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My Brilliant Friend: Based on the book by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante


HBO just keeps them coming! The adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend hits our screens on November 18 as an eight-episode series. The story of a lifelong friendship, complete with conflicts. Another one that simply passed me by, the book is on my hurryupandreadit,youidiot! list.


About the book:  

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


Presented in its original Neapolitan dialect of Italian with subtitles, with no recognizable names for North American audiences, I wonder how large an audience it will garner? If the first series goes well, there are three more books that have already been filmed. The subtitles won't be a problem for me, to be honest, I watch some British shows where the accent is quite thick—Shetland and Vera, for example—with closed captioning on as it is. And I'd rather watch subtitles than bad dubbing that's for certain. 

As for the author, she is unconcerned. According to THR, Ferrante believes that the less the author is involved in the making of an adaptation, the better. 
“As for casting, the few times I have been asked to speak up I have only complicated things. In fact, if I had to choose the two actresses, I would never have come out of it. Usually, the images I have in mind as I write are iridescent, sometimes hyper-defined, sometimes blurred, so I would have run after the most various incarnations,” she explains. “Therefore, in my opinion, it is a good thing that those who write a book do not exercise a sort of veto right: the director must build his work, set up his show in complete freedom. Whatever happens, books do not need protection: they are there, definitively fixed, patient and invulnerable." 

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