Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante


The Days of Abandonment
by  Elena Ferrante
narrated by Hillary Huber
Blackstone Audio, 2015
7 hours and 36 minutes
source: purchased (audible daily deal)

Publisher's summary:
An IndiBound best seller, The Days of Abandonment shocked and captivated its Italian public when first published. It is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband, with two young children to care for. When she finds herself literally trapped within the four walls of their high-rise apartment, she is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal.

My thoughts:

The Days of Abandonment  is a short, beautifully written novel, arguably even more raw and intimate that Ferrante's famed Neopolitan novels. However, it was not a particularly enjoyable reading experience. Though the story is fascinating, it was like watching the proverbial train wreck. I could not bring myself to turn away.

Certainly, Ferrante's objective is to make the reader squirm. Mission accomplished!

Hillary Huber's narration is controlled, deliberate, and perfectly suited to the story. I chose to listen to most of the novel at 1.25x speed.

After reading six Ferrante novels in fourteen months, I'm finally ready for a break.

20 comments:

  1. I've heard such great things about her work - I need to give it a try.

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  2. One of these days I will read them!

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    Replies
    1. Patty - they're quite intense... and addictive, too.

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  3. So funny...I'm listening to an audiobook now that doesn't seem to allow me to change the listening speed. I wish I could!

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    1. Audrey - I don't speed things up very often, but needed to here...

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  4. I've been wanting to try Ferrante's book but this one doesn't really grab me as much as the others. I'm sure once I start reading her books I won't be able to stop but I don't think this is the one I will start with. Great review!

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    Replies
    1. Katherine - This might not be the best place to start. I'd recommend My Brilliant Friend, the first in the Neopolitan series.

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  5. I've read your reviews /comments about Ferrante previously and keep thinking I should read her. Despite your description of this as watching a train wreck it sounds like it is a good book reading way and I do find it appealing to me. I am determined to get her one the to read in the not to distant future list not just for one day!.

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    Replies
    1. Emma - It really was a good book, but maybe not what I was in the mood for right now. My Brilliant Friend might be a good starting point... it't the first of her Neopolitan novels.

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  6. I love it when new books are brought to my attention, and this one looks so amazing! I'm going to hunt this one out to listen to for sure. I've not read this author, so this will be my first.

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    Replies
    1. Kathy - This is quite intense, but a very good book!

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  7. This book sounds very good.

    I do believe that art in general, and literature sometimes need to show us the darker side of life. With that some books sre indeed difficult to read.

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    1. Brian Joseph - I agree! This was an emotionally intense book... so well done.

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  8. Sorry you didn't like the book more.

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    1. Vicki - Maybe a case of the right book at the wrong time. Not exactly what I was in the mood to listen to, but so compelling that I couldn't stop.

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    2. I'm not sure there would ever be a right time or right mood for this book. Even if you had been or were going through such a break-up, the emotion is so raw in this, I cant see how it would help you!

      Like you said - like a train wreck - you couldn't look away. My review - http://bronasbooks.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/the-days-of-abandonment-by-elena.html

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    3. Brona - Thanks the link to your review. I remembered that you read this one... a very human reading experience indeed!

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  9. Hmm. It sounds like an unhappy dark book. Now I wonder if the ending is as rough

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    Replies
    1. Susan - It is... not sure who I could ever recommend it to.

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