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The Story of the Lost Child by Elena…
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The Story of the Lost Child (2014)

by Elena Ferrante

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Neapolitan Novels (4)

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1,384658,591 (4.26)114
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» See also 114 mentions

English (53)  German (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
this review is for the audiobook edition, narrated by ann goldstein - goldstein is also the translator of ferrante's books!

excellent! funnily (?) book four was better for me in audio than it was in paper. i remember feeling peculiar when i finished reading this series a few years ago. i couldn't differentiate whether i felt let down because book four wasn't as strong as the others, or whether my mood was mostly just because it was all over. i didn't experience that through listening to the series. but i did feel a stronger 'what now???' response. ferrante is an excellent writer and storyteller. this series is such a literary pleasure. ( )
  Booktrovert | Aug 16, 2019 |
Thought-provoking conclusion to the series. Less melodramatic than book #2, but with quite a twist. Worth reading. ( )
  breic | Jun 21, 2019 |
The protagonist's repetitious story lines--being a mother, a working-class intellectual, and a feminist, among them--slowed reading this overly long book down to a crawl. This was also true of the previous book in the series, but less so. If not for my investment in the characters (too many of whom are perfunctorily eliminated in Story of the Lost Child), I might well have put the book down before finishing it. ( )
  copyedit52 | May 30, 2019 |
Wow. Despite reading the three previous volumes, this was still an emotional gutpunch that took me by surprise. I don't think I will ever fully understand the relationship between these two complex women, Elena and Lila. I'm not even sure if we're supposed to think that the whole thing had been written by Lila in the end mimicking the voice of Elena. It was all tragedy and parenting and learning to love yourself in one enormous emotional bundle that felt essentially Italian and wholly of our time.

These books have been a revelation. Unashamedly soapy. Unapologetically about women. Determinedly literary. A hugely satisfying experience. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
This is the fourth and final book in the Neapolitan series by this author. These books are wonderful - every character is complex and full of life. The author weaves the personal stories of the characters into the political life of Italy in a brilliant way. I am very glad I read all of them! ( )
  anitatally | Feb 28, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Ferrante evokes this unforgiving and opaque culture with great power. Its malevolence affects almost everyone.
 
Ferrante’s accomplishment in these novels is to extract an enduring masterpiece from dissolving margins, from the commingling of self and other, creator and created, new and old, real and whatever the opposite of real may be.
 
[Ferrante] has charted, as precisely as possible, the shifts in one person’s feelings and perceptions about another over time, and in so doing has made a life’s inferno recede even as she captures its roar.
 
Elena brings up every objection to the entire endeavour that a reader might have. If it is so-called auto-fiction then why is it not a mess, like life? If it is the story of a friendship then isn’t every word a betrayal to that friend? If it is sincere and authentic, why is the author’s name on the cover a lie? Borders between autobiography and fiction dissolve, just as the edges of Lila (both her sanity and her body) blur, and Elena provides a continual commentary on this process. Rather than this being annoying and meta, the effect is to make the writing feel alive.
 
Ferrante is no Balzac or Dickens or Trollope; she is not Zola or Tolstoy. Her narrator does not have the storyteller’s wider vision. Unlike War and Peace, Ferrante’s big book has a narrow lens, and her idea of friendship is more about shared experience than affection.
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ferrante, Elenaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Damien, ElsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krieger, KarinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laake, Marieke vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A partire dall'ottobre 1976 e fine a quando, nel 1979, non tornai a vivere a Napoli, evitai di riallacciare rapporti stabili con Lila.
From October 1976 until 1979, when I returned to Naples to live, I avoided resuming a steady relationship with Lila.
Quotations
There is this presumption, in those who feel destined for art and above all literature: we act as if we had received an investiture, but in fact no one has ever invested us with anything, it is we who have authorized ourselves to be authors and yet we are resentful if others say: This little thing you did doesn't interest me, in fact it bores me, who gave you the right.
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The brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery uncontainable Lila have made life's great discoveries, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up-- a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Now, in a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous-- and in a world undergoing epochal change-- Lila and Elena clash, drift apart, reconcile, and clash again, in the process revealing new facets of their friendship.

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