My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

Book - 2012
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Now 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. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.

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.

Publisher: New York : Europa Editions, 2012.
ISBN: 9781609450786
Characteristics: 331 psges ; 21 cm.

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SMPLibrarian
Feb 19, 2019

Early on reading this book, I struggled with all the violence. A friend described it as "grim," which it often is. When I finished the book's last sentence, it was an effort to return to the present. I swore I would finish this book but thought I would probably not read the following three. Well, sign me up. I have placed holds at my library for the remaining three of this quartet and for Elena Ferrante's Days of Abandonment, recommended by a member of my book group. What writing!

k
kmobuckeye
Feb 12, 2019

I don't know why people loved this so much. Maybe the translation was not great? I tried multiple times but just gave up after a while because nothing happens.

d
Dvdbaker87
Dec 05, 2018

The best writing I have encountered in years.

mko123 Nov 22, 2017

The first line pulls you into an intricate, many-layered, love/hate friendship that takes place in a gritty, working-class neighborhood. Do we ever really know someone? More importantly, how well do we even know ourselves?

m
mdjamali
Jul 21, 2015

could not put the series down. paints the intricacies of a lifelong female friendship.

helengunnar Jul 05, 2014

Phenomenally well written. Can't wait to read the final volume in this Neapolitan Trilogy.

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