PDF My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1)

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My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One [Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein] on nenepacess.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Now an HBO series.
Table of contents

The Shadow of the Wind. The Vegetarian: A Novel. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics. The Big Green Tent. Convenience Store Woman. The Perfect Nanny. War and Peace.

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Look Inside. Seriously, I had no idea it was so dangerous to grow up in Naples. 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 This novel has so much violence that it should come with some kind of rating. 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.

The Sweet Linearity of “My Brilliant Friend”

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 more. 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.

HBO’s 'My Brilliant Friend' Is Gorgeous and Savage - The Atlantic

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. 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 more I read about these two women, the more 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.


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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. 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.


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With these words and those years I bring back the many fears that accompanied me all my life. View all 28 comments. When did we all start talking about Elena Ferrante, guys?

Maybe ? Whenever it was, we should have been talking about her sooner. And with different words. Better words. Too many eyes will glaze over when I use these words that would once have excited the grab-the-keys-and-run-to-the-bookstore response this book deserves. And that might make you, like me, not pick this up for absolutely years after you read this.

So I need better words. Words that will make you pick it up tomorrow. How do I love this novel? Both of them, along with the other children of the neighborhood, have a possibility of escaping the cycle and breaking out into the new Marshall Plan supported dolce vita - and some of the story is about that.

But not mostly. Straightforward enough, yes? Sure…but then why is it so poignant? Why did I spend hours upon hours with this book yesterday, unable to put it down? How did such an ordinary story work such undeniable magic? She let the damn thing be and run its course without interfering. Nobody came equipped with signifier clue words or pre-packaged, recognizable YA storylines, with immature emotional truths being repeated in italics, in between descriptions of clothing and hair.

Neapolitan Novels

And you know what was fascinating? There totally was a popular girl everyone wanted here, there were mean bullies, nerdy intellectuals, hot jocks, slutty cheerleaders, apparently motivationlessly awful villains, and our heroine was even intellectual and had glasses.

My Brilliant Friend The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1 PDF

But that never occurred to me until I started to write this review. She conveys the pettiness and center-of-the-universe feeling that characterizes childhood without ever quite making you detach from or become disgusted with the characters involved. As is typical with Ferrante, this is deliberate a choice that serves several purposes at once.

I knew what she wanted to do, I had hoped that she would forget about it, but in vain. The street lamps were not yet lit, nor were the lights on the stairs. From the apartments came irritable voices. To follow Lila, I had to leave the bluish light of the courtyard and enter the black of the doorway. Then I got used to the darkness… We kept to the side where the wall was, she two steps ahead, I two steps behind, torn between shortening the distance or letting it increase.

HBO’s small-screen adaptation dramatizes Elena Ferrante’s novel without transforming it.

She also does a lot, effectively, with repetition. Repetition shows us a lot about why the characters are the way that they are. The violence of the neighborhood, in particular, is depicted with a frighteningly normalizing banality.