Following the success of the international bestseller, Captain Corelli''s Mandolin, comes the photographic celebration of the magical island featured in the novel, it is complemented by narration and features the characters from the novel.'
Andy Harris's text does indeed annotate de Bernières' charming depiction of Greek island life, deftly delivering on the difficult task of identifying historical touch points and the island's role in civilising the Mediterranean. On occasion Harris overextends a turn of a phrase and he is clearly frustrated by how much of the island's history has been reduced to rubble by earthquakes. Nevertheless he successfully depicts the evolution of the island, particular in light of the changes that tourism is bringing to villages such as Fiskardo.
The photographs, by London-based travel photographer Terry Harris, are superb. They tell a story of the island that stands apart from both the journalist's and the novelist's accounts. His vibrant images are redolent of "Day in the Life" photography collections, in that they capture moments as well as monuments. The legendary quality of island light certainly helps his task, but the photos also reveal an affinity with the people: It's no surprise that Terry Harris has a home in the Cyclades. There is always a danger that visuals like photographs or movie images will disappoint a novel's fans. In this instance, we should feel fortunate to have both. --Kathleen Buckley
A beautifully produced book such as this should not have to rely on such an association but without it who would finger a history of this little known, beautiful but well fought-over Ionian island.
Having visited the island in May 2000 with my father to lay a wreath over the wreck of H.M. Submarine Perseus; Corelli mania just setting in; I was stunned by the quality and subject matter (for me) of many of the photographs. The inlets, coves and harbours are captured perfectly and the sea really is that blue, and many other shades besides.
If you are into complex matters of ancient history then you probably won't get lost but I certainly found myself re-reading various early passages. Have you ever played 'Chronology'? This small island and its near neighbours have changed hands more often than most second hand cars.
This pictorial gem will not be leaving my bedside table for a long while yet!