My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend Translated by Ann GoldsteinMy Brilliant Friend is the gripping first volume in Elena Ferrante s widely acclaimed Neapolitan Novels This exquisitely written quartet creates an unsentimental portrait of

  • Title: My Brilliant Friend
  • Author: Elena Ferrante
  • ISBN: 9781925240009
  • Page: 306
  • Format: Paperback
  • Translated by Ann GoldsteinMy Brilliant Friend is the gripping first volume in Elena Ferrante s widely acclaimed Neapolitan Novels This exquisitely written quartet creates an unsentimental portrait of female experience, rivalry and friendship never before seen in literature.The story of Elena and Lila begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighbourhood on the outskirtTranslated by Ann GoldsteinMy Brilliant Friend is the gripping first volume in Elena Ferrante s widely acclaimed Neapolitan Novels This exquisitely written quartet creates an unsentimental portrait of female experience, rivalry and friendship never before seen in literature.The story of Elena and Lila begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples They learn to rely on each other and discover that their destinies are bound up in the intensity of their relationship.Elena Ferrante s piercingly honest portrait of two girls path into womanhood is also the story of a nation and a meditation on the nature of friendship itself.My Brilliant Friend is a modern masterpiece, the work of one of Italy s great storytellers.

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      Published :2019-02-15T07:28:49+00:00

    About “Elena Ferrante

    • Elena Ferrante

      Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist.Ferrante is the author of a half dozen novels, including The Lost Daughter originally published as La figlia oscura, 2006 In 2012, Europa Editions began publication of English translations of Ferrante s Neapolitan Novels , a series about two perceptive and intelligent girls from Naples who try to create lives for themselves within a violent and stultifying culture Critics have praised her for her devastating power as a novelist and for a style that is pleasingly rigorous and sharply forthright Ferrante holds that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors 10th March 2016, The Story of the Lost Child was longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International prize, celebrating the finest in global fiction translated to English.

    797 thoughts on “My Brilliant Friend

    • I received this book as a Christmas present from my boss over a year ago. In fact, everyone in the office received a copy – that’s how much our boss wanted us to read it. Before you start wondering what sort of wonderful place I worked at, let me clarify it was a literary agency, so such things were totally commonplace. So despite the terrible cover, and a rather idiotic blurb I knew it would be a fine book.No review of Ferrante’s book is complete without a mention of how no one knows who [...]

    • I tried. I tried. I tried. 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. This book was chosen for book club which is why I persisted so long (I normally stop reading a book pretty quickly if it doesn't engage me). I didn't develop any concern for the characters, and found it really repetitive - different stage school/same response from parents [...]

    • 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. There have been many articles about this author's mysterious anonymity. Her real identity is unknown except to her publisher because she wishes to have a normal life. I get that. Still, it only adds to the intrigue, as you can't help but wonder who writes these marvelous books. My Brilliant Friend is not the sort of book I would normally pick up as I prefer [...]

    • type, edit, delete, undo delete, type, edit, delete.ep breathstart againtype, edit, delete…make a coffeetype, edit, delete…pour a drinktype, edit, delete.speration sets inThe dog ate my review!………………Why, why, why can’t I find any words to say about this book?The problem is I don’t know what I feel about it. In fact, the book has left me without any feelings, good or bad. It has left me blank. I’m not used to feeling blank after reading.I read Ferrante’s The Days of Abando [...]

    • My Brilliant Friend, a.k.a. My Brilliant New ObsessionBelieve all the hype. This is a rich, immersive, deeply satisfying book that, like many great novels, captures a particular time and place with complete authority. I can’t wait to read the other books in the series. In a dirt poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Naples in the 1950s, bright working class girls Elena Greco (our narrator) and bestie Lila Cerrullo survive childhood and adolescence, learning how to navigate school, boys, sex a [...]

    • The entire time I spent reading this book I asked myself "What is wrong with this book? Why am I having so much trouble getting into it?". It is incredibly slow-paced, but I also believe the Italian-to-English translation must be flawed. Many of the sentences were confusing and even contradictory. The redeeming factor, and the reason I gave it two stars instead of one, was that the Italian atmosphere was strongly prevalent and somewhat enjoyable - I learned what living in Naples in the 50s must [...]

    • This novel has so much violence that it should come with some kind of rating. Seriously, I had no idea it was so dangerous to grow up in Naples."I feel no nostalgia for our childhood: it was full of violence."My Brilliant Friend is the story of two childhood friends, Elena and Lila. It is the first in a series, and I confess that when I started reading it, I did not intend to continue with them — I was just going to read this first one to see what all the fuss over Ferrante was about. It took [...]

    • If I were to describe Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend in one word it would be 'mythic.' The minutiae of Elena and Lila's lives into which Ferrante dives takes on these mythic proportions, pulling the reader along on a tense and frightful story. But at first glance, the story is anything but tense and frightful. It's a story of female friendship, between two lower-class girls in Naples following WWII. Ferrante, with precision and passion, recounts the lives of these girls as anything less th [...]

    • When did we all start talking about Elena Ferrante, guys? I can’t remember- was it last year? Maybe 2013? I know she’s been writing for far longer than that, but it was definitely only recently that she became A Thing. Whenever it was, we should have been talking about her sooner. And with different words. Better words. Words whose value hasn’t been sucked out by the marketing blurbs they’ve been a part of, with the same accompanying modifiers (if I never hear “compulsively readable” [...]

    • LA SMARGINATURAHerbert List. Foto usata per il flano dell'adattamento teatrale in lingua inglese della tetralogia ferrantiana.Ho l’impressione che Elena Ferrante ami spiazzare il lettore, e da lettore, trovo che essere spiazzato sia una bella sensazione. All’inizio di questo romanzo c’è un ricco elenco di famiglie e nomi e relazioni: ma non serve, non è necessario, si segue agevolmente il racconto anche senza consultarlo. Nell’elenco sono compresi molti personaggi femminili e maschili: [...]

    • I had a friend, I still have, albeit, with time our paths diverged a bit, alas ! From early childhood till our twenties we were inseparable like two budgerigars. We were alike, yet different. We were alike because of youth but we differed about our expectations. While I daydreamed she had her feet firmly fixed on the ground. She was good at science while I always preferred humanities. She was pretty, easy-mannered girl, no wonder she was popular with the boys. But it was never any problem to me [...]

    • 1 "sweet Jesusis is the first of four books" stars !!First of all a bit of translationIn English we say blahblahblah. In Italian they say blablabla. Ms. Ferrante separates this book into two sections: Childhood (18 chapters) and Adolescence (62 chapters) Childhood Ch 1 to 9 Ms. Ferrante writes: blablablablablablablablablab and blablablablablaJaidee: God I hope this gets better Childhood Ch 10-14Ms. Ferrante writes: blablablablabla and blablablablablaJaidee: This is boring me to tears ! Adolescen [...]

    • “I am made and remade continually. 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. Elena, the narrator of the novel, is in first grade when we first meet her. She lives in a violent and impoverished working class district of Naples where kindred spirits or role models are hard to find. Certainly not her mother – “My mother did her best to make me unders [...]

    • My Brilliant Friend, the first in Elena Ferrante’s quartet about best friends from a Naples ghetto, is a novel about power: who holds it, how it is won and lost, and what happens when power shifts occur. It is a story of violence: domestic and cultural, physical and emotional. All this, in a novel about two young girls exploring friendship and adolescence in post-war southern Italy. Elena Greco and Lila Cerrullo are daughters of working class families, growing up in a crowded, poor, electrifyi [...]

    • "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. In general I combine their experiences with my own and Delia, Amalia, Olga, Leda, Nina, Elena, Lenù are born out of that mix. But the echo that you noticed maybe derives from an oscillation inside the characters that I’ve always worked on. My women are strong, educated, sel [...]

    • 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:< Elena -- my heart aches for you. We all know an Elena (and some of us are Elena). The brilliant second fiddle, who is too focused and intertwined with her friend Lila's life to appreciate her own talents, successes and hopes. I want to shake Elena, and to tell her to let go of Lila -- just a bit at least -- to stop hanging on Lila's every word [...]

    • "It was as if, because of an evil spell, the joy or sorrow of one required the sorrow or joy of the other; even our physical aspect, it seemed to me, shared in that swing."Elena and Lila, a friendship born of necessity – the need to find another human soul that understands us, our longings and sorrows - someone to emulate, someone that drives each of us to become our very best self. These two girls, born into poverty in 1950s Naples, forge a relationship that is both captivating and completely [...]

    • I just don't get the hype. I found the writing (or translation) incredibly choppy and the story overlong, repetitive and incoherent at times.There must be better writers in Italy than Ferrante.

    • From the age of two until twelve, I lived in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. 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. Everything fell apart, and by the 1930s unemployment was running at 80%. When I arrived with my parents in 1960, things had become a little better, but the town was [...]

    • A not so satisfying read for me. By many other accounts, a great book and writer. 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. And therein lies my problem with it. I wanted it to move into their adult years and become more interesting and relevant to me personally. I should state that I rarely enjoy reading about childhood from the child’s perspective for an entire book. For the duration, it re [...]

    • As my rating reflects, I was overwhelmed by this novel. The only Ferrante novel I had read before was her "Days of Abandonment," which I thought overheated (and overrated). 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." This is a coming of age novel, true, but it is also much more than that. The relationship between Lila and Lenu, the latter the narrator, has a bit of the M [...]

    • [προσοχή! το παρόν review δεν περιέχει τη λέξη νεορεαλιστικός]Να λοιπόν που έφτασε η ώρα να συναντήσω κι εγώ τη Ferrante και όλα πήγαν πρίμα.Θαρρώ πως, με εξαίρεση ίσως το Γκιάκ, το Η υπέροχη φίλη μου είναι το βιβλίο που έχει προκαλέσει το μεγαλύτερο θόρυβο στην Ελλάδα την τελευταία [...]

    • Lila and Elena, childhood friends in a neighborhood of 1950s Naples, both wear the moniker “my brilliant friend,” but there is no question which of the two Ferrante meant. Elena continues her schooling through high school in this first installment of the trilogy of novels Ferrante has written about the two, while Lila, incandescent Lila, is held back from further schooling by her family claiming they cannot afford it. Instead, Lila takes books from a small neighborhood lending library to stu [...]

    • First, allow me to disclaim my prejudice: I am not, generally speaking, a fan of the coming-of-age of novel. There are only so many times that a reader can be reasonably expected to suffer through the (often universal) discoveries that occasion childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. I wasn't a huge fan of weathering these experiences first hand ("Bullying, wet dreams, and death! Oh my!"), so I'm not exactly jonesing for a revisit. I alluded to one of the major problems of the coming-of-age [...]

    • An almost seamless narrative with a large and voluble cast. Author Ferrante opens Vol. 1 of her tetralogy with a classic framing device (presumably not closed until the end of Vol. 4). It's the present day and Lila's son calls Elena, who's living in Turin, to say his mother is missing from her Naples home. This sets Elena to writing about the hardscrabble yet eventful upbringing she and Lila shared in post-World War II Naples. The families are blue collar, desperately poor, for whom education is [...]

    • After finishing Elena Ferrante's first novel in the Neapolitan Trilogy, I am of two minds. 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. And to think, this is only a translation! 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:-)The st [...]

    • Hoje é dia de Natal. A minha família já foi embora, cada um para as suas casas. Fiquei aqui, com aquela saudade dos momentos felizes (sem nada de novo, apenas amor, carinho e a alegria de estar com quem se ama) que passam tão depressa. Uma saudade semelhante sinto, agora, ao terminar A Amiga Genial. A história de duas amigas - Lila (Raffaella) e Lenù (Elena) - e das suas famílias e vizinhos durante o período da infância até à adolescência, passado nos arredores de Nápoles. São vida [...]

    • "At the start of summer I began to have a feeling difficult to put into words. I saw that she was agitated, aggressive as she had always been, and I was pleased, I recognized her. But I also of felt, behind her old habits, a pain that bothered me. She was suffering, and I didn't like her sorrow. I preferred her when she was different from me, and distant from my anxieties. And the uneasiness that the discovery of her fragility brought me transformed by secret pathways into a need of my own to be [...]

    • Viel Lärm um nichts.Noch wie war ich so ratlos bei einer Rezension. Normalerweise streiche ich mir Textpassagen an, notiere mir Seitenzahlen oder schreibe direkt was heraus. Was habe ich diesmal? NICHTS! EIN GROSSES SCHWARZES LOCH!Puppenspiele, Pubertät, (zeig´ mir deine Brüste, dann bekommst du 10 Lire), ausufernde, langweilige Hochzeitsvorbereitungen.Ich mag jetzt nicht lange die allseits bekannte Story der beiden Freundinnen erzählen. Die eine, Elena darf die höhere Schule besuchen und [...]

    • A wonderful tale of an unusual friendship between two girls growing up in a working class neighborhood of Naples in the 50s and 60s. Each envies qualities and advantages that the other has, leading to a balance between interdependence and competition between Elena and Lila. Elena is more practical and studious, while Lila is more quixotic and courageous. All the travails and challenges of dysfunctional families, the drive for academic achievement in the face of extensive bullying and malevolent [...]

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