Download Epub Format ✓ L'amica geniale PDF by ↠´ Elena Ferrante 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 same competitiveness with Lila it just went on and on and didn t seem to GO anywhere It was supposed to be the story of a friendship from childhood until womanhood, set in Naples in the 1950 s but I then discovered this book only goes up until the two girls are 16 there is a sequel and at that point I decided OH ENOUGH I realised I was not even going to get some sort of satisfaction from finishing it Endless minor characters proved annoying and I gave up trying to keep up with who they were despite the list in the front of the book as well as all the interludes with various boys.
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 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 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 me a while to get into the book there are so many families in the neighborhood, and everyone has nicknames that it was tough to remember who was who and who did what to which relative There is a cast of characters listed at the front of the book, but it s still confusing About midway through the book, I really connected with the two main characters, especially after they started going to school I could relate to Elena s jealousy about Lila, and how she admired and imitated her strength Occasionally Lila opens up and admits how important Elena is to her, and those moments are lovely Ferrante s descriptions are so good that eventually it felt as if I had been living with these families.
But what exactly is the story, you ask Well, there are lots of them There are stories about cruel boys in the neighborhood There are stories about Lila s dream of making it rich by designing special shoes to sell There are stories about the competitions at school, and how Elena and Lila would push each other to learn There are stories of Lila s family, and how her father would abuse her when he lost his temper There are stories about the men who pursued Lila when she became a beautiful teenager, and how she risked offending a powerful family There is the story of Elena s first boyfriend, and how she has to navigate high school And finally, there is the story of a wedding.
The wedding scene is what closes out this first novel, and something happens there that convinced me to read the second book You win, Ferrante.
Update A Few Weeks LaterI have gotten so involved in this series that I am reading Book 3 and have already ordered Book 4 My advice to those starting out is to be patient with this first novel a lot of the events that happen in Elena s childhood have long lasting effects, like seeds that had to be planted so they could sprout later on The I read about these two women, the I admire them I highly recommend these Ferrante novels Favorite Quote Right away, from the first day, school had seemed to me a much nicer place than home It was the place in the neighborhood where I felt safest, I went there with excitement I paid attention to the lessons, I carried out with the greatest diligence everything that I was told to carry out, I learned But most of all I liked pleasing the teacher, I liked pleasing everyone A Disturbing But Incredible Passage We lived in a world in which children and adults were often wounded, blood flowed from the wounds, they festered, and sometimes people died One of the daughters of Signora Assunta, the fruit and vegetable seller, had stepped on a nail and died of tetanus Signora Spagnuole s youngest child had died of croup A cousin of mine, at the age of twenty, had gone one morning to move some rubble and that night was dead, crushed, the blood pouring out of his ears and mouth My mother s father had been killed when he fell from a scaffolding at a building site The father of Signor Peluso was missing an arm, the lathe had caught him unawares The sister of Giuseppina, Signor Peluso s wife, had died of tuberculosis at twenty two The oldest son of Don Achille I had never seen him, and yet I seemed to remember him had gone to war and died twice drowned in the Pacific Ocean, then eaten by sharks The entire Melchiorre family had died clinging to each other, screaming with fear, in a bombardment Old Signorina Clorinda had died inhaling gas instead of air Guanine, who was in fourth grade when were were in first, had died one day because he had come across a bomb and touched it Legion, with whom we had played in the courtyard, or maybe not, she was only a name, had died of typhus Our world was like that, full of words that killed croup, tetanus, typhus, gas, war, lathe, rubble, work, bombardment, bomb, tuberculosis, infection With these words and those years I bring back the many fears that accompanied me all my life.
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 Ferrante is or even if she exists as an individual woman at all Personally, I find this whole mystery of little interest as I share her view that all that the author wants to say she should say in the book and there is no need for the entire marketing circus.
Ferrante s Naples novels have been compared to Knausgaard s magnum opus because both authors can be characterised by their hyperreal scrutiny which seemingly can only be achieved in autobiographical novels The autobiographical component is official in case of Knausgaard and alleged in Ferrante s Additionally, Knausgaard has happily joined the marketing circus, which is why I find Ferrante s presumed exhibitionism a lot palatable These books defiantly ignore all creative writing advice and cheerfully tell and not show, abandon all sensible plot structure and introduce as many characters as they feel like, not really caring whether that whole cast is in any way necessary Neither do they have time for stylistic flourishes Ferrante s prose is bare the language takes a back seat and is nothing than a tool to the narrative that is pushed forward by its own urgency What we are left with, though, is so vivid and authentic that no carefully polished novel could compete with it This is great news Rejoice, people, because in the age when it is possible to get a DEGREE in novel writing without having to write anything of significance , comes a book which just doesn t give a shit and still manages to steal the hearts of thousands I don t suppose I have to explain what this book is about, because you have other reviews for that But in short it s about the intense friendship and rivalry between two girls growing up in the impoverished outskirts of Naples You might argue it s a book about female experience, and to an extent it certainly is, but judging by how much men love this book, I d say it s rather universal But then, I generally feel female experience, once stripped of all telling signs could be pretty universal, because, you know, women are people too Anyway, to me this book was about class than gender That constant anger, violence, the let s get them before they get us feel permeates the novel And the moral, if My Brilliant Friend has a moral at all, is that you can take a girl out of the Naples slums, but you can t take the Naples slums out of the girl Make no mistake, though This is by no means an emotionally manipulative misery memoir This is a story of childhood that simply doesn t know it s underprivileged.
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 same competitiveness with Lila it just went on and on and didn t seem to GO anywhere It was supposed to be the story of a friendship from childhood until womanhood, set in Naples in the 1950 s but I then discovered this book only goes up until the two girls are 16 there is a sequel and at that point I decided OH ENOUGH I realised I was not even going to get some sort of satisfaction from finishing it Endless minor characters proved annoying and I gave up trying to keep up with who they were despite the list in the front of the book as well as all the interludes with various boys.
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 fantasy fiction This is contemporary realistic fiction about two women who grow up together in the 1950s and 1960s in a poor neighborhood in Naples 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 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 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 Elena grows up side by side with her friend foil personal albatross Lila, who is naturally brilliant at everything and 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 The book is a blow by blow confessional, following the two girls from their earliest memories through their early adulthood 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 It is epic in the best sense of the word, and yet quiet and personal in its scope At the end, there is a cliffhanger so brutal I immediately had to go and buy the next volume of this series Wow, cliffhangers work I should try them some time.
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 fantasy fiction This is contemporary realistic fiction about two women who grow up together in the 1950s and 1960s in a poor neighborhood in Naples 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 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 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 Elena grows up side by side with her friend foil personal albatross Lila, who is naturally brilliant at everything and 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 The book is a blow by blow confessional, following the two girls from their earliest memories through their early adulthood 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 It is epic in the best sense of the word, and yet quiet and personal in its scope At the end, there is a cliffhanger so brutal I immediately had to go and buy the next volume of this series Wow, cliffhangers work I should try them some time.
type, edit, delete, undo delete, type, edit, delete.
.
deep breathstart againtype, edit, delete make a coffeetype, edit, delete pour a drinktype, edit, delete.
.
desperation sets in The 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 Abandonment last year and I was excited while reading Ifeltevery line of it intensely I was so stimulated by the writing the words and the dramatic tone seemed to match the episodes of the narrative quite perfectly that I started writing the review even before I d finished reading the book.
With this one, I skimmed, I nodded off, I left it down often and only reluctantly picked it up again I finally finished it on a flight after I d deliberately not carried any other reading material with me In my desperation to find something to say about the book, I even thought about rereading it UPDATED November 2018 here s my review of the new HBO miniseries Hint It s just as good as the book 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 and the limited opportunities available to them because of their class and gender.
Initially I found the book disorienting The prologue is set decades later and involves people we don t yet know Lila has disappeared and Elena is trying to discover what happened to her Presumably these books are her way of finding that out.
And once the story proper begins, it takes a while to keep all the names straight Who is Nino, again Enzo What are the grocers called It doesn t help that only Elena calls her friend Lila everyone else calls her Lina, and her birth name is Rafaella Also Elena is often called Lenu An index of the family names at the beginning proves very helpful But Elena Ferrante s prose is ravishing It s graceful without being precious, mature and knowing while still immediate and visceral She literally plunges you into the lives of these children Family vendettas take on the power of myth middle school is a fraught war zone where learning goes beyond what s in the books each change in the girls bodies is registered and assessed in terms of their newfound power or lack of it Late childhood and early adolescence can be a painful time the stakes are high your identity isn t yet formed There s a sense of danger lurking everywhere One month that boy in class could be a friendly ally a few months later he might spit at your feet, ignore you and take up your best friend Every situation, not just a class assignment, is a problem to be solved.
Near the end of the book, the way one character orchestrates her way out of one engagement and into another is worthy of something from The Godfather movies In its insights, rich texture and violence murder, threats, being thrown out of a window the book reminded me of Alice Munro s early masterpiece Lives Of Girls And Women And several things will continue to haunt me The girls first trip outside their neighbourhood when they run away How the title is mentioned in the final section of the book this makes you wonder who, exactly, is the brilliant one A scene in which the neighbourhood s teens, all dressed up, cross into a fancier part of town and realize, with insecurity and anger, how limited their world and lives are The climactic wedding scene, in which all the threads of the story come together sex, romance, class, destiny up until the surprising twist in the final line, which will make you reconsider a big chunk of the story Elena s introduction to the pleasures and dangers of sexuality The idea of how we sometimes act to impress friends, mimic being courageous by thinking of others actions, or subtly, do things while imagining our friends doing them The longings, fears and sheer awkwardness of adolescence The legacy of fascism, complete with stories about what family did what to whom, and the changing nature of Italian society The idea of how education gets you ahead but also alienates you from the class you might soon be leaving behindFerrante a pen name has structured the book so carefully that an early sequence in which the girls try to retrieve their dolls in a sewer contains, in miniature, everything that the book will eventually deal with lost innocence, petty jealousy, money, imagination, sinister men, courage, and the way that one person s account of the facts can vary drastically with the so called truth.
Now that I ve come down with Ferrante fever, I look forward to the next novel, The Story Of A New Name.
12 13 view spoiler I know better hide spoiler 1 sweet Jesusthis is the first of four books stars 2018 read I was Most Afraid to Hate Award 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 Adolescence Ch 1 12Ms Ferrante writes bla bla bla bla bla bla blablaJaidee What s with the three creepy little girls with crinoline on the cover Adolescence Ch 13 36Ms Ferrante writes blablablablablabalbla blablablabla bla bla blaJaidee Oh I guess this about a lot of blablabla.
when does it get good.
forty three people and their mother insisted that I read this Adolescence Ch 37 to 54Ms Ferrante writes blablabla blabla bla blabla blaJaidee Please let this be over and What the fuck am I missing.
oh yes maybe a few blablablas Adolescence Ch 54 to 62Ms Ferrante writes Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla Jaidee Am I in Purgatory I am guessing the content of books 2 through 4 will beBlablablablablabla and blablablablablabla I will not be finding out I say Bleh Bleh Blech 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 have been like.
4.
5 stars 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 than ideal There s an underlying push and pull to their friendship that goes against the expected narrative of girlhood It s compelling and constantly teetering on the edge of disaster, again bringing back this theme of myth and how each detail lends itself to something greater, something disastrous We learn as the characters learn Ferrante excels at establishing a tone fit to the story When Elena, our narrator, is unsure, we are unsure When she s jealous, we re jealous She s spiteful at times, and compassionate at others It all builds upon itself to create a vivid atmosphere that is only enhanced by the gritty Neapolitan setting I wasn t convinced by the first half of the book But the second part really sold me And I think that if I were to go back now and re read the beginning, I d be much comfortable with the characters, the setting and the narrative structure It s disconcerting and disorienting at first, getting thrown into a world with so many characters and so little hand holding But I appreciate Ferrante s confidence in the reader She gives you than you might handle, but once you get a grip on it, it s incredibly satisfying I m intrigued to see where the story goes, so much so that I ordered the next book in the series immediately after finishing this one I only expect the books to get better and better and based on what Ferrante s proved with this one, I m sure I won t be disappointed.
First read January 14 23, 2016Second read December 23 26, 2016Third read October 3 7, 2018 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 me a while to get into the book there are so many families in the neighborhood, and everyone has nicknames that it was tough to remember who was who and who did what to which relative There is a cast of characters listed at the front of the book, but it s still confusing About midway through the book, I really connected with the two main characters, especially after they started going to school I could relate to Elena s jealousy about Lila, and how she admired and imitated her strength Occasionally Lila opens up and admits how important Elena is to her, and those moments are lovely Ferrante s descriptions are so good that eventually it felt as if I had been living with these families.
But what exactly is the story, you ask Well, there are lots of them There are stories about cruel boys in the neighborhood There are stories about Lila s dream of making it rich by designing special shoes to sell There are stories about the competitions at school, and how Elena and Lila would push each other to learn There are stories of Lila s family, and how her father would abuse her when he lost his temper There are stories about the men who pursued Lila when she became a beautiful teenager, and how she risked offending a powerful family There is the story of Elena s first boyfriend, and how she has to navigate high school And finally, there is the story of a wedding.
The wedding scene is what closes out this first novel, and something happens there that convinced me to read the second book You win, Ferrante.
Update A Few Weeks LaterI have gotten so involved in this series that I am reading Book 3 and have already ordered Book 4 My advice to those starting out is to be patient with this first novel a lot of the events that happen in Elena s childhood have long lasting effects, like seeds that had to be planted so they could sprout later on The I read about these two women, the I admire them I highly recommend these Ferrante novels Favorite Quote Right away, from the first day, school had seemed to me a much nicer place than home It was the place in the neighborhood where I felt safest, I went there with excitement I paid attention to the lessons, I carried out with the greatest diligence everything that I was told to carry out, I learned But most of all I liked pleasing the teacher, I liked pleasing everyone A Disturbing But Incredible Passage We lived in a world in which children and adults were often wounded, blood flowed from the wounds, they festered, and sometimes people died One of the daughters of Signora Assunta, the fruit and vegetable seller, had stepped on a nail and died of tetanus Signora Spagnuole s youngest child had died of croup A cousin of mine, at the age of twenty, had gone one morning to move some rubble and that night was dead, crushed, the blood pouring out of his ears and mouth My mother s father had been killed when he fell from a scaffolding at a building site The father of Signor Peluso was missing an arm, the lathe had caught him unawares The sister of Giuseppina, Signor Peluso s wife, had died of tuberculosis at twenty two The oldest son of Don Achille I had never seen him, and yet I seemed to remember him had gone to war and died twice drowned in the Pacific Ocean, then eaten by sharks The entire Melchiorre family had died clinging to each other, screaming with fear, in a bombardment Old Signorina Clorinda had died inhaling gas instead of air Guanine, who was in fourth grade when were were in first, had died one day because he had come across a bomb and touched it Legion, with whom we had played in the courtyard, or maybe not, she was only a name, had died of typhus Our world was like that, full of words that killed croup, tetanus, typhus, gas, war, lathe, rubble, work, bombardment, bomb, tuberculosis, infection With these words and those years I bring back the many fears that accompanied me all my life.