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My Brilliant Friend

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Elena Ferrante

Narrated By: Hillary Huber

Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks

Date: April 2015

Duration: 12 hours 41 minutes


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 trilogy, Ferrante proves herself to be one of Italy’s greatest storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations—a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new readers to her work.

“A compelling and moving coming-of-age story set in an impoverished neighborhood struggling to come into its own in a rapidly shrinking world. Celebrated Italian author Ferrante’s unflinching and insightful prose…is captivating and hopeful here and will have readers eagerly awaiting the next installment.”—Booklist (starred review)


  • Julie Wolf

    I loved this book, the characters, the prose, and style of writing. Though at times the booked moved slowly, the words were so rich in detail and description that it was worth the initial quieter pace to reach a plot crescendo. We have traveled extensively in Italy and also have distant relatives still living there; this book explains so much of of the family and social values that are there yet somewhat hidden in it's culture and society. It reminded me very much of the American Classic book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn". Could not wait to start the 2nd book in this series. Also found the narrator's pacing and voice changes when needed were very well done. Highly recommend!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Yareli Nava

    Amazing book and the audio book way better!!! The expressions the narrator had and how she spoke, amazing!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Dion P

    I was urged to read this book as I live on the island of Ischia which is referenced at various stages. Although I found the book and the narration very engaging at times, my overall feeling was one of disappointment. I knew that this wouldn't be a book with much "action" so to speak but I was surprised by how few actual events occurred. The main emphasis centres around perceptions of relationships and the growing pains (physical and mental) of a young girl growing up in Naples. I do understand why the books are so revered but this really isn't a genre that I enjoy and I won't be listening to the other books in the series. I thought the narrator was fairly good though.

  • Eranthi A

    Beautiful story

  • Karen B

    Good narrator and good book. They fit well together.

  • Ginnie White

    I really enjoyed this book. I started reading it in paperback but found it hard to follow with all the characters. Much easier to listen to on audiobook. I am planning on listening to the other 3

  • Sarah Monroy

    Great narration and telling of this story. I read the text to nearly the end but then finished via audio. I highly recommend the story.

  • Gudbjorg H leaman

    I enjoyed the story, but I found the narrator spoiled it. She was trying to act out the characters, but her acting was pretentious and they all sounded the same. It would be much better if she just stuck to reading the story clearly. Also she read to fast at times.

  • Rosemarie Hoffmann

    After the slow and detailed minutiae of being a child in small-town Italy, the pace seems to pick up when the girls reach adolescence. It seemed a good glimpse into the daily life of the working class and attendant oppression of women. I hung on through my boredom and was rewarded with a cliff-hanger ending.

  • Nancy Drad

    I enjoyed the narrator and intonation she used throughout the book. It was easy to follow when conversation was taking place between characters. The story was a good listen but at times I felt that it moved too slowly and that too much time was spent describing the same thing over and over again. It is not a book you can listen to in a short period of time unless you have 12 spare hours. I enjoyed it enough to purchase the second book in the Trilogy.

My Brilliant Friend

by Elena Ferrante

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My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante