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Publisher's Summary

A riveting classic of European literature, this superb collection of fiction and reportage is set in Italy's most vibrant and turbulent metropolis - Naples - in the immediate aftermath of World War II. These writings helped inspire Elena Ferrante's best-selling novels, and she has expressed deep admiration for the author of this volume. Goyaesque in its depiction of the widespread suffering and brutal desperation that plagued the city, it comprises a mix of masterful storytelling and piercing journalism. This book, with its unforgettable portrait of Naples high and low, is also a stunning literary companion to the great neorealist films of the era by directors such as Vittorio de Sica and Roberto Rossellini.

Neapolitan Chronicles is exquisitely rendered in English by Ann Goldstein and Jenny McPhee, two of the leading translators working from Italian today. Included in the collection is "A Pair of Eyeglasses", one of the most widely praised Italian short stories of the last century.

©1953 Anna Maria Ortese; translation 2018 Ann Goldstein and Jenny McPhee (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Neapolitan Chronicles

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Mind numbing

Starts off strong and devoles into boring description of finding her old colleagues and noting how they are dead and stupid. Italian accent is atrocious as well

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  • 05-10-21

Very interesting books and good narration with a caveat

I loved the book. It gives a unique view of Napoli in the immediate postwar period (circa 1945-1950) through a few gripping vignettes. The narrator is very good but very often foes not know how to pronounce the names of the protagonists and of the locations. The accents are often wrong. They should have consulted an italian speaker who would have easily corrected the pronounciation and the accents. Too bad

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Devoid of color and interest

I was excited to listen to this book when I heard that Elena Ferrante had been influenced by the author; but while “My Brilliant Friend” has its darkness and ugliness, Ferrante’s characters are vivid and engrossing. Ortese’s writing is depressing and her judgments of the city and the people are harsh, unforgiving, and dull. I have been to Napoli - and dated a Napolitano - so I am familiar with city’s reputation and lore and she has portrayed only the worst of it. It was a disappointment and I struggled to finish it. The translation also seemed stilted and awkward. The reader did her best, but the material was poor.