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I Capture The Castle (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 14 Dec 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (14 Dec 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099560968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099560968
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (194 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 697,245 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

"This rite of passage story about a precocious teenager and her eccentric family is romantic, off-beat and totally magical" (Red)

"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)

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

Book Description

A designer Vintage Classics edition, published in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum. I Capture the Castle has been designed by Celia Birtwell (2003-04-02)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 68 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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14 of 14 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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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Sep 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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39 of 41 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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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By BeeBee on 1 Nov 2004
Format: Paperback
I was given this book as a gift and I must admit that if I had seen it in the shops, I wouldn't have bought it myself. It just goes to show that sometimes other people know you well because I really loved it! I would recommend it because it's really unusual but not boring. It's incredibly well written and the characters are totally believable, if eccentic! It's the journal of Cassandra who lives with her impoverished family in an old castle She charts her relationship with her older (and annoying!) sister, her little brother, her mad stepmother who enjoys walking around naked to get in touch with nature and her novelist father who suffers from writer's block. Cassandra seems to be the only sane person in the book but she has her own shortcomings. Read the book to discover what happens when she falls in love ... You won't be disappointed.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 May 2002
Format: Paperback
Cassandra,Rose, Stephen et al stay in your mind for weeks. The book is lovely, which is rare today but is also very funny. Despite being written in the 1940's it is still fresh and exciting. Despite my reservations about the ending, it is, and probably always will be, my favourite novel.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback
`I Capture The Castle' is at its heart both a coming of age tale (and you know how I feel about those) and also a family drama. Set in a crumbling old castle we hear the tale of the Mortmains, a family who are living on pretty much nothing, through the eyes of the youngest daughter Cassandra. Ever since their father stopped writing (after his one big surprising and rather cult hit Jacob Wrestling) and the death of their mother Rose and Cassandra, along with their step mother Topaz and lodger Stephen, have resorted to selling their furniture in order to be able to eat.

As well as shedding light on her families past, in the journals we the reader are privy to, she also writes of the arrival of the Cotton brothers Simon and Neil who become the Mortmains landlords through inheritance. It is from this point that you feel and begin to learn that the Mortmains lives could be about to change but could it be for the worse or for the better. If Rose and her family have their way it will be for the better as she decides she must marry the eldest brother Simon, however things don't always run according to plan do they? I shall say no more of the plot for fear I would give anything away.

What I will say is expect the unexpected and keep going. Why do I say that? Well, to be honest, after a flying start with the Mortmains and the wonderful narrative of Cassandra, who is one of the most original characters and voices I have read in some time. At some point after part one had ended and part two began I started to become a little bored. I am not sure why either. It wasn't that the book is very descriptive or that the subtle plot went a little slowly, because I love both those things when done well as this is.
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