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Corelli's Mandolin Captain Corelli s Mandolin is set in the early days of the second world war, before Benito Mussolini invaded Greece Dr Iannis practices medicine on the island of Cephalonia, accompanied by his daughter, Pelagia, to whom he imparts much of his healing art Even when the Italians do invade, life isn t so bad at first anyway The officer in command of the Italian garrison is the cultured Captain Antonio Corelli, who responds to a Nazi greeting of Heil Hitler with his own Heil Puccini , and whose most precious possession is his mandolin It isn t long before Corelli and Pelagia are involved in a heated affair despite her engagement to a young fisherman, Mandras, who has gone off to join Greek partisans Love is complicated enough in wartime, even when the lovers are on the same side And for Corelli and Pelagia, it becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate the minefield of allegiances, both personal and political, as all around them atrocities mount, former friends become enemies and the ugliness of war infects everyone it touches British author Louis de Berni res is well known for his forays into magical realism in such novels as The War of Don Emmanuel s Nether Parts, Se or Vivo and the Coca Lord and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman Here he keeps it to a minimum, though certainly the secondary characters with whom he populates his island the drunken priest, the strongman, the fisherman who swims with dolphins would be at home in any of his wildly imaginative Latin American fictions Instead, de Berni res seems interested in dissecting the nature of history as he tells his ever darkening tale from many different perspectives Captain Corelli s Mandolin works on many levels, as a love story, a war story and a deconstruction of just what determines the facts that make it into the history books


10 thoughts on “Corelli's Mandolin

  1. says:

    Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned awayDoctor Iannis Why, oh why did I wait twenty years to read this enchanting novel Being something of a contrarian, I didn t succumb to the rampant Corellimania that existed after this novel s release in 1994, but I


  2. says:

    This is two books The first half is without doubt one of the best novels I have ever read The writing even in translation is lyrical clearly, every word was carefully chosen The characters are exquisitely drawn with humor and humanity The plot, centering on the Italian invasion of


  3. says:

    The presence of intrepidly sudden breaks from romantic conventions is what makes Corelli s Mandolin alongside its romantic older brother, book two of his Latin American trilogy, the devastating love tale Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord one of the MOST ROMANTIC novels of ALL TIME On pa


  4. says:

    The ancient Greeks treated tragedy and comedy as separate genres But this Greek drama is a hybrid Tragedy on the large and small canvas comedy from individual characters Such contrasts can strengthen one s reaction to both extremes, but for me, this particular book might have worked


  5. says:

    De Bernieres style falls between Vonnegut and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and if that doesn t make your head spin and pants feel hot then I don t know what will It s ridiculously European, in every good sense of the word It s an epic romance for nihilists and atheists.The only two horror


  6. says:

    Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC s Big Read Poll of 2003.I ve had this book for years after accidentally stealing it from College we were asked to pick two books on a table to take home over the Summer to read and I chose this and Catch 22, but


  7. says:

    We should care for each otherthan we care for ideas, or else we will end up killing each otherLouis de Berni res, Corelli s MandolinThe sheer beauty and emotion that coats the pages of this book are breathtaking I laughed, I cried, I fell in love, and my heart was broken Eavesdropping


  8. says:

    Lyrical Took my breath away and broke my heart Greece War Decency of soldiers Indecency of war Monsters Humans Where Cats Young girl s bed Old woman s dream Ending And of course the Mandolin Did I mention, Greece It is never too late Love may get ole but if it is real then it s never fo


  9. says:

    This is the first time I ve ever given a book one starI actually feel sort of bad doing it Despite it being well written, it s pacing was terrible, and I really had to fight to get through it And then the ending oh the ending After trudging through nearly 600 pages, the ending was about


  10. says:

    Stunning Mesmerizing Remarkable Beautiful, beautiful love story I just scanned the 121 books that I ve already read belonging to 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and there seem to be not too many books that could be considered as predominantly love stories There is Jane Austen s Pr


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