Read | 29. Oct 2020

After Five Years There Is New Book By Elena Ferrante. Well, whatever...

I have not really been a fan of Elena Ferrante - I started to read her books in 2016, when spending holidays in Ischia and Naples, guessing it would be the ideal background sound to my daydreaming at the beach. But I never bonded with those now world famous girls, Elena and LIna, their upbinging in postwar Naples, their struggle to find their female identity.

Too far away, I thought, by centuries as well as by their lifestyle, their Italian identity, their choices, their stories.

Obviously an opinion rather hard to find - as the world celebrated the anonymus writer Elena Ferrante - she became the literal sensation of a whole decade, translated in dozens of languages, her fans lining up in front of bookstores, the night before a new volume of her "Naples Saga" came out. The story of "My Brilliant Friend" became a phenonema , the "Harry Potter"-series for adults.

I was just not that much into it.

Then I started to listen to "My Brilliant Friend"´s very well produced audio-books, in German. As I was tired of listening to music while working out and had not yet started my addiction for podcasts. And the wonderful voice of German Actress Eva Mattes got me under her spell - I listened to the whole sample of four books within some weeks.

Maybe I should have done that again, rather listening to "the new Elena Ferrante" than reading it, when my new found bookd club here in Siwtzerland decided to discuss the latest book of the Italian star-writer, but as I am listening now to so many podcast every day anyway I went for the book version.

The story about a young girl growing up in a very different Naples, this time under circumstances I can rely to much easier, - because it takes place in the Nineties of the last century and also within a middle-class family - again did not really catch my attention.

First of all, the language of the book makes it hard to believe we are talking about a modern world here. Secondly, the problems and the imagination of the young adult among her friends, within a completely devided famliy, the confrontation of truth and lies among them, made it hard for me to feel something for any of the protagonists.

However, the book will make its way up the bestseller lists all over the world again - our little book club alone bought seven copies. And critics from "The New York Times" to "The Atlantic" to "The Guardian" rave again about the phantastic author and her outstanding talent to get into the heart and soul of young adulthood.

So, if you are a fan already, you will love "The Lying LIfe of Adults" as well, I suppose.

As for the rest of us, I would suggest the the audible book during this endless winter that lies ahead of us. There will be more lonely walks through the forrest, more puzzles to finish or needlepoint embroidery to start - why not fullfill that time with a bestseller.