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Publisher's Summary

Soon to be a Netflix original series.

A powerful new novel set in a divided Naples by Elena Ferrante, the New York Times best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend and The Lost Daughter.

“There’s no doubt [the publication of The Lying Life of Adults] will be the literary event of the year.” (Elle

Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, looks more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Is she turning into Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father clearly despise? Surely there is a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is. 

Giovanna is searching for her reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: a Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and a Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between both in search of the truth, but neither city seems to offer answers or escape. 

Named one of 2016’s most influential people by Time Magazine and frequently touted as a future Nobel Prize winner, Elena Ferrante has become one of the world’s most read and beloved writers. With this novel about the transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, Ferrante proves once again that she deserves her many accolades. 

In The Lying Life of Adults, listeners will discover another gripping, highly addictive, and totally unforgettable Neapolitan story.

A Most Anticipated Book of 2020

  • The New York Times Book Review
  • Vogue
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Elle Magazine
  • BuzzFeed
  • The Millions
  • The Seattle Times
  • USA Today
  • Town & Country
  • Thrillist 
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Library Journal
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • BookPage
  • Literary Hub
  • BBC Culture
©2020 Elena Ferrante (P)2020 Random House Audio

What listeners say about The Lying Life of Adults

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Unflinching Coming of Age Story

Beautifully written and performed, but wow, I had forgotten how fraught adolescence can be — and was. Seething, angry, volatile and yet mesmerizing. It took me longer to get through but probably because I needed the time between just to let everything sink in. Not for the faint of heart.

1 person found this helpful

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narrator is not great

like others, I really didn't like the narrator. she narrates in a weird fake italian accent and I honestly wouldve felt more connected to the main character if she didn't make her sound so indignant and annoying. I almost stopped the book right away because of it. overall, this book was good, but not as good as her other books

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Great

Story was delightful. Elena Ferrante’s poignant description of Napoli & Milano was on point. Performance by Marisa Tomei was excellent. Would highly recommend.

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  • Keighlee K.
  • 2020-09-02

Disappointed

I have been looking forward to this for a long time and I don't like it at all. The narration is unbearable and I can not listen to it anymore. The story is boring. I feel it is nothing like the Neapolitan Novels, which I loved so much. I might have kept going, but I can't tolerate the performance any longer, it is just not a pleasant experience.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Amy
  • 2020-09-04

disappointed with Marisa

I thought that the writing was brilliant. She captures teenage angst, well really human behaviors, motivations so tenderly- that kept me listening. However, as much as I find Marisa Tomei a fine actor, she was awful as a reader of this story...wayyyy overacted, terrible accents that were caricatures of New York Italians. Early on, I decided to ignore her and persevere. Worthwhile listen despite her.

10 people found this helpful

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  • J casey
  • 2020-09-13

Disappointing

I loved the Neapolitan series and decided to purchase this latest book. I found the book disappointing because it was full of anger, with characters whom I could not relate. I also miss the original narrator from the series. Perhaps if read instead of listening, I may have liked it better.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-09-07

Audio Narration was a turn off

I listened to Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels and loved the narration. I wanted to return this book because of the audio narration. The theatrics spoke louder than the words in the book, forcing the reader to feel a certain way. Quite annoying! I recently listened to Anna Karanina by Maggie Gyllenhall abd was amazed by the understated demeanor of the narrator which allowed the reader to absorb the story. I plan to read the hard copy of the book to truly enjoy it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 2020-09-07

Totally absorbing, great narrator

I listened to this in a day. I'd forgotten how absorbing the worlds Ferrante creates are. Plus, Marisa Tomei's narration is exceptionally good.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Faustina
  • 2020-09-13

Wow!!

I love everything by Elena Ferrante, and this novel did not disappoint. Marisa Tomei’s performance was gripping. Ms. Tomei gave each character such intense emotion with rawness and realism that it felt like I was eavesdropping on real people. Bravo!!

3 people found this helpful

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  • FloridaK
  • 2021-01-07

Awful

Overacted. The narrator emphasizes words in weird ways and over acts even the simplest sentences.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-09-13

Great narration and performance

I thought the performance was great, and I appreciated Tomei's use of the Italian American accents, to denote/convey the class differences between the characters, and their use of dialect versus proper Italian. This is my first Ferrante novel and it was fun to listen to. I don't know if this novel is as profound as The Atlantic's review of it makes it out to be though.

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  • sometomato
  • 2020-09-12

Narration lacks nuance

The novel is written in the first person, but the performance doesn't reflect the change the heroin undergoes as she moves through a painful adolescence. Her rage softens and evolves as she acquires self-esteem, wisdom, and compassion—that's the point. But it can be hard to relate to that when the voice you hear goes on sounding like a deeply alienated and self-destructive teenager. It nearly ruined the book for me.

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  • Kristen
  • 2020-09-08

Marisa Tomei is amazing

Excellent narration and an emotional, psychological story that will delight fans of Ferrante’s other works

2 people found this helpful