Thursday, May 17, 2018

Review of My Brilliant Friend

How much point is there in reviewing a literary phenomenon? I dunno. But I really enjoyed this, even though it's not the sort of thing I usually read. It helped that I read it in (and on the way to) Naples, and it was a great preparation for walking round the back streets off Via Toledo and Spaccanapoli. A very vivid evocation of the living poor in the 1950s - although Southern Italy was poorer than much of Europe, I think there'd be comparable stories from England and elsewhere.

I particularly appreciated the depiction of growing up in the shadow of a more talented/capable/beautiful friend, and the way the narrator treats the violence and oppressiveness of the way the Neapolitan men perform their masculinity.

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