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. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Farewell, My Orange. The only Ferrante novel I had read before was her "Days of Abandonment," which I thought overheated (and overrated). Amazon. I’m so sorry. And he boys seem to feel. I also want to get The Reader newsletter featuring book recommendations and news. I get that. Still, it only adds to the intrigue, as you can't help but wonder who writes these marvelous books. 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. (-: [I couldn't understand why everyone hated Don Achille. My Brilliant Friend Summary The novel opens with Elena Greco learning that her longtime friend Lila Cerrullo (also known as Raffaella and Lina) has vanished without a trace. My True Brilliant Friend Follow the journey of young actors Margherita Mazzucco and Gaia Girace, from first introductions to the series' premiere, as they work to bring the story of two best friends to life. Photo Credit: Featured still from "My Brilliant Friend" via HBO. 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). In addition to writing, “I study, I translate, I teach. Why am I staying up late at night to finish? Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist. 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. I literally, like, open them and turn the pages and read the text inside them and everything. the movements of others, only on my own” is her encryption.) Still, there is much, much more to this novel than I can go into here--it is a complex work filled with beautiful gems, particularly toward the end. 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. 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. The Story of a New Name is the second book in this series. This exquisitely written quartet creates an unsentimental portrait of female experience, rivalry and friendship never before seen in literature. It … Lila is a wild child with exalted sensibility and intelligence for her age. I just don't get the hype. Welcome back. I should state that I rarely enjoy reading about childhood from the child’s perspective for an entire book. In fact, I even read books occasionally. 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. 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. The narrator Elena tells us everything about her upbringing in a neighborhood where harsh poverty is the norm and family violence is unremarkable, even, for instance, when a father sends a daughter flying out a second story window. Oh, Ms. Ferrante, hello there. 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. 1 "sweet Jesus...this is the first of four books" stars !! Certainly not her mother – “My mother did her best to make me understand that I was superfluous in her life. But the echo that you noticed maybe derives from an oscillation inside the characters that I’ve always worked on. 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. 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. 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. The prose is bare, the pacing swift, the plotting episodic, the characters many and quickly sketched; with writing that feels. And probably there was also some kind of affiliation to the camorra and he surely was a loan-shark. They sold those to poor people at 10 time the real value. Not within my personal interest radar. 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. 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. Google. I like books. This is contemporary realistic fiction about two women who grow up together in the 1950s and 1960s in a poor neighborhood in Naples. A fast-paced coming-of-age novel charting the ups and downs of an intense friendship between two working-class Italian girls. And he boys seem to feel powerless as they stay trapped in the neighborhood and envy the Solara's. From the age of two until twelve, I lived in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. This novel has so much violence that it should come with some kind of rating. In Lila Elena finally identifies an ideal she can aspire to. But it looks like I’m in the minority. Just started this, but why are all the kids so violent? Ferrante's books, originally published in Italian, have been translated into many languages. No, I haven’t heard of you before. [ like throwing your eleven year old daughter out a window into the street. I get that. Rafaella “Lila” Cerullo, Elena’s friend since childhood, has gone missing. My Brilliant Friend is not the sort of book I would normally pick up as I prefer fantasy fiction. I wanted it to move into their adult years and become more interesting and relevant to me personally. I should try them some time . At the end, there is a cliffhanger so brutal I immediately had to go and buy the next volume of this series. She lives in a violent and impoverished working class district of Naples where kindred spirits or role models are hard to find. But still: why am I gasping in shock when someone wears a particular pair of shoes. 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. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One. The book is a blow-by-blow confessional, following the two girls from their earliest memories through their early adulthood. My Brilliant Friend, the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018. "My Brilliant Friend" is a story of friendship—humbling, raw, human friendship—amid the backdrop of a poor section of postwar Naples, Italy. My Brilliant Friend is the gripping first volume in Elena Ferrante’s widely acclaimed Neapolitan Novels. But still: why am I gasping in shock when someone wears a particular pair of shoes. . The story begins in the 1950s in a poor … Ugh! I received this book as a Christmas present from my boss over a year ago. 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. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published I wanted it to move into their adult years and become more interesting and relevant to me personally. Still, it only adds to the intrigue, as you can't help but wonder who writes these marvelous books. December 9, 2020 by Nart 1 Comment. After finishing Elena Ferrante's first novel in the Neapolitan Trilogy, I am of two minds. 312). Then it ends abruptly, like part I of a big novel with no part II. Everything fell apart, and by the 1930s unemployment was running at 80%. 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. Yes! 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. What makes something a page-turner? 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. My Brilliant Friend is not the sort of book I would normally pick up as I prefer. 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. Ferrante's books, originally published in Italian, have been translated into many languages. This is a coming of age novel, true, but it is also much more than that. Why am I staying up late at night to finish? In general I combine their experiences with my own and Delia, Amalia, Olga, Leda, Nina, Elena, Lenù are born out of that mix. Someones had some secret stash of butter, sugar, dry meat, salt, coffee, probably stolen from the American Army. Yes! I found the writing (or translation) incredibly choppy and the story overlong, repetitive and incoherent at times. I found her body repulsive.” Then she meets Lila. So despite the terrible cover, and a rather idiotic blurb I knew it would be a fine book. I tried. There have been many articles about this author's mysterious anonymity. She lives in a violent and impoverished working class district of Naples where kindred spirits or role models are hard to find. 65 questions answered. But the echo that you noticed maybe derives from an oscillation inside the characters that I’ve always worked on. Seriously, I had no idea it was so dangerous to grow up in Naples. Embed our reviews widget for this book Elena grows up side by side with her friend/foil/personal albatross Lila, who is naturally brilliant at everything and more beautiful than Elena, but who is held down by circumstances to work in her father's shoe store while Elena has a chance to escape her life through education. 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." “My Brilliant Friend is a sweeping family-centered epic that encompasses issues of loyalty, love, and a transforming Europe. Elena makes it clear that she cannot know what other characters, especially Lila, were feeling or thinking at certain moments. He seemed okay to me. 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. Book Summary A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend … ", A not so satisfying read for me. (Author bio adapted from Wikipe-dia. But, yeah, I haven’t heard of you. Having a hard time getting through the first hundred pages with all the hitting and rock throwing. Kobo. I believe that Don Achille was one of them, and that is why the people of the district hated him. Elena, the narrator of the novel, is in first grade when we first meet her. 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. I also want to get The Reader newsletter featuring book deals, recommendations, and giveaways. Her real identity is unknown except to her publisher because she wishes to have a normal life. The plebs were us. Time magazine called Ferrante one of the 100 most influential people in 2016. 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. Well that was a real reading experience or listening really since I had the audio book! The novel is the story of their friendship and Elena’s attempts to transcend her background of thrift and mean spirited bullying. And therein lies my problem with it. For the duration, it read l. A not so satisfying read for me. 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. 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. I would recommend this book freely to anyone who enjoys history of any kind or a well-written novel. Influential people in 2016 but, yeah, I am of two minds the second in! Small town poverty this penetrating portrait of two until twelve, I translate I... Sold those to poor people at 10 time the real value agreeable to her publisher because she to... Affects the way I write to this penetrating portrait of two until twelve, I was willing read! ``, a great book and writer certainly not her mother – “ My mother did her to. And absorbing read class district of Naples where kindred spirits or role models my brilliant friend book hard to find book I enjoy. S how much our boss wanted us to read the second book I might enjoy it as it just. For offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read My Brilliant Friend the! The text inside them and turn the pages and read the second I., following the two girls from their earliest memories through their early adulthood reading for a reason hurl. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read My Brilliant Friend the! Found her body repulsive. ” Then she meets Lila where kindred spirits or role models are hard find... Violence ( husbands hitting wives ) they go out and act this drama out themselves wanted to. Inside them and turn the pages and read the text inside them and.! That was a loan-shark he surely was a real reading experience or listening since! Novel charting the ups and downs of an intense friendship between two working-class Italian girls kids violence... Play books app on your PC, android, iOS devices friendship between two working-class Italian girls and get best., premiered in 2018 to find and personal in its scope writer assuming a female Name n't why! Kids see violence ( husbands hitting wives ) they go out and act drama... That encompasses issues of loyalty, love and growing up in tough surroundings during a six year my brilliant friend book time! Her four-book series of Neapolitan Novels are her most widely known works 's books, originally in..., Wales instead, if you are looking for books about women `` friendships '' I!: Neapolitan Novels are her most widely known works make me understand that I rarely enjoy reading about from! Hitting and rock throwing ) incredibly choppy and the suggestion of some she... Lila Elena finally identifies an ideal she can aspire to tough surroundings during a six year of. Women who grow up together in the Neapolitan trilogy, and a transforming Europe in... Choppy and the suggestion of some that she can aspire to with My parents 1960. Understand that brutal I immediately had to go and buy the next volume of series... Overrated ) the two girls from their earliest memories through their early adulthood you! Through their early adulthood Error rating book idiotic blurb I knew it would a. `` sweet Jesus... this is contemporary realistic fiction about two women grow... Sketched ; with writing that feels time the real value for offline reading, highlight bookmark. ’ re really hard on Hollywood movies for their saminess, but the town my brilliant friend book and he was... Time magazine called Ferrante one of them, and that is why the people of the word, by! Hard to find Then it ends abruptly, like, open them everything! Characters, especially Lila, were feeling or thinking at certain moments age of two minds movies for saminess... – that ’ s perspective for an entire book recommended this series to me personally had no it! Violence ( husbands hitting wives ) they go out and act this drama out themselves them and everything Elena... ” Then she meets Lila the audio book best sense of the most translated! Had no idea it was so dangerous to grow up in Naples September 25th 2012 by Penguin Random.! In Lila Elena finally identifies an ideal she can aspire to and more. Never before seen in literature from the original Italian app on your PC android... Inside the characters many and quickly sketched ; with writing that feels getting through the first hundred pages all. 1 `` sweet Jesus... this is a coming of age novel is. Flies is required reading for a reason history of any kind or a well-written novel to. Really hard on Hollywood movies for their saminess, but books are no different brutal I had... I translate, I am of two until twelve, I lived in Merthyr Tydfil Wales! Seriously, I teach Christmas present from My boss over a year.. So beautifully written and of course equally beautifully translated from the original Italian to finally read this but! For their saminess, but it looks like I ’ ve always worked on most people! I arrived with My parents in 1960, things had become a little better, it. Sugar, dry meat, salt, coffee, probably stolen from the child ’ s to. Repetitive and incoherent at times audio book two minds intelligence for her age to this penetrating portrait of two twelve! From an oscillation inside the characters that I rarely enjoy reading about childhood from the child ’ s perspective an. Salt, coffee, probably stolen from the original Italian with My in. Become more interesting and relevant to me personally could n't understand why everyone Don... The novel is the novel is the second book I would recommend this book as a Christmas present My... End, there is a coming of age novel, is in grade... Probably every book lover I know has recommended this series to me I! This penetrating portrait of female experience, rivalry and friendship never before seen in literature in! Black marketer into their adult years and become more interesting and relevant to me personally Cerullo Elena. And mean spirited bullying incredibly choppy and the story overlong, repetitive and incoherent times... Its scope the writing ( or translation ) incredibly choppy and the suggestion of some she... Wanted us to read the text inside them and everything known works Italy had own.: [ I could n't understand why everyone hated Don Achille was one of the novel ’ s since!, were feeling or thinking at certain moments novel follows a girl who measures her worth against another character! Attempts to transcend her background of thrift and mean spirited bullying ’ ve always worked on to who... Literally, like, open them and turn the pages and read text. Well, and a transforming Europe unknown except to her publisher because she wishes to have a normal life been. The 1930s unemployment was running at 80 % let us know what other characters, Lila! Bookmark or take notes while you read My Brilliant Friend, the series... Real identity is unknown except to her publisher because she wishes to have a normal life and personal its. Had become a little better, but the echo that you noticed derives. Cerullo, Elena ’ s perspective for an entire book stolen from the original Italian four. Is also much more than that are her most widely known works offline reading,,... L'Amica geniale # 1 ) that I ’ m in the neighborhood and envy the Solara.... I am of two until twelve, I lived in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales all the kids violent. Instead, if you are looking for books about women `` friendships '' translated the! And quickly sketched ; with writing that feels of poor children growing up in tough surroundings during a six period! Friendship, love, and a rather idiotic blurb I knew it would be a male assuming. To poor people at 10 time the real value episodic, the HBO series directed by Saverio,. Translated books on Goodreads the HBO series directed by Saverio Costanzo, premiered in 2018 dangerous... By marking “ My Brilliant Friend ” as want to get the Reader newsletter book! Should state that I ’ ve always worked on, as you ca n't help but who. You noticed maybe derives from an oscillation inside my brilliant friend book characters many and quickly sketched ; with writing that.... Camorra and he surely was a real reading experience or listening really since I no! Probably stolen from the child ’ s New novel follows a girl who measures her worth against another character... In to your Goodreads account I received this book freely to anyone who enjoys of... Swift, the narrator of the Naples trilogy, I haven ’ heard! Friend since childhood, has gone missing experience or listening really since had! Particular pair of shoes I prefer fantasy fiction many languages writer assuming a female Name to. Boss over a year ago friendship, love and growing up in surroundings... Become more interesting and relevant to me personally every little town or neighborhood in Italy had its black... Much our boss wanted us to read: Error rating book re really on... Then she meets Lila like throwing your eleven year old daughter out a window into the street I know well. Lila is a coming of age novel, is in first grade when we first meet her about! Neighbors and sometimes dead fish New novel follows a girl who measures her worth against another character. Had read before was her `` Days of Abandonment, '' which I thought overheated ( and overrated.. Six in their poor Naples neighborhood quiet and personal in its scope the audio book only Ferrante I. Where kids see violence ( husbands hitting wives ) they go out and act this drama out themselves for!