My Brilliant Friend
Book 1, Neapolitan Novels - Neapolitan Novels, Book One
Elena Ferrante & Ann Goldstein
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Soon to be an HBO series, book one in the New York Times bestselling Neapolitan quartet about two friends growing up in post-war Italy is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted family epic by Italy’s most beloved and acclaimed writer, Elena Ferrante, “one of the great novelists of our time.” (Roxana Robinson, The New York Times)
Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante’s four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its protagonists, the fiery and unforgettable Lila, and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflictual friendship. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.
Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists.
“An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends,” writes Entertainment Weekly. “Spectacular,” says Maureen Corrigan on NPR’s Fresh Air. “A large, captivating, amiably peopled bildungsroman,” writes James Wood in The New Yorker
Ferrante is one of the world’s great storytellers. With My Brilliant Friend she has given her readers an abundant, generous, and masterfully plotted page-turner that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight readers for many generations to come.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
A very different style than English novels and therefore worthwhile for those interested in foreign travel through reading books. This novel is narrated by a central character telling the story of her young Neapolitan life in the 60's. The brilliant friend, Lila, is a study of one who has incredible intellectual and intuitive gifts but who is shackled by poverty to a predictable life in the depressing neighborhood.
The novel shows a side of Italy rarely seen or felt.
A brilliant book
Ferrante has a unique style: unblinking, unadorned, and honest. Her Neapolitan, working class heroine has keen intelligence, but also an innocent's mindset as she tries to make meaning of the harsh realities of her life, and aims to honor the admirable friendship to her confidante and role model Lila. She creates a believable consciousness of the early teen years and reminds the adult reader how powerful and all encompassing the demands of friendship are for the young. She also evokes the quiddity of mid-twentieth century Naples. A book like no other I have read. I can't wait to read the companion volumes.
Could not get into it
Read about half and stopped. I do not get the positive reviews that prompted me to buy it.
- Category: Literary
- Published: Sep 25, 2012
- Publisher: Europa
- Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
- Print Length: 336 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Book 1, Neapolitan Novels