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L'amica geniale by E. Ferrante
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L'amica geniale (original 2011; edition 1768)

by E. Ferrante (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,2042271,829 (3.86)376
Beginning in the 1950s Elena and Lila grow up in Naples, Italy, mirroring two different aspects of their nation.
Member:cry6379
Title:L'amica geniale
Authors:E. Ferrante (Author)
Info:E/O Edizioni Srl (1768)
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:scambiabili

Work details

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (2011)

  1. 10
    Small Ceremonies by Carol Shields (aileverte)
    aileverte: Carol Shields and Elena Ferrante have similar sensibilities, write about the lives of slightly less than average women, offer insights into the writer's craft.
  2. 10
    The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: Both are gorgeous novels about young girls' friendships and how they're complicated by class, family, desire.
  3. 00
    Die hellen Tage by Zsuzsa Bánk (Florian_Brennstoff)
  4. 00
    Das verborgene Wort by Ulla Hahn (Florian_Brennstoff)
  5. 00
    The Day Before Happiness by Erri De Luca (Widsith)
    Widsith: Two books about growing up in Naples in the 1950s, with illuminating differences – Ferrante writing the start of an epic series following girls from the housing estates, De Luca a short, concise look at a boy in the historical centre… both fascinating in divergent ways.… (more)
  6. 00
    Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga (rrmmff2000)
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» See also 376 mentions

English (189)  Italian (8)  Dutch (7)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  Catalan (2)  Danish (2)  Piratical (1)  Hungarian (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (226)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
I'd never read anything quite like this series. The writing is deeply personal and unguarded. I value that in writing more than all other things. Even when the characters are difficult to relate to, they are vibrant, real, broken yet good. Most of them anyway. It's easy to feel how culture and circumstance form the best and worst in us. And how women, especially, find a path through the jungle of expectation, again and again, towards authenticity.

( )
  EnoughYear | Jan 16, 2020 |
I'm reading this for a book club that meets next Sunday and I am only 18% into it according to my Kindle. IÛªm Just not able to get into the writing style.

1 vote AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
I have heard nothing but good things about this novel and it lived up to all of my expectations. I now have to read the other three novels. The only negative I can think of, and it is a minor one was that it wasn't always easy to keep track of the characters. ( )
  ZelmerWilson | Oct 31, 2019 |
This book is utterly compelling and beautifully written even without any hint of a plot. This series is categorized as fiction, but it really reads like a literary memoir of growing up in poverty in Naples, Italy. The storyline centers mainly on the main character Elena's tumultuous friendship with Lila, the sharpest girl in town who is anything but predictable. Though the cover makes this look like a sweet romance, this book is NOT one (this cover really is out of nowhere, seizing on a wedding that does occur near the end, but not in this sweet happy way). The ending of the novel is a complete cliffhanger--so watch out for that and have the next book ready at hand! ( )
  akbooks | Sep 12, 2019 |
The start of a story that is simple in its overall arc, two intelligent girls growing up in the poor quarter of 1950’s Naples, choose how they will rise above the poverty of their parents.
The mastery is in the telling, the emotional complexity and the tension of wanting to know how it will happen. There are a number of wonderfully constructed set pieces, but the wedding at the end is beautifully told.

I decided that I would try this to see whether I agreed with all the very positive reviews and found that, although the subject matter was not necessarily one that I would otherwise have found interesting, this is the detail from which the deeper story emerges.

Random quotes:
Nino has something that's eating him inside, like Lila, and it;'s a gift and a suffering; they aren't content, they never give in, they fear what is happening around them; this man, no, he appears to love every manifestation of life, as if every lived second had an absolute clarity.

Once, as I walked home along Corso Meridonale, with Alfonso beside me like a squire escorting me through the thousand dangers of the city, it seemed to me right that the duty had fallen to two Caraccis, Stefano and him, to protect, if in different forms, Lila and me from the blackest evil in the world, from that very evil that we had experienced for the first time going up the stairs that led to their house, when we went to retrieve the dolls that their father had stolen.


From Maestra Oliviero: Then she added a sentence that I will always remember: "The beauty of Mind that Cerullo had from childhood didn't find an outlet, Greco, and it has all ended up in her face, in her breasts, in her thighs, in her ass, places where it soon fades and it will be as if she had never had it." That jarring use of ass is wonderful.

It was during that journey to Via Orazio that I began to be made unhappy by my own alienness. I had grown up with these boys, I considered their behaviour normal, their violent language was mine.
But for six years now I had also been following daily a path that they were completely ignorant of and in the end I had confronted it brilliantly. With them I couldn't use any of what I learned every day, I had to suppress myself, in some way to diminish myself.


And there are far more...

A minor quibble that although the translation appears excellent, there is no attempt to switch between dialect and standard Italian in the dialogue, but as I cannot read Italian, I do not know how this would be meaningfully created in English. ( )
  CarltonC | Aug 26, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ferrante, Elenaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gross, NinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laake, Marieke vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sørsdal, KristinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
THE LORD: Therein thou’rt free, according to thy merits;

The like of thee have never moved My hate.

Of all the bold, denying Spirits,

The waggish knave least trouble doth create.

Man’s active nature, flagging, seeks too soon the level;

Unqualified repose he learns to crave;

Whence, willingly, the comrade him I gave,

Who works, excites, and must create, as Devil.--J.W. GOETHE, Faust, translation by Baynard Taylor
Dedication
First words
This morning Rino telephoned.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The story of Elena and Lila begins in a poor but vibrant neighbourhood  on the outskirts of Naples. The two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else, sometimes to their own detriment, as each discovers more about who she is and suffers or delights in the throes of their intense relationship.
Haiku summary
Volume One, of five
Her autobiography?
Childhood in Naples.
pickupsticks
Mysteries, hardships.
Fierce childhood in Naples slum
Lifelong loyalties.
pickupsticks

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