My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

Book - 2012
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Overview: 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. 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. The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. 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, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.
Publisher: New York, New York : Europa Editions, 2012
Copyright Date: © 2012
ISBN: 9781609450786
Branch Call Number: FICTION FERRANTE 2012
Characteristics: 331 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Goldstein, Ann 1949-- Translator


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Nov 15, 2018

HBO adaptation of this book is really, really good and in my opinion better than book itself. Even though I gave up on reading after the first book in series, I am more drawn to it after brilliant visual adaptation.

Nov 28, 2017

I didn't care for this book at all. I stuck it out for the whole thing and was just glad to be finished. Couldn't find anything about ANY of the characters that drew me in or made me care for them or what happened next.

Sep 29, 2017

I don't get the hype. 50 pages was enough for me.

Bunny_Watson716 Jul 12, 2017

I am so glad I read this book - I loved the complex account of the friendship between the two girls, the post WW2 Italy setting, and the denseness of Ferrante's writing. I can't wait to read the next book out of the four Neapolitan novels. Not a light summer read but very absorbing and memorable characters.

Mar 08, 2017

It’s been a couple days since I finished MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, and honestly I felt I had to allow myself some time for reflection before commenting. Keeping in mind the many fans of author Elena Ferrante and the glowing reviews this novel has received, I wondered: Were my initial reactions to this book faulty? Did I miss something? Sadly, after careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusions: No, they weren’t and no, I didn’t. MY BRILLIANT FRIEND is neither a quick nor easy read so I would not advise starting it unless you have plenty of time and patience.

ArapahoeTatyana Feb 03, 2017

Love this book immensely! Didn't want to put it aside.
This is book One of the Neapolitan series by Ferrante, a brilliant novel about a friendship that lasts a lifetime. The 1st person narrative helps to penetrate in the inner world of the main characters. Ferrante creates memorable portraits of the two main characters as well as of the Italian community of that time, Italy after WWII.

Jan 05, 2017

Read all four of the Neapolitan series by Ferrante. Her character is about ten years older than I am, therefore the I could empathetically trace her arc from childhood to university to motherhood and beyond which are described through the lens 2nd wave feminism. The violent poverty, the harshness of the Italian patriarchy, the naivety of the radical university students striving for a better society, the quest to find a space for work in the midst of the demands of motherhood are themes all thoughtfully rendered.

Oct 05, 2016

Unbelievably boring - not sure what all the hype is about. Just a rambling tale of kids - the main one not particularly nice!!

Sep 06, 2016

I suppose this series has merit because it is an expose on how children are raised in this particular culture, but I find it extremely depressing that no one appreciates Elena's talents and sincerity - to the extent that she can never, ever, no matter how hard she works, appreciate her own accomplishments or thoughts. Am I naive in thinking that nearly all parents would express some pride in and encouragement to their children? Perhaps learning just how socially-conscious (to the detriment of their children) people can be in this culture is the reason I am reading these books. I won't hold it against all Italians; this seems to be just this small town.
Complicated cast of characters (although the list of them at the front of the book helps a bit . . . if only there weren't so many whose names begin with the same letter).
The writing is a bit choppy for my tastes; it doesn't flow.

ArapahoeAlison Aug 05, 2016

This story is about friendship and childhood in Naples in the 1950s. But there is nothing fluffy about this portrayal. Life is hard and full of danger for these young girls. A must read because this book is like nothing else!

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Mar 08, 2017

“Her quickness of mind was like a hiss, a dart, a lethal bite.” - p. 48


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