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I Capture the Castle (Vintage Children's Classics) by [Smith, Dodie]
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I Capture the Castle (Vintage Children's Classics) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 270 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2546 KB
  • Print Length: 596 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1448139902
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (2 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008PU8WK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 270 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
Dodie Smith is world renowned for writing 101 Dalmatians and The Starlight Barking, but her deep and expressive writing talent is revealed in I Capture The Castle, which was written in 1949 and is set in 1930s Britain. I think that you can tell if a book is good or not, by whether it has that magical touch- you're suddenly jolted back to life and you realise that you were there, that you were a spectator on this world of fiction. I Capture The Castle indeed has this rare power, and I longed for little snippets of time in which I could let myself be transported through the pages of this creation. As you read you can smell the smells, speak the words, and feel the atmosphere. You get to know the characters, and you start to discover their natures through the narrative.
The book is a set of three diaries written by the seventeen year old character of Cassandra Mortmain, expressing her perspective on her slightly eccentric family, life, and love. Her family consists of her father who is a writer and is portrayed as being mad, her step-mother, Topaz, who models for nude paintings and communes with nature, and her elder twenty-one year old sister Rose, who is beautiful but unfortunately vain and bored with her life. Lastly there is Stephen Colly, a gardener-boy who has, in effect, been adopted into the family, and who is madly in love with Cassandra.
The reason that I chose this book for my review is that it is so captivating. It is a book that is simply impossible to put down and leaves you feeling that you want to start all over again and re-live the story.
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