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Anyone read any of Elena Ferrante's novels? If so should they be read in sequence?

(11 Posts)
mulranna Mon 16-Nov-15 10:38:26

Or which is the best to get started with??

Clawdy Mon 16-Nov-15 10:56:12

Got the first one on my kindle,not read it yet, but I think they are meant to be read in sequence.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 16-Nov-15 11:23:40

I tried the first one on audiobook but had to give up. I found I was getting muddled with all the characters. Will try again with the book. Definitely need to be read in the right order.

JasperDamerel Mon 16-Nov-15 11:26:43

They absurdly need to be read in sequence. They are really one very long book in four parts.

JasperDamerel Mon 16-Nov-15 11:33:30

Absolutely, not absurdly.

mulranna Mon 16-Nov-15 12:17:32

Thanks Clawdy...from wiki I see that there are 4 novels to read in sequence (Neapolitan Novels)

1) L'amica geniale (2011; English translation: My Brilliant Friend, 2012). OCLC 778419313.
2) Storia del nuovo cognome, L'amica geniale volume 2 (2012; English translation: The Story of a New Name, 2013). OCLC 829451619.[7]
3) Storia di chi fugge e di chi resta, L'amica geniale volume 3 (2013; English translation: Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, 2014). OCLC 870919836.
4) Storia della bambina perduta, L'amica geniale volume 4 (2014; English translation: The Story of the Lost Child, 2015). OCLC 910239891.

Then there are her earlier unrelated works:

L'amore molesto (1992; English translation: Troubling Love, 2006)
I giorni dell'abbandono (2002; English translation: The Days of Abandonment, 2005)
La frantumaglia (2003; English translation Fragments, 2013)[7]
La figlia oscura (2006; English translation: The Lost Daughter, 2008)
La spiaggia di notte (2007; English translation: The Beach at Night, forthcoming)

Are you starting with My Brilliant Friend? I am keen to get stuck into The Days of Abandonment...but it might be too close to home....

Clawdy Mon 16-Nov-15 17:13:26

Yes,starting with My Brilliant Friend. Looks interesting.

thisfalseinsight Wed 18-Nov-15 06:21:43

Yes, definitely read them in sequence (the Neapolitan novels). This is the only series of books I've ever read where I would say I'm completely unable to choose a 'best' one - they are all incredible. I envy you being able to read them for the first time!

I would start with these rather than any of Ferrante's other books. The Days of Abandonment is excellent, but it has a very different feel to the Neapolitan series - which I would really say is Ferrante's masterwork. It's a very 'interior' novel and the Neapolitan series is much more character-focused and sprawling.

mulranna Wed 18-Nov-15 16:08:10

Thanks thisfalseinsight - I have selected My Brilliant Friend for our book group - I have chickened out of selecting The Days of Abandonment for BG as it is so close to home to what I have v recently been through and not sure I have the emotional capacity to hold it together if we were to discuss it ... although I have ordered this as well to read/weep on my own - feel excited and terrified to read it...

thisfalseinsight Fri 20-Nov-15 20:06:40

Mulranna, it hit pretty close to home for me, too, but that's why I think EF is such a fantastic writer - she's really able to capture the feeling of going through something like that, without any cliches and in a thought-provoking way that feels very fresh. There's some comfort in recognising your own feelings in a book, especially when they're articulated in a way that can make you see something new about your own life. I hope you enjoy it (even if it's a bit painful)!

Gwenhwyfar Fri 27-Nov-15 19:53:34

Just finished the quartet. Would anyone like to discuss it with me? I think there are things I'm missing. However, it wouldn't be a good discussion for anyone who hasn't read them as there'd be spoilers.

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