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Elena Ferrante
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2015 Book Discussions > My Brilliant Friend - Neapolitan Novels #2, #3, and #4 (August 2015)

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message 1: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2718 comments Mod
Several of you have already read The Story of a New Name and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, so I thought this thread could contain and discussion/conversation related to the rest of the books in this series. Those, like myself, still wanting to read books 2-4 without spoilers, will probably want to steer clear of this thread.


message 2: by Lily (last edited Sep 16, 2015 10:43AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2498 comments http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/boo...

Review today in NYT by Rachel Cusk of the Neapolitan novels of Elena Ferrante. (Number 4 in the series.) I don't consider it to particularly have spoilers, but then who am I to say, given my relative insensitivity to them.

The Story of the Lost Child (Neapolitan Novels, #4) by Elena Ferrante The Story of the Lost Child


message 3: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2498 comments Summary for Number 2 in the series:
The Story of a New Name (Neapolitan Novels, #2) by Elena Ferrante The Story of a New Name (471 pp)

(view spoiler)

From local library catalog entry. Original source not retrieved.


message 4: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2498 comments Summary for Number 3 in the series:
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Neapolitan Novels, #3) by Elena Ferrante Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (418 pp)

(view spoiler)

From local library catalog entry. Original source not retrieved.


message 5: by Lily (last edited Sep 11, 2015 07:43AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2498 comments Summary (short) for Number 4 in the series:
The Story of the Lost Child (Neapolitan Novels, #4) by Elena Ferrante The Story of the Lost Child (473 pp)

(view spoiler)

From local library catalog entry.


message 6: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2718 comments Mod
A quote from The Story of a New Name (Book #2):
"Yes, it's Lila who makes writing difficult. My life forces me to imagine what hers would have been if what happened to me had happened to her, what use she would have made of my luck. And her life continuously appears in mine, in the words that I've uttered, in which there's often an echo of hers, in a particular gesture that is an adaptation of a gesture of hers, in my less which is such because of her more, in my more which is the yielding of the force of her less. Not to mention what she never said but let me guess, what I didn't know and read later in her notebooks. Thus the story of the facts has to reckon with filters, deferments, partial truths, half lies: from it comes an arduous measurement of time passed that is based completely on the unreliable measuring device of words."



message 7: by Nutmegger (new)

Nutmegger Linda (lindanutmegger) | 103 comments I finished book 1 and while I enjoyed it, I don't know if I'm ready to plunge into the second book immediately. I have so many books on my to read list that I feel like I'm sinking. However, I shall persevere.


message 8: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 2718 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "I finished book 1 and while I enjoyed it, I don't know if I'm ready to plunge into the second book immediately. I have so many books on my to read list that I feel like I'm sinking. However, I sh..."

The plight of all readers!


message 9: by Lily (last edited Sep 16, 2015 10:41AM) (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2498 comments Linda wrote: "I finished book 1 and while I enjoyed it, ..."

I've been working on Proust for years -- Ferrante seems easier, however. I don't think I "enjoyed" My Brilliant Friend so much as some others have, but I did pick up book 3 at the library and think I may enjoy it more. Book 2 is on its way (purchased, somehow, decided I wanted a "real" book rather than the Kindle version, which is what I have of Book 1), but given the introductory material for #3, it seemed as if I might even have gotten away with skipping from #1 to #3. But, then, I am idiosyncratic on how I read these days, partly because I feel as if I have read so much that being able to skip or skim or substitute reviews has become as necessary/useful as title-to-final sentence reading. And I know and understand that costs me even as it enables. Not always certain I get the balance to the best advantage. But, (sadly?) I am also becoming increasingly aware that many reviews seem to be based on partial reads. I am also enjoying re-reads more and more -- CDs of War and Peace are in my car and I am enjoying this third pass immensely -- the main characters are crisper and the second and third level ones are becoming known, recognizable, even predictable. (It is for the characters, more than the plot, that I am enjoying relistening in this case, although I begin to get more of a sense of about what the historians argue.)


message 10: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2354 comments I had book 2 on audio and couldn't sleep so just laid and listened to it last night. Lena and Lila seem to envy each other. Hard to appreciate what is the connection. Lila seems more impulsive in this book. Lena finally seems to mature and take her life in her own hands. Still not sure why she wrote that novel and gave it to her finacee.


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