The Novels of Elena Ferrante

By Ann Shayne
April 7, 2018

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  • I loved these books! I highly recommend them (in print or over the headphones). I’m sure she just forgot to include a description of the day the nuns taught the girls to knit.

  • Great books! I’m listening to the fourth one now.

  • Two years ago a subgroup of our book club immersed ourselves in the Ferrante series for a limited five meetings. We enjoyed it so much that last year we did the same thing with four Siri Hustvedt books. I love retirement. So much reading and knitting!

    • I wrote my retirement letter this week, now I need to deliver it to our school superintendent. I have been teaching for over thirty years and it is time. The only thing I would add to your list is grandchildren. Can’t wait.

    • I lodged my retirement letter last week, so three weeks to go to join you with the whole reading and knitting lifestyle.
      This is the third time in a few weeks that I have had a recommendation for these books, off to order them now.
      Also will be aiming to be setting myself up to join in the podcast era and look forward to catching up on all the MD recommendations.

  • They are amazing books, as you get so involved in the women’s good and bad decisions… to the point you want to scream at them!
    Plus, the translation reads so smoothly …

    Please write and tell us what you think when you are finished with the quartet!

    Reader here … I just can’t do audiobooks!

  • So much fun. I’m reading your blog on my patio while visiting Zihuatanejo and am able to order and download this audiobook from my library back home in the Fraser Valley. Better not start ordering yarn!

  • I was able to download the first book through my library but the next 3 are only available from my library on CD’s. I’m halfway through book 2 and having a hard time adjusting to this vintage technology :). Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Hi Lynn, Possible solution? Could you get the CD’s, copy them onto your computer/laptop, then copy the recordings onto your phone (or however you listen to them)? Once you finish the recordings, you delete them, so it’s all good.
      It’s great to listen to stories and knit. Sometimes, when I have to read a book or two in a series where I’ve already listened to the first or second, at least you have the voices from the recordings in your head which makes it a lot more fun! Good luck!

  • Still haunted by these amazing books!

  • We’re living the same life! I’m almost done with the second audobook—not loving it like the first one—but determined to forge ahead. The narrator is smooth, isn’t she?

  • Oh God, kill me now. I read the first book on a plane–captive audience–at the urging of my friend who is a raving fan. I know, you can start throwing rotten fruit at me, but it just didn’t enchant me. I finished it, but I feel absolutely no desire to read or listen to any of the rest of them.

    • You’re not alone. I could not even finish the first one.

      • Me either. I thought “Meh, what’s all the fuss about?”

        • Ditto.

    • I was so disappointed when the first book didn’t grab me. After all the raves, I was looking forward to an enjoyable series.

    • I feel the same way! I keep trying… But I will give it to my Mom as she enjoys long relationship saga things. Just couldn’t get it.

  • I just finished reading A Brilliant Friend after your recommendation and was completely drawn in by it. I can’t wait to read everything else she’s written – it’s like Jane Austen meets the Sopranos (in the 50s! in Naples!) Fantastic writing.

  • Yes, yes, yes! I am deeply into volume two and these books are amazing. I have never heard a voice quite like Elena Ferrante’s. Delicious.

  • These books were amazing to read! I did not listen to the audio version, but I can imagine that they are delightful. My favorite audiobooks are British mysteries – specifically the Flavia deLuce series written by Alan Bradley and the Cormoran Strike series written by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). Happy Listening!