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211 Reviews
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful
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,...
Published on 2 Nov. 2004

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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cassandra Captured Me, The Rest Not So Much
`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...
Published on 4 Sept. 2010 by Simon Savidge Reads


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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful, 2 Nov. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: I Capture The Castle (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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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful, witty book., 29 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: I Capture The Castle (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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!!!, 18 Jan. 2012
This book is just amazing. I loved it so much that I was reading it walking around towards the end!! Right from the beginning, this diary-style novel hooks you in and you can barely put it down until the end.
In this story, Cassandra and her beautiful sister Rose live in an ancient ruin of a castle with their novelist father and their stepmother Topaz. I Capture the Castle is a tale of Cassandra's life, and it shows how, in under a year, her life can change so much. Two American heirs to the castle come to live nearby and Cassandra's life isn't the same from that moment on.
When I had finished this book, I just cried and cried!! The last few sentences are so emotional, and really tug on the heartstrings of the reader. I would definitely recommend this for teenage girls, but anyone aged 12-adult who loves romance and drama will enjoy this amazing story. Personally I think that it's a bit old for under 11s, mainly because the language might be challenging for younger children. It's not quite as old fashioned as Shakespeare but it isn't really how people speak today, and small children may not understand this. Also I'm just not sure that young children would enjoy it; it's not an action book or a mystery, there's not a lot of humour either, so if you're not into romance it's not recommended.
But if you're like me and this is your kind of book, then I can't recommend it enough. A small word of warning, however: Cliffhanger ending!!!
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My desert island book., 11 Sept. 1999
By A Customer
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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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, life-affirming, beautifully written, 8 July 1999
By A Customer
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, witty and indeed Vintage book!, 7 July 2012
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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, funny, utterly charming and very, very good., 28 July 2006
By 
BookAddictUK "BookAddictUK" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: I Capture The Castle (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserved more than 5 stars!, 1 Nov. 2004
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful - five stars!, 1 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: I Capture The Castle (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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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Write This Sitting In The Kitchen Sink, 4 Feb. 2003
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
A great opening line, an imaginative structure and an artless narrator all make this novel a really enjoyable read.
The settings and characters are well drawn and memorable. Mortmain and Topaz in particular are lightly but clearly sketched to good effect.
The author, through the character of Cassandra, compares her story on several occassions to Jane Austen's and the Bronte's works. Although surely tongue in cheek, this comparison is not unwarranted. The unhurried descriptions of people and place are similar in many ways to Eighteenth Century novels with their slow, dense plots rather light on action and with solidly constucted background worlds.
Unlike these classic works, "I Capture The Castle" is supposedly a children's book, but the protagonists are about the same age as the Bennett sisters and the total of graphically described "adult" material is the same in this work as in an Austen novel...i.e. there is none.
So, this novel is a "Pride and Prejudice" for the Twentieth Century: of its time but timeless, serious but funny, involving and beautifully written. There can surely be no higher praise.
Now, if I can just get this tap to stop dripping on my keyboard.
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