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Cassandra (Italian) Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Language: Italian
  • ISBN-10: 887641083X
  • ISBN-13: 978-8876410833
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,775,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Christa Wolf is one of Germany's preeminent literary figures. Her extensive body of work has been published in many countries, and she is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Buchner Prize and the Vienna State Prize for European Literature. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Set during the Trojan War, this book deals with the life of Cassandra, a seeress and daughter of King Priam, whose story hasn't been dealt with in such detail before (as far as I'm aware - correct me if I'm wrong!), and her thoughts as she comes to terms with the events and politics of the Trojan war. With loose chronology, she thinks back on her life and wonders how she will face the execution she knows awaits her.

Christa Wolf has written an excellent book that deals with the issues of the East/West German divide in an Ancient Greek setting.

From a Women's Studies point-of-view, this novel has a multitude of well-known female 'characters' from Greek mythology and Wolf has many new takes on what are considered the core facts of these myths.

As for my rating, the German 'Kassandra' would receive 4/5 stars, I lowered the rating because I didn't think this English translation did the original full justice. That's just a very personal opinion though! I wouldn't want this to put a solely English speaker off reading this book.
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By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 April 2016
Format: Paperback
Cassandra, the daughter of Priam, king of Troy, a priestess who could foresee the future but whose foretelling nobody believed. There is Apollo, and Achilles and Paris and myriad of other Greeks (most of whom you heard of before) and even a Trojan horse, but ultimately – what a difficult and uninspiring read (for me – I struggled through... like physically struggled through each paragraph... Perhaps the great literary value of this was lost in translation??).

It did not run for me, it did not inspire me, it did not make me gasp at its "beautiful writing". It is something different – too different for me. Plus a subject that, at this point, I am so very not interested in. Multi-family drama through a stream of consciousness in Ancient Greece. Sounds like your cup of tea? Go for it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found Cassandra rather wordy and densely written. The past tense is off putting, but the general idea is original.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trojans shed light on modern warfare 29 Mar. 2013
By harshcritic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an astounding novel. Told from Cassandra's point of view, as she awaits her end at Mycenae, the recount of the war at Troy from one who wasn't listened to offers tremendous insight into any war, at any time, in any place. It's about the mythologising of myth, really; the spin, the suppression of truth, the misuse of language, the subversion of the normal, the rejection of good sense, to bring about a state of war that will satisfy the perverse egos of a particular type of back-room intriguer with limited talents and too much influence. It's handy to have some knowledge of 'The Iliad' and Greek mythology (or to have a copy of 'Who's Who in Greek Mythology' close by) because sometimes you need reminding about who everyone is among the large cast of characters. Despite this description, which sounds a bit heavy, it's a very readable book in an excellent translation. Cassandra is not the moaning Minnie she's often depicted as, but a character of depth, interest, sly observations, and even humour of a bleak kind. The language is wonderful, too. In fact, this novel has everything going for it. And into the bargain, it's not very long. Plus, it comes with some (probably) very insightful notes and lectures by the author at the end (which I haven't read, but you don't really need to, although they're most likely very edifying).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that will make you dream of another world, without ever describing it 24 Feb. 2016
By Sergio De Simone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I remember an old girlfriend of mine. No way she could show some interest or appreciation for books I read, ever. Well, to my greatest satisfaction, when she grabbed this book from my library -- that was when she found me reading it for the third time -- and finished it, she was almost unable to speak and could only utter: terrific.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 13 Aug. 2014
By Cassandra - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love reading about my NAME.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful prose, but not quite enough... 28 Sept. 2004
By Jacquelyn Gill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Cassandra" does not read like a novel. Rather, one feels as though one is a member of the jury set to judge the entire life of one woman when the sentance (death) has already been decided. Christa Wolf doesn't retell the fall of Troy from the perspective of a female narrator. Instead, she invites the reader into the mindset of a woman in a society that is losing itself to war and to the male realm. Wolf's Cassandra is a starkly lonely figure, suffering from her isolation even before the seige of Troy begins. Bringing in a number of feminist themes to her rendition of the classic Greek tale, she weaves beautiful prose to give perspective to Cassandra's last hours.

In the traditional myth the prophetess Cassandra predicts that Troy will fall to the Greeks but no one believes her, and she is ultimately shunned in the end when her prophecy holds true. Wolf entraps the reader in Cassandra's mind, which often teeters on the brink of madness for reasons that lay largely unexplained. I felt intimately connected to the narrator at the end but largely disatisfied. There are really no other characters in the novel - merely shadows of other relationships that are never given life in and of themselves. Wolf's writing is exquisite, but I often felt more like someone sneaking a read at a forbidden diary, where I felt at the mercy of the revelations the writer felt like making. Allusions are made to friendships, loves, passions, childhood memories, but are not made explicit enough to resonate. Despite the well-crafted passages, I gave the novel 3 stars for this reason; it simply wasn't enough. I reccomend it as an interesting glimpse into the mind of a woman immobilized by her empowerment in an increasingly masculinized age (even though the strength of this perspective has lessoned some since the novel was written on the heels of the 2nd wave of the feminist movement) At times Cassandra's self-fixation became almost too much to bear, but Wolf's excellent writing carried me through until the end.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Myth Retelling 2 Mar. 2008
By A and B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Christa Wolf retells a myth from the the perspective of a woman who was only given a few lines in Euripides' Agamemnon (and mentioned once or twice in the Iliad.)

What's gripping about this story is not the fact that it's another variation of the sack of Troy, but the fact that someone had the guts to write it in Cassandra's words. Cassandra, whom the Greeks and Trojans call a crazy witch is the only person to oppose corruption when she sees it. She is strong and honest and powerful and intelligent, but Troy and Greece deny her a voice because she is a woman.

Some people insist that Christa Wolf grabs this fact (that she's another alienated woman) and runs on a feminist spree. Others insist that she addresses those oh-so-common themes in feminist literature: having no voice and lacking an identity in a patriarchal culture. But FRIENDS, these themes aren't only reserved for women, men also struggle with these issues. Look at Kleist and Murakami, these authors also express an inner turmoil because of the lack of an individual identity or the existence of a collective cultural one that alienates its members.

Cassandra isn't an overly feminine, esoteric, and hard-to-read piece of literature. It's beautiful not only for its content but the stream of consciousness that takes you into the very black and white core of Troy. It's honest and funny and sad and aggressive and beautiful and powerful and dark. It's one of those "good" books your brain craves for after reading every James Patterson and Linda Howard novel you might have bought from the Shoprite book aisle. :)
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