Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (14 ratings)


It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces.

At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscien-tious but far from fanatical soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilised, humorous - and a consumate musician.

When the local doctor's daughter's letters to her fiance go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable.

But can this fragile love survive as a war of bestial savagery gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?


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Showing 1 - 5 of 14 reviews.

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Review by

I absolutely adored this book, and it's rare that I say that. It took me a long time to get into it though - it took me a year to read the first 100 pages and only a week and a half to read the last 300. And for a while I was considering giving it only four stars for that reason, but when I finished it I realised what an incredible journey reading the book had been for me and I had to give it five.I learnt so much about the war in Greece from this wonderful novel, and the characters were so intense and so real that the whole story just came alive for me. This book is many things: a history, a love story, an expose on Nazi Germany, a tale of Mediterranean life, a story about the barbarity of war and how it changes people. And unlike some books where the focus is so much on the romance that one becomes impatient weaving through subplots, I found that I loved reading about every minor character as much as I loved Antonio and Pelagia. Every word of this book seemed lovingly and honestly crafted; every character was like a friend you'd never tire of seeing. For those who struggled through the first quarter of the book like I did, persevere - you won't be disappointed. Louis de Bernieres has a real gift.

Review by

Lovely read but a lousy film!

Review by

I enjoyed Birds Without Wings so much, that I had to read this book. Even though written earlier than the BwW, it chronologically follows it, and takes place on a small Greek island, Cephallonia, mainly during the Second World War. Italians, and then Germans occupy this tiny island and the events revolve around the war and members of a small family of a doctor there.I liked it as much as I liked BWW. If I were to compare the two, I would say that both very masterfully told stories, but each one had its strengths. BWW’s strength was in the plot and CCM in the style. They were both a great pleasure to read.

Review by

I thought this book was terrible. I had to be really stuck to force myself to finish it.How can I put it? The whole thing seemed to me as if it had been carved out of a turnip with a blunt spoon... The characters were sketchy charicatures, not a cliché missing, even the d*mn island was flat. The historic war parts were interesting, but we could have got as much on internet in about 20 minutes.I found the artificially hobbled, cobbled English a real strain. While on a remote tramp once I developed bad toothache and for hours suffered jarring pain each time my foot struck the ground. That's how I felt while reading this.The book as a whole was lopsided in the extreme. I suspect the "mud & blood in Albania" part at the beginning was some old stuff found at the back of a drawer and hastily recycled.On the contrary - and as other people have said - I found the end seemed to have been dashed off just anyhow and almost as if the writer was flicking a gob of, well, mud in the reader's eye for having struggled so far. It's not so much that the end was not romantic (real life is often lame, flat and exasperatingly unromantic), rather that the almost boorish attitude of the main character could have the effect of whipping backwards and erasing the whole story, for who wants to admit that they could build their life around such an unfeeling person?

Review by

Engrossing tale of love and war set in the Ionian Islands during WW2. As is often the case, the novel is vastly superior to its (feeble) movie rendition.

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