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Publisher's Summary

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 friendship.

There is a piercing honesty about Ferrante’s prose that makes My Brilliant Friend a compulsively readable portrait of two young women, and also the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country.

©2011 Edizioni E/O (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Gutsy and compulsively readable ... One of the more nuanced portraits of feminine friendship in recent memory.... Ferrante wisely balances her memoir-like emotional authenticity with a wry sociological understanding of a society on the verge of dramatic change." (Vogue)
"Elena Ferrante will blow you away." (Alice Sebold)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story
  • Aimee
  • 10-29-15

Recommended

Fantastic book, read for book club. About to download book 2 can't wait to see the progression!!

Only negative was the amount of characters you have to keep up with, who they are related to where they fit etc. Audiobooks definitely arepte challenging in this way. Otherwise fantastic!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mary
  • 01-22-16

Laborious read.

Struggled to finish. Too many names of insignificant characters mentioned. The narrator often sounded bored.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jane
  • 12-21-15

More than just about friendship...

Would you consider the audio edition of My Brilliant Friend: The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1 to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version so can't comment.

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed the engaging narrative in the story. Ferrante writes in a way that is easy to listen to .... conversational and engaging. The story line is more than the friendship between the two girls. It views mafia activities in Naples from a child's perspective, and shows how difficult it was to transcend the social environment in which the girls are born. Although a work of fiction, it felt like I was listening to an autobiography.

Have you listened to any of Hillary Huber’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any of Hillary Huber's other performances, but I thought she was excellent in this book.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book (and the whole series) was so engaging that I sought every opportunity to listen to it. I was totally captivated, and often found myself reflecting on social issues.

Any additional comments?

This was my book of 2015!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Caroline
  • 05-13-16

An interesting Tale

If you could sum up My Brilliant Friend: The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1 in three words, what would they be?

The opening line of this book keeps you going to read all three. This book is a little slow but keep with it as books 2&# are worth it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-30-17

A great start

I found these novels hard to get into but once I started I have found myself addicted.

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  • Cathryn
  • 07-14-17

disapppinting

Would you try another book written by Elena Ferrante or narrated by Hillary Huber?

No voice was a bit grating and writing felt unfinished

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Give an ending or link back to the beginning. I must have missed the point

What does Hillary Huber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I don't like these questions

Did My Brilliant Friend: The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1 inspire you to do anything?

No

Any additional comments?

I don't like these questions. What happened to just a simple review.

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  • Ms
  • 03-08-17

Narrator couldn't get main character's name right

Firstly, the reason I wrote this review is because I hated the narration. Truly awful. She could not even consistently say the main character's name right. On many occasions she pronounced Lila (in Italian this is pronounced Leela) as Lyla and sometimes it sounded like Lina. Was very distracting. Was also very wooden reading.
I didn't particularly like the book either but that is my problem as I know a lot of excellent people who loved it.

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  • Marita
  • 12-17-16

Intriguing

Would you listen to My Brilliant Friend: The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1 again? Why?

No. Once was sufficient.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lila. Intriguing.

What does Hillary Huber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Nothing of note. I'd prefer to read it myself, but don't have the time. Not keen on readers - I think they usually overlay something else on the author's voice. However, Hillary Huber did a good job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Don't have time for that.

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  • nelly dean
  • 10-26-16

A snap shot of US immigrant life in the 50s , poor, violent, frustratingly sexists !

If one was to take out the Christian refererences and replace them with Muslim references , it could be in any poor back water Muslim town in any country today .

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  • Mandy
  • 09-11-16

What is the big deal with this book?

I was drawn to this book due to nearly EVERYONE saying you can't put it down. I couldn't wait to finish. I thought I could get into it but no. Too confusing with the story having far too many characters for an audio book. The narrator would suddenly jump into Italian accent when talking about people and places. Bit annoying. I would rather listen to the book with not so much emphasis on the Italian language and dialect. Sorry. I wish I had enjoyed it. Maybe I missed something?