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My Brilliant Friend

Book 1, Neapolitan Novels - Neapolitan Novels, Book One

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

Book One in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet

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.

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

Aug 27, 2012 – The world of Elena and Lila, Neapolitan girls growing up after the Second World War, is small, casually violent, and confined to their poor neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and the few prosperous families dominate. There are rules and expectations, and everyone knows and lives by them. Except Lila: smarter and bolder than the others, she does what she wants, drawing Elena, who narrates the story, in her wake. But this is more than a conventional up-from-poverty tale. Elena completes her schooling; Lila does not. Elena leaves the neighborhood and eventually Naples and Southern Italy; Lila does not. Yet it is Lila and her dreams and caprices that drive everything. In fact, the narrative exists because the adult Elena, hearing that Lila has disappeared, decides to write Lila s story. And she does, in dense, almost sociological detail (the list of the members of the key families is actually necessary). This is both fascinating two girls, their families, a neighborhood, and a nation emerging from war and into an economic boom and occasionally tedious, as day-to-day life can be. But Lila, mercurial, unsparing, and, at the end of this first episode in a planned trilogy from Ferrante (The Lost Daughter), seemingly capable of starting a full-scale neighborhood war, is a memorable character.

Customer Reviews

Be Italian

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.

My Brilliant Friend
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Sep 25, 2012
  • Publisher: Europa
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 1, Neapolitan Novels
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings