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La vita bugiarda degli adulti

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  16,166 ratings  ·  1,878 reviews
Il bel viso della bambina Giovanna si è trasformato, sta diventando quello di una brutta malvagia adolescente. Ma le cose stanno proprio così? E in quale specchio bisogna guardare per ritrovarsi e salvarsi? La ricerca di un nuovo volto, dopo quello felice dell’infanzia, oscilla tra due Napoli consanguinee che però si temono e si detestano: la Napoli di sopra, che s’è attri ...more
Paperback, Dal mondo, 326 pages
Published November 7th 2019 by e/o
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Gina Di Secondo me il braccialetto è la metafora della vita bugiarda degli adulti. Il gioiello- ammirato, desiderato e contestato fra i personaggi del raccont…moreSecondo me il braccialetto è la metafora della vita bugiarda degli adulti. Il gioiello- ammirato, desiderato e contestato fra i personaggi del racconto- vela le bugie e il modo perfido in cui è stato ottenuto, donato, ripreso, ritornato e finalmente scartato. Il braccialetto, come la bugia, erode la fiducia di tutti coloro che ne hanno contatto e li incatena in un legame tossico.
Quest’ ultimo racconto di Ferrante è per me eccezionale. Ho letto tutti i suoi titoli e non pensavo che potesse essere possibile. Autore geniale.(less)
Margaret Montalvo The HBO series, My Brilliant Friend, is based on the Neapolitan Series - 4 books beginning with My Brilliant Friend that details the very intense rela…moreThe HBO series, My Brilliant Friend, is based on the Neapolitan Series - 4 books beginning with My Brilliant Friend that details the very intense relationship between two friends. This book is a completely different story.(less)

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Adam Dalva
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full Review: If The Lying Life of Adults, the marvelous new novel by the pseudonymous Elena Ferrante, doesn’t reach the soaring heights of her masterpiece, The Story of a New Name, that is mainly an issue of the Ferrantean accumulation—deep networks of supporting characters, all with rich inner lives—being limited by the confines of a mere 320 pages. With Ferrante, as with Tolstoy, there is always the implication of a few dozen extra chapters, known only to her...

Continue Reading on Guernica Mag
Angela M

“Maybe everything would be less complicated if you told the truth.”

I’ll try to make my review less complicated with my honest thoughts. I’ve come across my fair share of dysfunctional families in many of the novels I’ve read, but this one - well dysfunctional is putting it mildly. I didn’t understand this family, their relationships with one another and with other characters. I definitely had a hard time getting into the melodramatic world of teenage Giovanna, even though she gets it right with
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have just closed the book and I feel inside a whirlwind of feelings and emotions...... unfortunately not all positive, in fact, what predominates most here, is this sense of toxicity. The relationships we will find here narrated, are blindfolded by this sense of suffocation and poison. Giovanna is growing up in this ambiguous, disguised and intoxicated family of fiction, untruth and tenderness... but where can she find herself if all that her heart seeks is only sa
Paul Fulcher
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
It’s good that you’re spending time with people who are better than you, it’s the only way to go up not down.

The identity of the “neighbourhood” in Elena Ferrante’s epic Neopolitan Quartet was not explicitly mentioned in the novels but those who knew the city soon recognised the setting as the Rione Luzzatti district, even pinpointing the tunnel that plays a key role in the first part as Lila and Lenù attempt to escape the neighbourhood to the sea to one on the Via Emanuele Gianturco:


Elyse  Walters
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook....narrated by Marissa Tomei (Marissa was a ‘great’...reading this book). One audiobook reviewer said they thought Tomei ‘over-acted’ her reading. For me she enhanced the storytelling.

....A fan of the Neapolitan 4 book series? (Book 1, was my least favorite- by far— but the next 3 books were so darn juicy good- I wanted more).
Overall, I loved the series.

....Enjoyed a few other stand alone Ferrante novels - but not all equally? That’s how it’s been for me.

Diane S ☔
I finished this book, skimmed the last part but did not dnf it because it was Esils , Angela's and my buddy read. I am, however, going to leave it unrated because I disliked this book immensely. These people are seriously strange, not a likable character among them. It is overdramatic, full of introspective teenage angst, and people who acted in ways I didn't understand. This is when you can say, come on Diane, tell us how you really feel. Sometimes books just rub us the wrong way. This one did.
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ferrante never fails. The Lying Life of Adults is her first standalone (and first work of published fiction) since her mega-hit Neapolitan Quartet. It's hard to follow-up such a critically acclaimed series but she's done it with a tightly crafted and gripping story in this new novel.

Giovanna's father calls her ugly. But not only ugly—that her face is like that of his sister, Vittoria. That comparison, to a woman whom Giovanna knows her parents are less than fond of, in fact have nearly completel
Diane Barnes
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four well deserved stars for the writing, and for getting inside a teenage girl's mind between the ages of 12 and 16. Since I was a teenage girl long ago, and since I raised a teenage girl not so long ago, I can attest to a lot of the insecurities and strange behaviors that are exhibited by Giovanna. In the first sentence, she overhears her adored father telling her mother that Giovanna is getting ugly. This sets off a chain of events that creates upheaval for several families, strains loyalties ...more
The Lying Life of Adults was my most anticipated book of the year. I added it to my TBR a year ago, it didn't even have a cover at the time.
For me, there is no other writer like Ferrante. I've read many books about adolescents, most of them tend to be on the cutesy, sentimental, even purist side, especially if the main character is female. Ferrante's teenage girls are raw, contrary, angsty, challenging and not necessarily sweet. They're complex and complicated, good and bad.
Twelve-year-old Giov
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This novel propelled me directly inside Gianni's head, with such an immediacy that I remembered myself vividly as a young teen. And yes, adults are horribly duplicitous! Gianni's journey is confusing, jarring and frustrating. So I can't say I enjoyed every page or bonded with it as I did the Neapolitan novels. Yet, a superb novel.

(I started with the print book and switched to audio which was unusually dramatized by Marisa Tomei but I thought worked well)
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it’s safe to say that Ferrante is being marketed as “woman’s literature”. I mean, just look at the cover. Or worse, look at the cover of My Brilliant Friend. Dreadful, isn’t it? But understandable, I guess, especially if we think that her stories revolve about marriage and family dynamics and the majority of readers are women.

So here’s my advice to you, my friends, don’t let yourself be misled by these terrible marketing choices (unless you like fluffy reads) because Elena Ferrante is n
Anna Luce
★★★✰✰ 3 stars (mini-Italian review at the end)

“L'amore è opaco come i vetri delle finestre dei cessi.”

(I'm no Ann Goldstein but the above quote can be roughly translated to: “Love is as opaque as the windows of a shit-house”).

In this latest novel by Elena Ferrante, La Vita Bugiarda degli Adulti (or The Lying Life of Adults in its English translation) we are confronted with a narrative that challenges the myth of happy family (in altre parole il mito della 'famiglia del mulino bianco').
The nove
Jessica Woodbury
When an author becomes one of your favorites, any new novel is an exercise in both excitement and anxiety. Will it be as good as the rest? Will your expectations be too high? I was nervous, I admit, especially since as years pass the Neapolitan Quartet has only become more beloved and singular in my mind. But I found relief very quickly, within just a few pages I was back with that unique, blunt prose of Ferrante's (with Ann Goldstein's translation), and back in the mind of a complicated female ...more

For those readers for whom Elena Ferrante is a familiar author – and anyone who has completed her tetralogy – this book will not surprise them. Either for those who enjoyed her saga as well as for those who weren’t convinced.

The style is similar, the setting is similar, the structure is similar. This, however, is a standalone novel which makes it more compact. In L’amica genial I found the fourth, and possibly the third volumes somewhat contrived. In those books, the plot had to keep moving at t
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: odt
If this is your first experience of Elena Ferrante, welcome, and I certainly hope it will not be your last. The Neapolitan Quartet, of which My Brillant Friend (2012) is the first novel, rises like Mt Vesuvius itself as a highlight from the last decade or more of my reading. I would encourage readers new to Ferrante to start here and maybe followup with the excellent TV series. Much of the joy of Ferrante comes from being plunged so immersively into Neopolitan culture ( Ferrante's longtime trans ...more
There are lots of themes that are very interesting in this book: how adults start lying when they spent their own childhood getting told not to lie and then doing it with children of their own; how someone who has not been raised with a certain religion can find faith in the right time and place. The prose was more beautiful than ever and one of my favourite characters has been Roberto, Ferrante's first positive* male character. I didn't like much how central sex is in this story but, at least, ...more
Raul Bimenyimana
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-writers

The Hell That Is Puberty

This is the story of Giovanna, an adolescent middle-class girl living in Naples. Her father had worked to climb the social ladder and has been successful at it, her mother has maintained her social position and it is expected that Giovanna will make her life decisions cautious not to "go down". Giovanna becomes acquainted with her Aunt Vittoria who lives in the poorer neighbourhoods of Naples and who forces her to really look at the prim and proper structure filled with c
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve heard it said a girl acquires either a positive or negative image about her body when she’s around 11 or so and no matter how her face or body may change in later years, the perception of how she saw herself then remains. The narrator is 12 when she overhears a comment made by her father, the impetus for this story that continues through her 16th birthday. Her actions due to his comment put into motion a series of events that change the lives of other family members and friends.

As a triangu
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 rounded down

Classic Ferrante writing, but the problem is there’s no plot... and what does happen doesn’t appear to be building to anything bigger. Tedious stuff.

I got to 40-something percent and realised reading further was not going to increase my enjoyment of this novel. A real shame, as this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, but there’s no point slogging through something I’m not getting anything out of.
Nov 22, 2020 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I generally despise coming-of-age stories. Too much happiness. But not with Elena Ferrante. No matter how happy her characters are, you know that in time their joy will be annihilated by self-hatred and personal failings.
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, italy, fiction
Ferrante isn’t for everyone. A friend recently said she tried her and “couldn’t get into it.” I can see why. Ferrante is a rambler and an over-analyzer and a brooder, and not everyone wants that energy. Some of us love wallowing in the misery though.

This one was maybe more of a 3 star overall, but something about her writing really gets under my skin every time. If there's ever a character with the slightest hint of optimism, she snuffs it out. If there's a character not yet disillusioned, she
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-authors
DNF. Time of death: 60%.

Guys. Guys. Guys. This one hurts my soul. I LOVED Elena Ferrante’s, “Neapolitan,” series with all my heart. Seriously. Just look at my review of one of those. I wrote one review for the whole series because it felt like one long book. I adored those books. Devoured all four in a row. I still think about the characters. I signed up for HBO again just to watch the adaptation.

So perhaps my expectations were too high for this. Or it’s a case of it being me and not the book.
Lucy Dacus
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Familiar elements if you've read her other work. I was worried at first about it being redundant but it wasn't, and she's such a magnificent writer that I probably wouldn't have cared if it was.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2020, arc
What happened in the world of adults, in the heads of very reasonable people, in their bodies loaded with knowledge? What reduced them to the most untrustworthy animals, worse than reptiles?

For anyone who has read Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels, The Lying Life of Adults will be a return to familiar territory – the Naples setting, the examination of class and culture, the fascinating conversations and thoughts that explore feminine interiority – and for anyone who was beguiled by those ea
My grandmother was a divine storyteller. Even after all these years I still remember the tone of her voice, melodic, sweet and delicate, artfully caressing each word, as she embarked in the narration of a tale, to my astonished eyes, ears and mouth: my eyes were impressed with the sight of her, sitting down next to me, totally immersed in the story, like a consummate actress possessed by the semantic weight of each word; my ears moved by her ability to change slightly the tone of her voice as ea ...more
2.5 stars rounded up. Bottom line for me, this was disappointing. I will try to review without any spoilers but there isn't much of plotting here, so it's not assured.

Of course the prime character is deeply well written. But other than the only child with 2 flawed but also actually cherishing to her parents who love her and an aunt (father's sister) who is also central to the mix of influences and niece's ultimate self-identity! Other than that?

She writes the coming of age teen age girl in Napl
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“What happened…in the world of adults, in the heads of very reasonable people, in their bodies loaded with knowledge? What reduced them to the most untrustworthy animals, worse than reptiles?”

Giovanna, the alluring narrator of Elena Ferrante’s latest stellar book, strives to find the answer as she becomes ensnared in lying behaviors and the false faces that adults present to the world. At the beginning, she hears her very proper and respected father tell her mother that Giovanna is “getting the
Gumble's Yard
Oct 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Simultaneously overwrought to the point of hysteria and yet strangely compelling.

Somehow both preposterous and insightful on almost every page.

And written in a slightly off-kilter English that I don’t know if it is in the translation or reflects the original.

All-in-all a pretty classic Ferrante via Goldstein

What I do know is that very few of the sentences read like natural English – but I do not know if they read like natural Italian in the original.

And what anyway is natural Italian when one
switterbug (Betsey)
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Voice can make or break a novel; it is the essence of the story, in my humble opinion. Neapolitan author Elena Ferrante’s latest has a fulsome, assertive, witty, emotional, and resonant voice that sears through the narrative and rattled deliciously in my bones. Protagonist Giovanna (Gianni) is a 12 year-old pretty girl, daughter of educated parents. Her parents hobnob with wealthy and influential professors, scholars, and outspoken political dissidents, and have expected that Gianni follow in th ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing will convince you to stay home and read all day like an elegant, gritty Ferrante novel. Her latest, dripping with richness and complexity, features Giovanna. In the unforgettable opening sequence, her powerful father declares her ugly, comparing her face to that of his estranged sister, who repulses him. Giovanna tracks down the source of her ugliness—this unknown relative—as her body’s uncontrollable blossoming into womanhood leaves her disgusted and ashamed. With intense fury and hunge ...more
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Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist. Ferrante's books, originally published in Italian, have been translated into many languages. Her four-book series of Neapolitan Novels are her most widely known works.

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