Tommaso Soldini’s Hopeless is almost feral. One of those novels that are not only hard to define, but flout the very idea of definition. Unabashedly set in a very near future (2024-25), it narrates the vicissitudes of an investigative journalist, Michele Incassa, father of two girls, who is unexpectedly abandoned by his wife Gemma. In order to win her back, he finds himself chasing her shadow in the Petite Princesse, a club for swingers suspended between dream and reality. As if this were not enough, a news report embroils him in a meticulously inventive reconstruction of an attempted murder, in particular of the hours and days before the incident. These parallel interwoven narratives dismantle the predictable, routine notions of what we call — in a naïve simplification — “reality”, or even “truth”.