Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante

And so I finally caved in to the massive hype surrounding this opus.

In many ways it reminded me of Kristina Sandberg's 'Att Föda Ett Barn' : The subject-matter is sadly under-explored, and in dire need of hype. 
Where Sandberg dealt with a Swedish smalltown housewife, Ferrante narrates the life of two working class girls in Naples - funnily, both series are set in the glorious boom period 1945-75. The plot is rich with insight and nonconformity, and I really wanted to like this.

But. I have issues with the writing style. For instance, the point of view is incoherent; first person, internal focalization occasionally swerves into omniscience in a way that feels both awkward and uncontrolled. 
Overall, I found Ferrante's writing ambitious and easy access, though just not very elegant.

The bottom line is, I guess, that if I cannot have both style and plot in the same book, I will always choose style over plot.

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