My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1) by Elena FerranteA modern masterpiece from one of Italys most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrantes inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.
It feels less like a new production than a best-kept secret from another era that was recently unearthed. Existing locations have been decorated to match their appearances six-plus decades ago, and the backgrounds teem with period-accurate extras and vehicles: an overhead shot of the parking lot of Piazza del Plebiscito boasts nearly a hundred vintage cars. Somehow, though, the result feels intimate and modest, immersing us in the particulars of a time, place, and social class, resisting the urge to comment on the unfairness and cruelty that stand between the characters and their desire for happiness even as it makes us sharply aware of them. Differences in opportunity stop them from competing on a level playing field and complicate their affection as they mature. Education in all its forms, but language in particular, serves as an emotional life preserver, but the girls still always seem to be half a breath from drowning.
In , HBO began a series based on a set of books whose legion of fans had exacting expectations. The first season, which begins Sunday, is set largely in a single cluster of apartments. Its drama, though punctuated by violence, is interior and inwardly focused. It enfolds warring families and shifting alliances, but in a setting where everyone is packed close and prying eyes and whispers are inescapable. It is a game of courtyards, stairwells and balconies. For readers of the books, it is probably enough to know that the first season, which corresponds to the first of the four novels, sticks close to the source material. They form an ardent bond their first year of school, in a dusty, low-rise neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples.
The abrupt disappearance of her old friend, Lila Cerullo, causes year-old author Elena Greco to reflect on the early days of their friendship in s Naples, when Elena and Lila are two very different girls at the top of their class.
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It is the first of four novels in the Neapolitan Novels series to be adapted for television. The soundtrack for the series was composed by Max Richter and it was released by Deutsche Grammophon on December 7, for digital download., Ferrante, whoever she may be , is credited as one of four writers on the show, so it is little wonder that it feels authentic, but this is a gorgeous TV show on its own merits.
The series has been characterized as a bildungsroman , or coming-of-age story. Elena's childhood friend Lila a nickname for "Raffaella" has disappeared, and her son is unable to find her. Elena recognizes this behavior as something Lila, in her later years, has always talked about doing, and believes her disappearance to be a conscious decision. In the spirit of their loving but ambivalent ways towards each other, Elena begins to put on paper everything she can remember about Lila, beginning in s Naples. Elena and Lila grow up in a poor neighborhood full of violence and strife, where Lila alone realizes that an innocent man has been framed for murder by local gangsters, the Solara family.