My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

Childhood, Adolescence

Book - 2012
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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 neighbourhood 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 neighbourhood, 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 : Europa Editions, 2012.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 331 p. ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Goldstein, Ann 1949-
Alternative Title: Childhood, adolescence
Series Volume: 1.
Custom Field2: Translation of: L'amica geniale.
Prologue : eliminating all the traces -- Childhood : the story of Don Achille -- Adolescence : the story of the shoes.


From Library Staff

Roberta's pick: This is the first book in Elena Ferrante's Neopolitan Trilogy. I'd been waiting for the right time to start reading these (translated from Italian) books. A trip to Italy was the perfect time. Best review: "Imagine if Jane Austen got angry and you'll have some idea of how exp... Read More »

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Oct 02, 2019

I liked "My Brilliant Friend" by Elena Ferrante because the characters were not flat, as it is called. They were not absolutely smart, or absolutely stupid. They were not absolutely evil, or absolutely kind. In one situation you can see the kindness of one person, but in another he or she can act in an absolutely different, unpredictable way. One thing I also understood is that no matter what, the person should study continually. Read the book, it really is worth it. Personal rating: 5/5
@readermariacom of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Dec 12, 2018

Oct 14, 2017

Oct 13 2017, started this today, and I am finding it captivating. However, I too am having trouble keeping track of the characters. The names are just too alien for me. .............Oct 14 I am on page 80 and looking forward to getting back to it........Oct 27 2017, I lost interest in this book in the middle, but kept reading. The last 30 pages had me hooked again. Hmmm....not sure whether to continue this saga.......maybe later after I clear a few more books from my basement shelves......oh, I just read the comments on the second book, they are fairly enthusiastic.....maybe I'll pick the second one up a little sooner, before I lose the thread of the story, and have to read the first one again.....something I don't want to do!

Aug 06, 2017

It was tough going but I finished it. I enjoyed it but I found it difficult to keep track of all the characters and at times I found it awfully slow moving. I very much doubt that I will finish the series.

Feb 22, 2017

Lovely, good addictive reading, can't wait for a second book.

May 03, 2016

Couldn't get through this - way too wordy. Have cancelled the rest of the series.

Jan 31, 2016

I was excited to get started on this series, which has had such rave reviews. However, I found it to be an "OK" read, nothing more. I find it frustrating that so many of the characters have different variations of their name, it makes it hard to keep track of a complex list of characters. I will continue with book 2, but not sure if I will get through all 4.

Dec 29, 2014

When I borrowed “My Brilliant Friend” from the library and I was immediately distrustful just by looking at the book cover, it couldn’t be any uglier, however what lies underneath it is something that has more subtlety than silk, its more addictive than heroin, its not historical, nor cultural but yet carries a sincere meaning – the ordinary (with a great deal of exceptions) lives of two girls from the slum. Naples depicted in the novel would lack the glamour of the city centre, the spills of red wine or the insights of a fine epicurean, rather you will be thrown in a rathole of violence, destitution and prejudicial thoughts. And you will enjoy it because what manifests through the pages of this book has been written with a refine and agile literary style. My complete review of the book:

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