The Malta Independent 30 March 2023, Thursday
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Humans cause mayhem in paradise island

Noel Grima Tuesday, 17 January 2023, 11:57 Last update: about 3 months ago

‘Gganti’. Author: David Aloisio. Publisher: Horizons / 2022. Pages: 168

Żita had just finished her exams. Her father wanted her to spend the summer working for him but Żita had other plans. She wanted to spend summer lazing around and going places with her best friend, Nada.

Not having any particular plans for the day, they start chatting about the whale that had been seen in the sea. Then they decided to jump on their bikes and head for the coast near which the whale had been seen. Once there, the sea looked so inviting that they jumped in.


But then they couldn't climb back on land. Nada disappears in the waves...

So begins this charming tale. To cut a long story short, Żita finds herself befriended by a couple, Kfir and his woman Matera, who are on a raft heading to an island which is inhabited by huge, strange animals who are said to be friendly with the humans who arrive on the island.

The newly-arrived at first explore the island and they befriend the huge animals, the giants, who somehow seem to be afraid of humans. They find that the young among the giants like very much to play a game like football where the ball is a round rock.

The giants try hard to befriend the humans, even getting together and building a special house for them. But the humans have other ideas - jealousy takes over their brain and they declare war on the giants.

The giants never see what's coming and they remain till the end the trusting beings they have always been. But the humans, once they taste power and violence, continue till the bitter end. In the process they destroy life around them. Don't we know this and don't we see it happening around us?

This tale is told in simple Maltese, written with simple mastery by an author who is a senior lecturer on Maltese Literature at the Junior College and who has already given us Il-Hamiem ta' Matty in 2018.


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