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Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Vintage Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Louis de Bernieres
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (435 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscientious but far from fanatical soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilised, humorous - and a consummate musician.



When the local doctor's daughter's letters to her fiancé - a member of the underground - go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable. But can this fragile love survive as a war of bestial savagery gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?



Product Description

Amazon Review

Captain Corelli's Mandolin is set in the early days of the second world war, before Benito Mussolini invaded Greece. Dr Iannis practices medicine on the island of Cephalonia, accompanied by his daughter, Pelagia, to whom he imparts much of his healing art. Even when the Italians do invade, life isn't so bad--at first anyway. The officer in command of the Italian garrison is the cultured Captain Antonio Corelli, who responds to a Nazi greeting of "Heil Hitler" with his own "Heil Puccini", and whose most precious possession is his mandolin. It isn't long before Corelli and Pelagia are involved in a heated affair--despite her engagement to a young fisherman, Mandras, who has gone off to join Greek partisans. Love is complicated enough in wartime, even when the lovers are on the same side. And for Corelli and Pelagia, it becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate the minefield of allegiances, both personal and political, as all around them atrocities mount, former friends become enemies and the ugliness of war infects everyone it touches.

British author Louis de Bernières is well known for his forays into magical realism in such novels as The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts, Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman. Here he keeps it to a minimum, though certainly the secondary characters with whom he populates his island--the drunken priest, the strongman, the fisherman who swims with dolphins--would be at home in any of his wildly imaginative Latin American fictions. Instead, de Bernières seems interested in dissecting the nature of history as he tells his ever-darkening tale from many different perspectives. Captain Corelli's Mandolin works on many levels, as a love story, a war story and a deconstruction of just what determines the facts that make it into the history books.

Review

"A tall tale and a serious work of literature…its reputation suggests that one “should” read it, and so far I would have to agree" (Nigel Rodenhurst Times Higher Education)

"'Louis de Bernieres is in the direct line that runs through Dickens and Evelyn Waugh... he has only to look into his world, one senses, for it to rush into reality, colours and touch and taste'" (Evening Standard)

"'An emotional, funny, stunning novel which swings with wide smoothnes s between joy and bleakness, personal lives and history... it's lyrical and angry, satirical and earnest'" (Observer)

"'A master of haunted realism. His best novel yet. He deals with death and love and tragedy...This is a novel to be prized'" (Daily Mail)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 743 KB
  • Print Length: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (31 Oct. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005R20YAC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (435 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,629 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Wartime Love Story! 16 Sept. 2008
Format:Paperback
This book is a fantastic read that starts toward the end of World War 2 and covers generations.
The tale tells of a young Greek girl and an eccentric Italian Captain finding love during the Italian "occupation" of the Greek island of Cephallonia, although the Italian army hardly treats it as such due to disenchantment with having to fight for reasons & ideals they do not share with their leaders.
The author creates extremely tangible scenes, people & feelings that you're left feeling like you really knew the characters & places.
There are a few strange plot-holes but this in no way detracts from the overall story and I was actually quite gutted that it had to end!
A really good read that everyone will enjoy & appreciate I think.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a warm, comic romance 6 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
one of my favourites of all time, as it is not only hilarious and romantic, but vividly descriptive and horribly tragic, all at the same time. whatever you do, don't watch the film! it's a terrible attempt to recreate the magic of the novel, and fails badly.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
When I finished this book I had a different view on both life and people and I encouraged everyone to read it for its wit, its intense love and its beauty. Im not saying it was life changing but it was thoroughly absorbing: de Bernieres ability to make me laugh and smile against my will and at the same draw copious amounts of tears was remarkable. All the characters are very human and appealing despite their numerous flaws and inevitable tragic fate. It is a touching portrayal of love both, homosexual and heterosexual, and the conflicts within people that arise at times of war. It also proves that love is not merely for the young but also for the old, and that it does often survive. It is not merely a love tale, it is full of history, fighting, comedy and pain and as my english professor repeatedly says it is worth reading because even if you do not find it enjoyable it will increase your vocabulary and knowledge of myth and the war ten fold! I warn you that the first few chapters are difficult but if you persevere you will find it thoroughly rewarding.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and deeply moving. 14 Aug. 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Thi is one of the best books I have ever read. It is both well written and entertaining. The beginning is quite difficult and long winded and it took two attempts for me to get through it, but it was well worth it. the charecters are believable and interesting. This is not a story for those who like a fairy-tale ending but for those who like something more real and gritty. Do not be put off if you have seen the awful film adaptation as the two really bear no resemblance to one another. This is a rewarding book which will affect both your emotions and opinions in many ways.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1995, Captain Corelli's Mandolin follows for sixty years the life of Pelagia and those who love her, beginning in World War II, when she and her father, a doctor on the small Greek island of Cephalonia, first get drawn into the war. Attractive and intelligent, Pelagia thinks herself in love with Mandras, an illiterate Greek fisherman who leaves for war. When the island is overtaken by the ineffectual Italian army, Captain Antonio Corelli is billeted in their small house. Corelli, whose response to "Heil, Hitler" was once "Heil, Puccini," is a musician, a mandolin player, who quickly establishes a singing group (meeting in the company's latrines) in preference to waging war. By the time the wounded Mandras returns, Pelagia and Corelli are in love.
Author deBernieres vividly depicts the various political movements which play out in Cephalonia--the Italian occupation; the German "cleansing" in which the Germans, nearly defeated in Europe, exact revenge on the Italians who have, with a change of government, withdrawn their support; and the later Communist insurgency in Greece and their opposition by fascist partisans. Always connecting these events to the lives of Pelagia, her father, Mandras, and Corelli, the author gracefully depicts the impact of political changes on the lives of ordinary people.
The horrors of the German revenge on the Italians reflect the wartime mentality and contrast with the good feelings various participants have been able to engender on a personal level. With the withdrawal of the Italians and Germans, the horrors of internecine warfare within the Greek community, and the extremes to which partisans, including Mandras, are willing to go are subjected to microscopic views.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Over Rated 29 Oct. 1999
Format:Paperback
When I was about half way through this book I caught an article on the radio which stated that Captain Correlli's Mandolin is a classic of its time. If I hadn't been told I would never have known!! I found it to be enjoyable, but no more. It is beautifully written, but the characters are somewhat shallow. My recommendation would be to read it, if for no other reason than to see what all the fuss is about, but stop about 50 pages from the end when the plot line completely fails and becomes nothing but cheese! Give it a go. You'll enjoy it but I think you'll also be a little disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars second time round 20 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This will be my second read of this book, like a classic film a classic book can be enjoyed all over again after a period of time. The first time I read this novel I must admit was because the setting was on our favourite Greek island of Kefalonia, a place we started visiting in the very early 80's and are still visiting today. Louis de Bernieres has given the characters a full and three dimensional feel and captured the feel of the true Greek experience in such a masterful way I cannot wait to revisit this book and will be reading again soon - where? On Kefalonia of course.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent gift
Published 6 days ago by JEG
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall a sad book and now interested to see how close the ...
Took a time to get into and reading whilst on holiday in Kefelonia added to the story. Overall a sad book and now interested to see how close the film is to the book.
Published 8 days ago by Mr P L Roper
5.0 out of 5 stars this is one of the saddest love stories, on so many levels you will...
if you persevere with the first four/five chapters which set the stage for the rest of the story by fleshing out the principle characters, this is one of the saddest love... Read more
Published 18 days ago by ryster
5.0 out of 5 stars A literary masterpiece
This is by far one of my all time favourite reads, it is evocative, warm and quite simply beautifully written. I can happily read this book over and over.
Published 22 days ago by Valentina
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Just as described. Many thanks
Published 1 month ago by P. Batley
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book.
Lovely story, well-written and evocative. Full of quirky and wonderful characters set against a heartbreaking period in history. Read it in 3 short days.
Published 2 months ago by Globetrotter
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book so much
I love this book so much. It had me crying on the train. The characters are so expertly described and endearing, you think you know them. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Miss P J Playford
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
bought for A levels
Published 2 months ago by Mark J. Layland
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
very good
Published 3 months ago by k mawer
4.0 out of 5 stars ... hard to get into at first but was a good read. Definitely worth a...
I found it a little hard to get into at first but was a good read. Definitely worth a read.
Published 4 months ago by Rachel
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