When I arrived with my parents in 1960, things had become a little better, but the town was. After finishing Elena Ferrante's first novel in the Neapolitan Trilogy, I am of two minds. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018. Refresh and try again. Ferrante's books, originally published in Italian, have been translated into many languages. What makes something a page-turner? Her four-book series of Neapolitan Novels are her most widely known works. The cast of characters is large, and for me, an American reader, I was missing some cultural context that made it a little bewildering at first. And therein lies my problem with it. They create a compelling and exciting inner world together, a stage on which they both are able to dramatise themselves as the heroines of their own fate. Kobo. What happens in this book is often great and often fascinating, but what makes it a classic are the countless little moments of peace and the way that its not scared to repeat itself OR to veer wildly off course to follow its characters. Welcome back. It is epic in the best sense of the word, and yet quiet and personal in its scope. I have been studying Italian in my free time and so decided to try reading one of the most popular Italian writers of today: Elena Ferrante. Lord of The Flies is required reading for a reason. I like books. I also want to get The Reader newsletter featuring book deals, recommendations, and giveaways. The first part of a trilogy beginning with childhood girlfriends who, come to find out, don’t get past the age of 16 in this first installment. Not everything works—Elena’s family feels faintly drawn, and some of the character arcs are uneven—but it’s hard to put the novel down. In Lila Elena finally identifies an ideal she can aspire to. "My Brilliant Friend" is a story of friendship—humbling, raw, human friendship—amid the backdrop of a poor section of postwar Naples, Italy. the movements of others, only on my own” is her encryption.) I have been studying Italian in my free time and so decided to try reading one of the most popular Italian writers of today: Elena Ferrante. In 2012, Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend introduced readers to the unforgettable Elena and Lila, whose lifelong friendship provides the backbone for the Neapolitan Novels. Certainly not her mother – “My mother did her best to make me understand that. I get that. That chapter, and our book, ended with this as the very last sentence: “And God said, let there be light, and there was light, and He divided light from darkness, and day from night, and the evening and the morning were the first day.” My brilliant friend, we’ll miss your presence on this tiny jewel. My Brilliant Friend is the gripping first volume in Elena Ferrante’s widely acclaimed Neapolitan Novels. But it looks like I’m in the minority. I’m so sorry. My women are strong, educated, self-a, "The women in my stories are all echoes of real women who, because of their suffering or their combativeness, have very much influenced my imagination: my mother, a childhood girlfriend, acquaintances whose stories I know. Much has been said about this book, the first of the Naples trilogy, and by many. Elena, the narrator of the novel, is in first grade when we first meet her. . Photo Credit: Featured still from "My Brilliant Friend" via HBO. This strange turn of events prompts Elena to begin writing the history of her relationship with Lila, beginning with their childhood in Naples, Italy, in the 1950s. On the one hand, being a writer myself, it is demotivating, due to its frank brilliance; on the other, for an enthusiastic reader, it is thought-provoking and deeply engaging. During the Industrial Revolution, Merthyr had briefly been the iron capital of the world, but things didn't work out; iron ore became harder to mine, the people running the refining works didn't adopt modern methods quickly enough, the town was too far from the sea. I found the writing (or translation) incredibly choppy and the story overlong, repetitive and incoherent at times. Named as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in 2016, Italian author Elena Ferrante is the pseudonym of the author behind some of the most powerful and acclaimed novels of recent times.She is best-known for her internationally bestselling Neapolitan Quartet (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of The Lost Child). Her real identity is unknown except to her publisher because she wishes to have a normal life. The relationship between Lila and Lenu, the latter the narrator, has a bit of the Mozart-Saliari theme: the frustration of the simply smart person up against someone of almost supernatural genius. The plebs were that fight for food and wine, that quarrel over who should be served first and better, that dirty floor on which the waiters clattered back and forth, those increasingly vulgar toasts. And the world of 1950s and 60s Naples is a brutal one, with young men obsessed to protect brutally their own "honor" and the imagined "honor" of the girls around them. Maybe, but I sense something very, very authentic about the voice of Lenu and the brutalizing male world that surrounds her and cannot quite believe a man could have written this (see also James Wood's comments on this issue). In fact, everyone in the office received a copy – that’s how much our boss wanted us to read it. I should state that I rarely enjoy reading about childhood from the child’s perspective for an entire book. I wasn’t agreeable to her nor was she to me. My Brilliant Friend is narrated in the first-person by Elena, and events are presented from her perspective. A book written out of spite. The first in the Neapolitan Quartet, My Brilliant Friend follows two best friends –bookish Elena and fiery Lila – through adolescence in their poor but vibrant neighborhood of Naples. Google. Wow, cliffhangers work! Set in the ‘50s on the outskirts of Naples, the sprawling story follows author-narrator Elena and her clever best friend Lila as the two strive for greatness, wealth, and knowledge in a neighborhood beset by patriarchal feuds and gendered violence. So someone that before WWII was a mere little thief, often after the war become a rich shop or land owner and had a lot of money made on other people suffering. Through the lives of the. Readers’ questions about My Brilliant Friend (L'amica geniale #1). I retract any previous negative judgment: she is a major contemporary novelist and I will now go on immediately to her second Neapolitan novel, "The Story of a New Name." And therein lies my problem with it. This exquisitely written quartet creates an unsentimental portrait of female experience, rivalry and friendship never before seen in literature. For the duration, it read like the early pages of a novel you’re trying to get through so you can get to the main storyline. The only Ferrante novel I had read before was her "Days of Abandonment," which I thought overheated (and overrated). We’re really hard on Hollywood movies for their saminess, but books are no different. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. It took me three years to finally read this, and what an adventure this turn out to be. A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila, who represent the story of a nation and the nature of friendship. I wanted it to move into their adult years and become more interesting and relevant to me personally. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I just don't get the hype. September 25th 2012 The portrait of Elena and Lila’s bond is the novel’s masterstroke. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We’d love your help. 1 "sweet Jesus...this is the first of four books" stars !! To see what your friends thought of this book, Because in poor neighborhoods where kids see violence (husbands hitting wives) they go out and act this drama out themselves. 312). What happens. The only Ferrante novel I had read before was her "Days of Abandonment," which I thought overheated (and overrated). Apple Books. As all around them the somewhat coarse uneducated boys of the neighbourhood seek to distort and shape the girls to suit their own masculine vanity – “dissolve the margins” of separation - the two girls forge an independence of spirit that is nurtured by the inspiration they find in each other. Probably every book lover I know has recommended this series to me and I get why. This is a coming of age novel, true, but it is also much more than that. Ferrante's books, originally published in Italian, have been translated into many languages. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. I read the book in English (because my Italian is not that good yet) and the style was both deeply intimate and jarringly matter-of-fact. A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One. ", A not so satisfying read for me. This book is more than the sum of its (considerable) parts: Yes, the writing is great, the setting is vivid, the period sometimes shocking, the protagonist relatable and fun, the best friend one of the spunkiest, most endearing characters I've encountered, the supporting cast is varied and dizzying and each stands alone. My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One - Ebook written by Elena Ferrante. Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist. My Brilliant Friend (Italian: L'amica geniale) is an Italian- and Neapolitan-language coming-of-age drama television series created by Saverio Costanzo for HBO, RAI and TIMvision.Named after the first of four novels in the Neapolitan Novels series by Elena Ferrante, it is set to adapt the entire literary work over four eight-episode seasons. Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist. Not within my personal interest radar. Everything fell apart, and by the 1930s unemployment was running at 80%. Oh, you’re an author? From the age of two until twelve, I lived in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. (-: [I couldn't understand why everyone hated Don Achille. Different people draw different words from me.” So said Virginia Woolf and this, the forging of identity in relationship, is very much the theme of Elena Ferrante’s compelling novel. Embed our reviews widget for this book I’ve also experienced this oscillation. Neapolitan Novels Series Elena Ferrante Collection 4 Books Bundle (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of … And to think, this is only a translation! Just started this, but why are all the kids so violent? A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Still, it only adds to the intrigue, as you can't help but wonder who writes these marvelous books. I tried. Though I am undeniably envious of Ferrante's beautiful skill with words, I have to acknowledge that the growing hype around her is totally warranted, and in fact, I want to add to it:-). And probably there was also some kind of affiliation to the camorra and he surely was a loan-shark. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Time magazine called Ferrante one of the 100 most influential people in 2016. I believe that Don Achille was one of them, and that is why the people of the district hated him. She lives in a violent and impoverished working class district of Naples where kindred spirits or role models are hard to find. My Brilliant Friend is not the sort of book I would normally pick up as I prefer fantasy fiction. Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. However, toward the end of the girls’ story, it is Lila who praises Elena, and encourages her to be "the best of all, boys and girls" (pg. It … Rafaella “Lila” Cerullo, Elena’s friend since childhood, has gone missing. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018. What makes something a page-turner? I can say that if I was willing to read the second book I might enjoy it as it was just getting interesting. By Iwaki Kei. The girls meet at age six in their poor Naples neighborhood. I found her body repulsive.” Then she meets Lila. Yes! What was so bad about him? Ferrante's inimitable style lends itself perfectly to this penetrating portrait of two marvelous women. Half way in and beyond, I’m still reading about translating latin and struggling with studying and class exams along with the onset of puberty and its challenges. The book is a blow-by-blow confessional, following the two girls from their earliest memories through their early adulthood. Her four-book series of Neapolitan Novels are her most widely known works. So beautifully written and of course equally beautifully translated from the original Italian. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists. A modern masterpiece from one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. And he boys seem to feel. The novel is the story of their friendship and Elena’s attempts to transcend her background of thrift and mean spirited bullying. Book Summary From one of Italy's most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila, set in a vibrant and colorful modern-day Naples. As in “My Brilliant Friend,” Ferrante’s new novel follows a girl who measures her worth against another complicated character. Why am I staying up late at night to finish? . I tried. Every little town or neighborhood in Italy had its own black marketer. And he boys seem to feel powerless as they stay trapped in the neighborhood and envy the Solara's. For 200 pages I tried to see what it is about this writer that gets such acclaim, but with 130 pages to go, I abandoned it - there are just too many other books in my waiting pile that I want to read. We've got book picks for anyone who can't wait for the next season of the hit HBO series based on Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels. I can really think of no better praise than to simply say I loved it, though that seems inadequate commendation for such a supremely talented author. When I arrived with my parents in 1960, things had become a little better, but the town was still one of the poorest in Britain. The short chapters keep the pages turning, and by the end of the novel I found myself very involved in the lives of the characters. I should state that I rarely enjoy reading about childhood from the child’s perspective for an entire book. MY BRILLIANT FRIEND is an extraordinarily meaningful and absorbing read. Someones had some secret stash of butter, sugar, dry meat, salt, coffee, probably stolen from the American Army. But still: why am I gasping in shock when someone wears a particular pair of shoes. The four volumes known as the “Neapolitan quartet” (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child) were published by Europa Editions in English between 2012 and 2015. Then it ends abruptly, like part I of a big novel with no part II. My Brilliant Friend is the first title of the bestselling Neapolitan Novels, a four-book series written by pseudonymous author Elena Ferrante and translated by American editor Ann Goldstein. No, I haven’t heard of you before. The relationship between Lila and Lenu, the latter the narrator, has a bit of the M. As my rating reflects, I was overwhelmed by this novel. The plebs were my mother, who had drunk wine and now was leaning against my father’s shoulder, while he, serious, laughed, his mouth gaping, at the sexual allusions of the metal dealer. (Author bio adapted from Wikipe-dia. Much has been written about My Brilliant Friend, so I'm not sure what I can add except for a few reactions to what I see as the three main characters: As my rating reflects, I was overwhelmed by this novel. The relationship unfolds in the suburbs of Naples with a surprising reversal, as we come to realize just who the "Brilliant Friend" really is. Because in poor neighborhoods where kids see violence ( husbands hitting wives ) they go out and this. Widely known works out themselves the next volume of this series, and that is why the people the! Absorbing read where kids see violence ( husbands hitting wives ) they go out and act drama! My mother did her best to make me understand that I rarely reading... 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