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I Capture The Castle (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 5 Feb 2004

225 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (5 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099460874
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099460879
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dorothy Gladys 'Dodie' Smith was born in 1896 in Lancashire and she was one of the most successful female dramatists of her generation. Her first novel, I Capture the Castle, was written when she lived in America during the 1940's and marked her crossover debut from playwright to novelist. The novel became an immediate success and was produced as a play in 1954. She has written numerous other novels but is best known today for The Hundred and One Dalmatians, a story for younger readers. The Hundred and One Dalmatians became the basis of two Disney Films.

Product Description

Review

"I know of few novels that inspire as much fierce lifelong affection in their readers" (Joanna Trollope)

"Everyone I've passed it on to has found it a hit - it works every time, for absolutely everybody" (Nigella Lawson)

"Smith rivals Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate series for 1930s toff charm" (Katy Guest The Independent)

"A deliciously evocative portrait of England" (Tasmina Perry Daily Mail)

"Dreamy and funny...an odd, shimmering timelessness clings to its pages. A thousand and one cheers for its reissue. A +" (Entertainment Weekly)

Book Description

'This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met' J K Rowling

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
One of my favourite books of all time, 'I Capture The Castle' is a poignant, warm novel about an impovrished 1930's family living in a crumbling old castle. The narrator, 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, is one of the most engaging, charismatic heroines I have ever read, chronichling her eccentirc families ups and downs with honesty and wit. A tale of love, heart-break, family and growing up, 'I Capture The Castle' is supposed to have been written for a teenage audience but can, and should, be enjoyed by anyone of any age.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 May 2002
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading the story of Cassandra and her eccentric family and, despite the enigmatic ending, still have a warm glow. The story is a delightful tale of a bohemian 1930's family as seen through the eyes of the wistful 17 year old, Cassandra. The dialogue is sharp and witty and the characters fully fleshed, believable and more than a little odd. Don't be put off by the 'teen' category of the book; it's a rewarding read for any age group. Enjoy.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
It was one of the only books available to me in a kind of 'teenage' category when I was growing up in the early 60's. How I still remember the delight of discovering this wonderful book, and it's opening sentence of Cassandra sitting with her feet in the kitchen sink. Recently on a long drive through France I treated myself to the audio version of this book, exquisitely read by Janet Maw, and my two young daughters were totally transfixed. How can begin to explain the appeal of this book, to both the quite young (both my girls are under 11) and to men (my husband enjoyed it too). The secret must lie in the endearing character of Cassandra, the narrator, and the amusing and bohemian characters with which her world is peopled, her quixotic family and the love interest from the neighbouring stately home!
I recommend it to both young and old, and I am spurred to write this review, on going to Amazon to buy get a copy for the house and for my young teenage babysitter who has the joy of reading it for the first time to come!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ruby on 7 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I am 14 years old and I absolutely adore this book!!! My mother bought it for me, from Amazon and I looked at it with slight disappointment. I thought it would be an old book with boring descriptions. But then, I read the first page, no ,the first PARAGRAPH and loved it immediately. I read it when I was about 12/13 and still love it now! It seems quite strange that a teenager would like this but I love this as much as I love Twilight, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games - which is a lot!!!!

Now, all teenagers might not like it - so no promises here - but I did, so if you like things that are vintage and old-fashioned then I recommend this book. If you can't get enough of action filled page turners then I suggest you find another book, as the plot isn't exactly 'gripping' although in some ways the tension can be quite high.

It is a little hard to read as it is not a modern book, but definately easier than Pride and Predjudice or Wuthering Heights which are almost impossible for me (and I am a very good reader and love English lessons!!!). The descriptions are lovely and I love the funny situations the Mortmain family sometimes get into. It is funny, beautiful and I am so glad my mum bought it for me - I would have never have chosen it otherwise!!! that just shows that sometimes parents can be right ... I'm speaking to all you other teenagers!!!

So, if you love 'easy reads' with humour, romance and an old fashioned style then definately buy this book!! Hope you like it and thanks for reading :)
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 July 1999
Format: Paperback
I hate when books are hyped out of proportion but, in this case, believe the hype. I rarely react to a book so strongly that it leaves me with a pleasant glow days after I have read it. Magically, this book manages to be the warmest, most positive, least cloying story I have ever read (even the end is satisfying without being a cop-out). It is beautifully written with an amazing sense of place, atmosphere and character. Who couldn't fall in love with Cassandra with her quick wit, intelligence and unconventional outlook? I have rarely read such an unpatronising, accurate and positive account of a girl on the brink of adulthood. Read ICTC for the cleverly constructed plot. Read it for the descriptive passages and the evocation of time and place. Read it for the distinctive and endearingly eccentric characters, especially the narrator, Cassandra. Just read it. And don't think you have to be a woman to love this book. I am a guy in his late twenties who intends to pass on my copy of the book to most of my friends - male and female - under the strict condition that it is returned in mint condition!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By BookAddictUK VINE VOICE on 28 July 2006
Format: Paperback
I loved this book but I'm having difficulty capturing in words why I liked it as much as I did. It's gloriously written in vivid, engaging style; it's utterly believable with a range of eccentric, warm characters; and simple but very effective story to tell. But that could be said of numerous novels which are nowhere near as good as this. There is something absolutely complete and very satisfying about I Capture The Castle. It won't challenge your beliefs, it wont stimulate deep thoughts, it probably won't even extend your knowledge about anything in particular, but it doesn't need to. It has a quality all of its own which somehow infuses the book in a way that makes it both a purely pleasurable read and very rewarding at the same time. Think Josephine Tey does literary fiction. It is very English, very specific and very, very good. Highly recommended.
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