Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Captain Corelli's Mandolin Extravagant, Inventive, Emotionally Sweeping, Captain Corelli S Mandolin Is The Story Of A Timeless Place That One Day Wakes Up To Find Itself In The Jaws Of History The Place Is The Greek Island Of Cephallonia, Where Gods Once Dabbled In The Affairs Of Men And The Local Saint Periodically Rises From His Sarcophagus To Cure The Mad Then The Tide Of World War II Rolls Onto The Island S Shores In The Form Of The Conquering Italian ArmyCaught In The Occupation Are Pelagia, A Willful, Beautiful Young Woman, And The Two Suitors Vying For Her Love Mandras, A Gentle Fisherman Turned Ruthless Guerilla, And The Charming, Mandolin Playing Captain Corelli, A Reluctant Officer Of The Italian Garrison On The Island Rich With Loyalties And Betrayals, And Set Against A Landscape Where The Factual Blends Seamlessly With The Fantastic, Captain Corelli S Mandolin Is A Passionate Novel As Rich In Ideas As It Is Genuinely Moving

Novelist Louis de Berni res was born in London in 1954 He joined the army at 18 but left after spending four months at Sandhurst After graduating from the Victoria University of Manchester, he took a postgraduate certificate in Education at Leicester Polytechnic and obtained his MA at the University of London Before writing full time, he held many varied jobs including landscape gardener, motor

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  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin
  • Louis de Bernières
  • 09 May 2019
  • 9780754021742

10 thoughts on “Captain Corelli's Mandolin

  1. says:

    Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away Doctor Iannis Why, oh why did I wait twenty years to read this enchanting novel Being something of a contrarian, I didn t succumb to the rampant Corellimania that existed after this novel s release in 1994, but I m especially pleased that I have now righted this wrong.Berni res serves up a Greek wartime love story that is as multi layered as a Sunday moussaka.Set on the Ionian island of Cephalonia during Italian and German WWII occupation, the book hits the ground running Before you ve even sniffed the mezze, Louis conjures up a delightful opening scene in Dr Iannis s surgery that should have you chuckling out loud before you can shout taramasalata Admittedly, Berni res does go off the rails for a bit, retreating into a one man word orgy, all too pleased with his own authorial genius This results in some superfluity in the early chapters.But don t worry, stick with it, fellow bibliophiles once this frippery subsides, the main players are introduced and the story gathers momentum.Doctor Iannis, and daughter, Pelagia, are the beating heart of a modern fable that even Aesop would have been proud of Girl power Pelagia is brought up to be fiercely independent, as her father knows only too well that wartime Greece is resolutely patriarchal We learn about in the closet, Italian man mountain, Carlo Piero Guercio, who was previously sent on a suicide mission to wintry Albania where beards became stalactites and soldiers purposely shit themselves in order to savour some momentary warmth.Happily, Carlo s repressed homosexuality, and his unassailable bravery, is written with the nobility it deserves I am exploding with the fire of love and there is none to accept it or nourish it Apparently, Berni res has done a huge disservice to the memory of the real life Greek freedom fighters, who fought valiantly against their oppressors but from a purely artistic standpoint, the timeless futility of war is exemplified within these pages to such a degree that it makes Catch 22 seem a mere Catch 11 in comparison.Reluctant warrior, Captain Antonio Corelli, heads a ragtag troop of Italian soldiers who march into Cephalonia pulling funny faces and blowing kisses at signorinas.You might be pleased to know that despite a copious infusion of delightful humour, the author ensures that the stark horrors of war are not expunged And there is a passage, approaching the last part of the book, that is so lion hearted, so profoundly sad, and so utterly moving that I had to put the book down to allow my emotion to subside.The populace, and the soldiers themselves, are starving, but between the rocks of such hardship, fragile love affairs begin to blossom And, as in all good love stories, there is a great deal of sacrifice and heartache to be found One such example is that heroic Carlo secretly harbours a profound a for Captain Corelli which, lamentably, has to remain secret.By the end of this sweeping epic, I have a feeling that most of you will have grown to love Carlo, Antonio, Iannis and Pelagia too.Such was my excitement in the reading of this book I, of course, began smashing plates on the kitchen floor, shouting Opa God, it truly was a great read, and fully deserving of all five stars

  2. says:

    This is two books The first half is without doubt one of the best novels I have ever read The writing even in translation is lyrical clearly, every word was carefully chosen The characters are exquisitely drawn with humor and humanity The plot, centering on the Italian invasion of a remote Greek island in WWII, is a wonderfully engaging love story It flows amiably along to a logical and satisfying, if not quite happy, ending Unfortuntely, things don t stop there The second half of the book is drek One gets the feeling that de Bernieres presented his publishers with a perfect novella and was told make it longer or, perhaps, but you have to finish the story Whatever the cause, the change in pace, use of language, and sheer thoughtfulness is jarring It s as if the author completely lost interest in his characters, but felt obliged to carry them to some long term conclusion It s a crying shame, because if this book had stopped where it should have, it would be one of the greatest books of the 20th 21st century.

  3. says:

    The presence of intrepidly sudden breaks from romantic conventions is what makes Corelli s Mandolin alongside its romantic older brother, book two of his Latin American trilogy, the devastating love tale Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord one of the MOST ROMANTIC novels of ALL TIME On par with Gone With the Wind, other epics like Cold Mountain The English Patient, it truly was, to this impressionable though selective reader, what s the equivalent of a wondrous trip to Adult Disneyland, where surprises loom ever near, and whimsy runs amok.But what makes this utterly brilliant is the prose on top of an unpredictable and thrilling plot The writer is this supernova de Bernieres all 4 of his novels at this point are in my Must Read List Here, you realize exactly WHY you read WHY people bother to write if you are Louis De Bernieres you simply cannot not keep producing The gift is almost mythical, and you are compelled to feel that the auteur has had the TIME of his LIFE writing this, writing and falling head over heels in love with his creation which, indeed, depicts LOVE and is, itself, wholly a product of love the love of beautiful prose.In Corelli , the tricks and poetics already explored in the often lauded Latin American trilogy, collaborate once to make a solid work of art As is customary, just as this tale takes one of its manifold dark turns, when times in the Greek island are dire, desperate and almost hopeless, the titular character appears drives the darkness away This, as if a gift from the Greek gods themselves Or the gift from a master to his drooling spectator.This, his fourth amazing concoction, puts in evidence the fact that not ALL magic realism belongs to sir Garcia Marquez Louis de Bernieres brand is all his own humorous, unpredictably playful and savagely biting The effect lasts outside of the book the novel is a rotund success My favorite of Louis de Bernieres so far.I devoured Corelli s Mandolin like some bon vivant living in the 20th century Like a character in one of his novels, in fact I became for a full two days, a blissful accomplice, just grateful to be nothing but a hoodwinked voyeur.

  4. says:

    The ancient Greeks treated tragedy and comedy as separate genres But this Greek drama is a hybrid Tragedy on the large and small canvas comedy from individual characters Such contrasts can strengthen one s reaction to both extremes, but for me, this particular book might have worked better if de Berni res had focused primarily on one or the other.I see its charm This is a feelgood book, filled with bucolic delights, entertaining Characters borderline caricatures and slapstick , and saccharine sun But they are contrasted with war, loss, and the pragmatics of making do Humour, love, and music soften the graphically portrayed toll of war and tectonics.Some of the writing is beautiful, and some of it is funny I was captivated by the opening paragraph and loved the first chapter But I was bored by the second chapter, and nervous when I started the third The final, near contemporary, chapters were simultaneously predictable and implausible It s as if de Berni res wanted a happy ish ending, but not a happy middle, and went to ludicrous lengths to achieve it.That patchy experience, with many different voices, styles, and genres, was repeated throughout a bitty book, hence a bitty review Like a visitor to the island, I ambled from beautiful beaches to rocky outcrops, along smooth pavements and disintegrating paths, from mountains to fields, from tourist towns to ancient villages, ever unsure of what I would encounter next Maybe the rose tinted hues of sangria would have helped I think this is probably an objective 4 , but my experience ranged from 2 to 4 , averaging 3 The Distorting Lenses of History and Ideology History repeats itself, first as tragedy, and then again as tragedy. More no plot spoilers view spoiler Cephallonia was settled so long ago that a veil blurs the boundary between myth and history It is sometimes claimed as the home of Odysseus, and today, the enormous ancient olive trees have an air of patient omniscience The backdrop is a detailed history of the Italian and then German occupation in WW2, including international geopolitics and detailed battle tactics Not my thing Fortunately, de Berni res tells the story from local perspectives, as well as that of global victors Italian soldier, Carlo Guercio, believes history should be the anecdotes of the little people he himself is physically huge Dr Iannis is little in the grand scheme of things, but a figure of towering importance in his village He spends many years writing a detailed history of the island, but is frustrated that his own passion makes objectivity impossible, creating not so much a history as a lament Or a tirade And then history happens before my very eyes Later, his daughter, Pelagia, continues his work, putting her own spin on things Many characters are deeply conscious of their roots But the atrocities of war, driven by persuasive demagogues touting totalitarian ideologies communist and fascist transform minds, hearts, loyalties, and lives forever.People are separated from their heritage, their future, their families, and even their sanity If you believe strongly enough in your cause, Death is not an enemy, but a brother , whether to embrace for its own sake, or to save others.In the final chapters, capitalism, tourism, and hedonism herald further transformation for those on the island hide spoiler

  5. says:

    De Bernieres style falls between Vonnegut and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and if that doesn t make your head spin and pants feel hot then I don t know what will It s ridiculously European, in every good sense of the word It s an epic romance for nihilists and atheists.The only two horrors come from the realization that the book is now out of print, and that it was already filmed with Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz Satan s hand is everywhere unseen

  6. says:

    What an incredible story I loved the interplay between Captain Corelli and his beautiful Greek love An historical fiction, the fact of Italian invasion as part of Axis powers, the facts are well researched and woven into an unforgettable experience He is initially bleached with a young woman and her father Unlike and utterly disdained, the captain ultimately finds he loves this woman However, Italy s defeat requires changes These changes are life altering Be prepared for a wonderful and unforgettable book Easily read, a book which teaches what war can ravage, and an amazing story which is most highly recommended A MUST READ

  7. says:

    Lyrical Took my breath away and broke my heart Greece War Decency of soldiers Indecency of war Monsters Humans Where Cats Young girl s bed Old woman s dream Ending And of course the Mandolin Did I mention, Greece It is never too late Love may get ole but if it is real then it s never forgotten nor forgiven It can survive a war, it did and it survived them, in spite of each other It survived the shuffle in the company of humans.

  8. says:

    This is the first time I ve ever given a book one starI actually feel sort of bad doing it Despite it being well written, it s pacing was terrible, and I really had to fight to get through it And then the ending oh the ending After trudging through nearly 600 pages, the ending was about the most unsatisying I have ever read I literally threw the book against the wall when I was done And some idiot decided to make a movie out of it, with Nic Cage as Corelli I can only imagine how awful it must have been.

  9. says:

    Stunning Mesmerizing Remarkable Beautiful, beautiful love story I just scanned the 121 books that I ve already read belonging to 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and there seem to be not too many books that could be considered as predominantly love stories There is Jane Austen s Pride and Prejudice but we all knew about it even before actually reading the book so there was no element of surprise There is Haruki Murakami s Sputnik Sweetheart but it has fantasy interwoven in the story like people disappearing in trees, people being transformed while riding a ferris wheel, etc so it is not a straightforward pure honest love story Also Sputnik fell out from the list in its 2010 version.Set in the beautiful island of Cephallonia now Kefalonia in Greece during World War II, Louis de Bernieres British, born 1954 Captain Corelli s Mandolin, first published in 1993, sizzles with love, music and honesty Love here is not just the usual erotic love between a man and a woman The main protagonist, the beautiful Pelagia is in love with the handsome gentleman, Mandras who joins the Greek guerilla Then Pelagia meets the mandolin playing Italian captain, Corelli and falls love for him too Theirs is a forbidden love since Pelagia is still betrothed to Mandras and Corelli is an Italian whose country is at war with Greece and the Allies Although living in the same house, they choose not to make love so as not to complicate the situation When they say their dreams they are always prefixed with After the war Love so painfully forbidden yet so pure and honest Right love in a wrong place and time.The other love is fatherly love between Pelagia and her doctor father, Dr Iannis Theirs is a nurturing love based on respect and trust There is a scene where Dr Iannis is telling Pelagia that he sees the love blossoming between Pelagia and Corelli He does not condone it He just gives the consequences of continuing that love Pelagia takes it maturely When the time comes that my own daughter falls in love with a man, I hope I ll have the same fortitude and maturity that Dr Iannis has in that scene Powerful.The last significant love that this novel includes is the homosexual heroic love that Carlo, one of the Greek soldiers, has to his fellow but subordinate soldier, Francesco Carlo keeps his love within himself they are in the Army so that kind of love is taboo When the latter dies, Carlo is devastated because he failed to save him Then Carlo meets Corelli who is his superior This time he shields his body that spared Corelli s life during the Aqui Massacre September 1943 when German soldiers killed by open fire 400,000 Italian soldiers This was the time when Germany was about to lose the war to Allies and they went into killing sprees everywhere in Europe That historical scene is depicted in details in this book that you will surely feel numbed to read another gigantic monstrosity the Germans did during WWII I spent 4 days reading this 436 page book It s an easy read and I could have normally finished this in 2 3 days but Bernieres prose is so delectable that I decided to savor each word closing the book every now and then and imagine myself in that island, hearing the music of mandolin and seeing the face of the sumptuous Penelope Cruz who played the role of Pelagia in the 2001 film based on this book.I have the pirated copy of that film Many years ago, when I tried viewing it, I stopped after 5 10 minutes It was boring Now that I ve read and liked the book, I should dig my cabinets and give it another chance I just think that the balding Nicholas Cage was a miscast as Corelli BTW, De Berni res strongly disapproved of the film version, commenting, It would be impossible for a parent to be happy about its baby s ears being put on backwards He does however state that it has redeeming qualities, and particularly likes the soundtrack.My lawyer brother says that the books belonging to 501 Must Read Books yes that s another list and this book is in there too are those that are controversial and not necessarily well written After this book s publication in 1993, the island of Kefalonia became one of the island tourist destinations in Greece Also, obviously, this is well written and as it also landed 19 among 200 listed in Big Read, the 2004 survey done in UK where people voted for their favorite novels.Maybe writing about Alabat island, where I grew up, in Quezon will not be a bad idea Oh maybe someday.

  10. says:

    Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC s Big Read Poll of 2003.I ve had this book for years after accidentally stealing it from College we were asked to pick two books on a table to take home over the Summer to read and I chose this and Catch 22, but when I returned the following term I was in a different class and simply forgot, about half a dozen times, to return them and subsequently have had it since and have finally gotten around to reading it after starting and stopping it a few times.It is kind of a story of two halves, one concerning the Second World War occupation of the Greek island of Cephallonia and the other concerning the inhabitants of said island as they deal with the war, love and attempts at writing Greek histories.It is sublimely written in places there were times when I was completely lost in the prose, especially when Berini res wrote about love in exactly the way I feel about it and not many authors have ever been able to convey before Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides And when it subsides, you have to make a decision You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part Because this is what love is Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body No, don t blush, I am telling you some truths That is just being in love , which any fool can do Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident But then there were times when it was just dull and uninviting and I felt like it had dived too hard to the bottom of the ocean and it didn t seem like it would ever rise to the surface again It was an odd journey to go on, not only as we follow the plot and the various love interests of the characters, but how the writing could go from the sublime to the rather ordinary.It is a beautiful book, but it was just let down by trying to be far superior with every single word, instead of having its moments and being satisfied with that Definitely one to pick up and, if you do, really try to stick with it through to the end because it will touch your soul, but you have to work for it.Blog Instagram Twitter Pinterest Shop Etsy

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