The Neapolitan Novels

8 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 11,415 ratings

My Brilliant Friend Publisher's Summary

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, who represent the story of a nation and the nature of friendship.

The story begins in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood 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 - and 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 neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists.

With My Brilliant Friend, the first in a series, Ferrante proves herself to be one of Italy's greatest storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted pause-resister, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations - a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new listeners to her work.

©2012 GO Team! Enterprises (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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  • Book 1

    • My Brilliant Friend

    • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1
    • By: Elena Ferrante
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 5,182
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 4,650
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 4,639

    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, who represent the story of a nation and the nature of friendship.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Parte Uno Dei Quattro--It's Worth it to Keep Goin'

    • By W Perry Hall on 09-14-16

    Regular price: $24.47

    • My Brilliant Friend: The Neapolitan Novels, Book 1

    • By: Elena Ferrante
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 23
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 19
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 19

    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.

    Regular price: $33.57

  • Book 2

    • The Story of a New Name

    • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 2
    • By: Elena Ferrante
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 19 hrs and 4 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,425
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,186
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,181

    The Story of a New Name follows Elena Ferrante's critically acclaimed My Brilliant Friend, featuring Lila and Elena. The two protagonists are now in their 20s, and marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila. Meanwhile Elena continues her journey of self-discovery.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Still hooked

    • By Hannah Lissette on 07-07-15

    Regular price: $27.97

    • The Story of a New Name: The Neapolitan Novels, Book 2

    • By: Elena Ferrante
    • Narrated by: Hilary Huber
    • Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 16
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 14
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 14

    The Story of a New Name is an extraordinary novel about two young women, Lila and Elena, growing up in Naples in the early 1960s. At 16 Lila marries the shopkeeper Stefano. She is filled with pleasure at her new wealth and horror at the life she has chosen. Elena’s own attempts at romance seem to be sabotaged by Lila’s turbulent affairs. As she tries to plot her way out of poverty via academic and literary success, her constant anxiety is that she is just a shadow of the brilliant Lila.

    Regular price: $37.30

  • Book 3

    • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

    • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 3
    • By: Elena Ferrante
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 16 hrs and 48 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,901
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,714
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,712

    In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom were first introduced in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her husband and the comforts her marriage brought and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which has opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons.

    • 1 out of 5 stars
    • Decent novel ruined by narration

    • By Paula on 11-10-15

    Regular price: $24.47

    • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

    • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 3
    • By: Elena Ferrante
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 8

    In Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the two protagonists are now in their 30s. Lila, married at 16, has left her husband and the comforts of her marriage and has now joined the workforce. Elena has left the neighbourhood in Naples, been to university, and published a successful novel, all of which has brought her into a wealthier, more cultured world. Both women are seizing opportunities to flee a life of poverty, ignorance and submission.

    Regular price: $37.30

  • Book 4

    • The Story of the Lost Child

    • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 4
    • By: Elena Ferrante
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 18 hrs and 27 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,847
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,660
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,661

    Here is the dazzling saga of two women: the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both are now adults; many of life's great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women's friendship has remained the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up - a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The best of the series. But should be read after the others to get the full impact.

    • By Amazon Customer on 05-01-16

    Regular price: $27.97

    • The Story of the Lost Child

    • The Neapolitan Novels, Book 4
    • By: Elena Ferrante
    • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
    • Length: 18 hrs and 24 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 12
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 10
    • Story
      5 out of 5 stars 9

    The Neopolitan quartet traces the friendship between Elena and Lila, from their childhood in a poor neighbourhood in Naples to their 30s, when both women are mothers but each has chosen a different path. Their lives are still inextricably linked, for better or worse, especially when it comes to the drama of a lost child.

    Regular price: $37.30