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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a warm, comic romance
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.
Published on 6 Jan 2002

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but often disturbingly inaccurate
I was very curious about this book and, being Greek, started reading it with much enthusiasm. The love story between Pelagia and Corelli is well narrated and some of the secondary characters are very touching. However, one doesn't need to be a history expert to spot the "historical inaccuracies", to put it very mildly.In my opinion, a basic knowledge of the...
Published on 31 Mar 2001


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7 of 7 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Wartime Love Story!, 16 Sep 2008
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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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Strength needs no excuses, does not have to give reasons.", 1 Sep 2005
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Captain Corelli's Mandolin (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.
DeBernieres is equally adept at contrasting idealistic young love with the institutionalized mindlessness of political passion, the love of the arts and history with the expediencies of political dogma, and one's personal commitments to other individuals with the commitments to ideologies. Realistic at the same time that it is also romantic, the novel conveys the absurdities of politics and places them within the context of real life. The author's exuberant, descriptive style enlivens the present in Greece while also emphasizing the culture of the past, leading the reader to recognize, ultimately, that in all times, wherever one finds wit and humor, one also finds pathos lurking in the background. Mary Whipple
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deeply absorbing, entertaining and emotive novel, 7 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Paperback)
Until recently I was studying this novel for my A-level English Lit. exam. It was the only one out of my four 'prescribed' texts that I took full pleasure in reading.
The book,(which moved me to tears TWICE - not something that happens too often),is a skillfully crafted story of love and war and displays the kind of narrative that makes you want to savour every word. It has something for everone really, if you're a romantic read it; if you like history read it; if you like comedy read it, it doesn't matter what kind of person you are - unless your heart is made of stone you cannot fail to be moved.
My one disclaimer is that the ending is slightly disappointing;rushed and not totally convincing, nevertheless you won't regret reading it!
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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
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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it is enstilled on my heart and brain:hilarious and tragic, 15 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Captain Corelli's Mandolin (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but often disturbingly inaccurate, 31 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Paperback)
I was very curious about this book and, being Greek, started reading it with much enthusiasm. The love story between Pelagia and Corelli is well narrated and some of the secondary characters are very touching. However, one doesn't need to be a history expert to spot the "historical inaccuracies", to put it very mildly.In my opinion, a basic knowledge of the Greek history and politics of the time sadly reduces the novel into a product of a Cold-War-type propaganda, which was very difficult for me to ignore. If one manages to ignore it or cannot spot it at all, then it can be enjoyable.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing ending fails to spoil a beautiful book., 10 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Paperback)
When I first started this book, I gave up after two chapters - very unusual for me. Several months later I picked it up again, and I'm very glad I did. Once past the difficult start, I found it completely absorbing, and couln't put it down. The characters are exceptionally well drawn, and the book not only relates the love story between Antonio and Pelagia, but also the story of the effects of the war in and beyond the community. It is a credit to the author that he manages to weave together so many strands of the story, and so many wonderful characters I too found the ending a bit disappointing - but not enough to detract from my enjoyment of this wonderful book. (I'd also like to respond to those who complain that the language is too difficult. Personally I had very few problems with it, but when I do have to look a word up, then I feel that the author has done me a favour. If we were only ever exposed to words we already understood, we would never get past one syllable, if we managed to learn to read at all.) All in all, a wonderful, evocative book, deserving of its place as a firm favourite.
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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
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy in parts ,but ultimately a rewarding read., 12 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Paperback)
This book is an interesting look at Italy's involvment in WW2.Told through different perspectives it can be slow and tedious at times,but it can also be exhilerating and tragic.It is not a masterpiece like catch 22 but is a book that deserves recognition.The highlight would have to be Mussolini's narrative viewpoints.
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Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres (Paperback - 1 Jun 1998)
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