. And yes, it's their duty.
- Light Is Not Good: The "Sadic Angels" on Yasmerius.
- Living MacGuffin: The Kofs for the devils and Sad Tiger for Fuku.
- Love Hurts: To Captain Guepiére at least, until he finally find the ring of his beloved.
- Mask Power: Sad Tiger used to wear a tiger-skin mask.
- Meaningful Name: Many of the worlds, including Neikos (means hate in greek), Bludus (ludus means fun), Posidon and so on.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Basically all the Presidents and many people from the Government are parodies of Italian politicians and actors.
- Official Couple: Carmilla and Ebenezer.
- Old Shame: Is implied that once Rollo Napalm was tricked into having sex with Captain Guepiére.
- One-Winged Angel: All the devils can do this at will. In Ebenezer's case, he turns in a clawed monster with a scorpion-like tail. Brot becomes a sort of Stegosaurus.
- Overly Long Name: The Yogis Visapamachanda and Patachamandanda. Also the Devils Carmilla Drosera Carmelia Pinguicola, Brot Caolila Alcamara Daquiris and Ebenezer Sinferru Petronius Snoberus.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The Flamenco Dancer.
- Physical God: Archimede Trismegistus, the resident of Protoplas and (clumsy) maker of all living creatures.
- Planet of Hats: Each world has his own theme:
- Protoplas is the primordial chaos where everything was created.
- Neikos looks like Medieval European Fantasy and is perpetually in war.
- Posidon is a world of oceans and pirates.
- Medium is a flat, extremely strict and awfully boring world.
- Bludus, the Light Town of eternal gambling, games, pubs and fun.
- Yasmerius is a deserted, post apocalyptical world, inhabitated only by locusts and cannibals.
- Mnemonia, the world of dreams and thoutghs.
- The Power of Rock: Bangio is able to use the legendary Twelve Devil's Chords, including the F-ire Sharpand the C-razy.
- Punny Name: Tons and tons. Including the Pirate captain Pierre Gue (alias Guepiére [Bodice]) and the infamous Bludus quarter "Willyougetout".
- Purple Prose: Used in a good way by Benni himself, expecially on the chapters set in Neikos.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Triperots and Siperquats from Neikos. Also parodied with Pat and Visa, who, representing the Yin and Yang, always disagree on each others opinion.
- Running Gag: Usually involving the Huang Trees.
- Sacrificial Lion: Talete.
- Satan: Lucifer, the "Executive Manager" of Hell. He's not such a bad fellow, but has an extremely bad taste in neckties.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Rangoutan and the philosopher fish.
- Shrouded in Myth: Several people including the legendary musician Menphis Snailhand Slim (who can play the guitar with two fingers).
- The Speechless: Sister Malcinea, the nun of the clinic Villa Bacilla where Elianto's recovered. She's actually Carmilla's sister and a she devil.
- Those Wacky Nazis: The Nazi-chic party lead by President Mathausen Filini.
- Transsexual: Captain Pierre Gue, who's said to have both "bulges and muscles" in his body.
- War Is Hell: Neikos.
- When Trees Attack: The octopus-like Huang Chestnut.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Some members of Captain Guepiére's crew.
- Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Sad Tiger's precious sword is revealed to be a toy wooden saber made from a wooden crate.
"Sometimes the most beautiful sword or the sharpest one isn't the most important."
- World Tree: The Huang Trees are implied to be this on a lighter scale.
- Wretched Hive: Bludus, where all kind of games, organizations and shows are avaible.
- Wutai: The Monastery of the Cloud Warriors. They're a pastiche of chinese and japanese culture, with a bit of Hindi thrown in.