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The Lost Diary of Don Juan

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  770 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Douglas Abrams’s magical debut novel captures the heart of the Spanish Golden Age and the secret life of the world’s greatest lover–Don Juan.

It was a time of discovery and decadence, when life became a gamble and the gold that poured endlessly into the port of Sevilla devalued money, marriage, and love itself. In the midst of these treacherous times, Juan Tenorio is born a
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Published May 1st 2007 by Random House Audio (first published 2007)
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Before reading The Lost Diary of Don Juan, the infamous title character was nothing more than a name to me. From a mere caricature, Abrams has skillfully created a character who is richly complex and multi-layered. As I read the eloquently written pages of Don Juan's diary, it was impossible not to be drawn into his libertine life and the intrigues of the city of Seville in 1593.

With beautiful, readable prose, Abrams paints a vivid picture of late 16th century Spain. The descriptions have a very
May 05, 2010 Andreea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horrendous-reads
I picked this up from my own bookshelf at had been there for some time. My mom had bought it some time ago to read while traveling. I also needed something to read on the plane.

This books brings nothing new to the scene...the same old tale of Don Juan. And the author's style not particularly enticing or memorable. It did strike me as incredibly easy to read and I was unpleasantly surprised when I finished it 30 minutes before my flight was over (that is a 4 hours flight).

To begin with
Mar 27, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copy
I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.

I was delighted to have the chance to read this book on my way to Spain. It definitely enhanced my Spanish experience.

Don Juan, as you probably know, is known as the greatest lover in Spain, perhaps all of Christendom. This book is the story of Don Juan as told through his diary, which was purportedly preserved by his friend for generations. It is the story of his journey from a lovemaker to a lover.

I have mixe
Jan 10, 2011 Bookrazy-Koi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ALthough the "bed" scenes were a bit muted...I can give this book this much stars because I strongly believe that in order for men to understand how to treat women, they should at least read this book! LOL I'm not saying that they go around seducing as much women as they can in one lifetime...but they need to understand how don juan sees women..:D

It is a wonderful love story :) but if you're looking for some exciting "actions" then...LOL
Rachel Bell
I just could not get passed the voice of this book. I actually had to stop reading it about half way through. There were interesting points and the idea that someone actually lived this life is pretty amazing but not a satisfying read for me.
Jul 09, 2010 Delacruz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book on the bargain table, and I normally don't read romance novels. However, I found it an easy read, and intriguing, which again surprised me because I don't normally pick historical-fiction novels for leisure. There were some points that were lacking, but overall pretty entertaining.

I appreciate how the author did research into the history of Sevilla and even visited. That probably helped in his writing, as I was able to imagine myself in Sevilla (and I can't wait to one day
Feb 15, 2010 Eliza rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book on the bargain table at a bookstore, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Glancing over the summary, I thought it would be a NEW take on Don Juan, something that showed more character than caricature. I think I was wrong, but I can’t be sure because I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.

The love scenes are particularly offensive, more for the way they were presented than for the actual content. The language in those scenes is trite and stupid, all the metaphors for things, I felt li
Dec 14, 2008 Celeste rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
I only picked this book up because it was very cheap and it looked interesting, at least the cover art was. To quote my students: It sucked.

The writing was mediocre at best. The lesson to be learned here, just because someone works in the book industry doesn't make that person a good writer. The styling and word choice showed the obvious attempts to make it quick and interesting but left me thinking it was melodramatic and pompous. The characterization was one-dimensional and yawn worthy. The pl
I am a big fan of classic swashbucklers.

This isn't one of them.

I found a few quotable things in it, and it has all the requisite ingredients: an evil cardinal inquisitor, a damsel being forced into marriage, &c., but it just never grabbed me.

I think the book couldn't quite decide whether to be a swashbuckler or a romance. The classics succeed at being both. This one was neither.

The sex scenes were sort of graphic in that I knew what was happening, but stilted and laden with euphemisms. The b
Tara Chevrestt
I was delightfully surprised with this story. I must confess, I was expecting something more along the lines of Deuce Bigalow, American Gigolo, but much to my pleasure, this was a romantic historical fiction. It is very informative should you be looking more into what times were like during the Spanish Inquistion. It starts out with Don Juan, basically a womanizing man whore. However, he has utmost respect and reverence for the female species and when he actually falls in love, it warms the read ...more
What a great writer! This one caught my eye in the library. From what little I'd read in the past Don Juan has always struck me as a hilarious character. I was thinking more Pepe Le Peau (sp?) the cartoon skunk, but DCA takes this to an unexpected level. Dashing, romantic, full of honor and deceipt. He communicates a sense of Seville, Spain at this time and place that is staying with me. In other words, as good a historical and literary picture as I've ever seen. The style here is maybe drawn fr ...more
Oct 15, 2009 Jade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
The story of Don Juan is given true heart in this book, with all of his exploits being charmingly regurgitated in a way that would make any woman swoon romantically. So...he was a slut, but that's because he does not want any woman to lack attention or endure loneliness!
I thoroughly enjoyed the passion with which his exploits were unfolded, especially as the diary turned towards his own inner turmoil at an inability to love one sole woman.
Also, had just the right amount of swashbuckling to keep
Apr 09, 2010 Bookworm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction and this was a great book. I stayed up way to late finishing it.

Don Juan asks his mother her secret to lasting love and she said: “The heart is forever unfaithful, and the feelings of love come and go, but true love is not about how you feel. It is about what you do.” That really hit me, true love is about being faithful, respectful, caring, fun, passionate, and getting thru the times when your heart just isn’t in it, because love will come around again.

It is a good le
Jul 22, 2015 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I give this one 4 - it was going to be 3 1/2 but I must rate fairly. There are a couple of things I would have changed - but had that not been the case, this book would rate 4 stars. So - 4 it is.

I listened to this on CD, narrated by Gordon Griffin. Who, by the way, does a spectacular job. I was hooked from the moment he began speaking.

The book is based on - well, the lost diary of Don Juan DeMarco. It provides a wonderful story about his background, from being abandoned as a baby to being r
Oct 20, 2015 Raphe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
too much imaginary love and fairy tale ... basically "chick crack" I'd give 3 stars,
However what does book do, it's exposing the obnoxious of christianity, and how hypocritical religion it is. How many damage did in the past and still doing to our society about experience of body and pleasure. How take a book too much dogmatic and fanatical leads to dark ages of humanity. And I hope it will be removed from the earth once for all, that we all could achieve new level of awareness and spirituality.
Sep 12, 2008 Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seville, Spain in the year 1593 is a wealthy city. The gold and riches pouring in from the New World have led to prosperity for Spain but unfortunately the country has lost many of its men to recent wars and the colonization of the New World. There are more widows and lonely wives than ever before. The result of the low male population is the rise of the Galanteador, a gallant or seducer. The most successful and famous of these was Don Juan Tenorio.

Don Juan was abandoned as an infant at a conve

The book begins promisingly, with the meta joke, "Many, I am sure, will try to turn my life into a morality play after I am dead." For whether Don Juan truly existed as a Spanish nobleman or not, he is commonly known due to plays, books, poems, and movies. Of course, the book shortly after offers a preview of its greatest downfall, when Don Juan seduces the Widow Elvira:

I sipped the moist nectar of her mouth as she opened her petals to me. Our mouths fused together, her thirst palpable and her
Therese Regina Marie
An adventurous tale of the "world's most greatest lover" - Don Juan, the Spanish equivalent of Casanova. A galanteador (spanish for gallant or seducer) Don Juan lived a debauched life. However, he is not portrayed here as a cynical man whose sole desire is to hop from one woman's bed to another, as a matter of fact, in this tale, Don Juan is portrayed as a lover of women.

A Connoisseur skilled in the art of passion, he worships the divine beauty inherent in women. He enjoys them like fine wine,
Sep 23, 2008 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
Set in 16th century Seville during Spain’s Golden Age and the Spanish Inquisition, The Lost Diary of Don Juan is an action-packed look at the life and passion of the world’s greatest lover.

The son of a prostitute, Juan Tenorio is abandoned as an infant at the gates of a convent. He grows into a young man under the sisters’ loving care and instruction. Juan seems destined for the priesthood until he falls in love with one of the nuns, Sister Teresa. The two begin a passionate affair, meeting in s
Sep 20, 2008 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anna horner, anna eskridge, marnie, terrie
Douglas Carlton Abrams' The Lost Diary of Don Juan transports the reader into a world where honor and piety are praised. But love must be chaste, and not lustful. Don Juan is fabled to be one of the greatest lovers and seducers of women, much like Cassanova. This work of fiction, written in a diary format, examines the inner Don Juan, his philosophies about love and lust, and his desire to remain honorable even as a galanteador. He refuses to tell tales of his "conquests," a term that really is ...more
May 19, 2009 Danielle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book was not on my "to-read" list. I chose it because I needed a book on tape, and my two-year-old was gleefully climbing in between shelves in the library, so I basically grabbed the first thing I saw and ran with it. As it turns out, I enjoyed this book much more than I was expecting. I will do a pros and cons.
1. The idea is really intriguing. The famed lover Don Juan was a real-life person, who (of all things!) kept a diary detailing his affairs. Mildly sordid, but more showcasing h
Ariel Coro
May 16, 2007 Ariel Coro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
I grew up wanting to visit Spain, when I finally did in 1998 I fell in love. Truth be known, I really fell in love with the Southern part of Spain or Andalusia and in particular with the city known as “Sevilla”

If you love literature as I do, you probably have heard many tales of “Don Juan Tenorio” that famous character personifying romance, bravery, and the essence and soul of Andalusia. When I heard the title of this book called “The Lost Diary of Don Juan”, I had to have it.

I normally have 2
After getting of to a shaky start this turned out being pretty good. I'm not sure if it has enought "romance" to keep a romance reader going but it didn't have so much romance that it turned me off and I'm not a romance reader.

Though the overall plot was fairly predictable, I really liked the ending. One thing that bothered me was the constant "tension building" that never ended bad. Like "his legs were weak from the torture but with a final burst of strength he was able to..." and then 2 paragr
Mar 31, 2008 liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable. Basically, Don Juan falls in love and foils the Inquisition. I enjoyed the spiritual perspective that Don Juan takes toward physical love, although the descriptions of the physical lovemaking can be cheesy. I also liked that the ending wasn't too happy - it was a nice surprise.

But I say desire is older than humanity, created on the sixth day with the animals, and it has a power that is greater than our ability to control it. It is this power that the seducer draws upon as the sor
Jun 23, 2008 A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like the style used; ounds modern yet intriguing. I’m still at the beginning, and a bit taken by the irony of a boy raised by 24 nuns growing up to be a libertine! Monday, April 07, 2008

I reached page 51, and I feel the need to quote some lines... just an old habit!

“A man’s ambition, however, like his fate, is not always known to him in advance…”page2

“The only secret I have used to unlock the bedchambers of the women I have known is their own unquenched thirst for life. The greatest power in t
Jan 15, 2008 Darga rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: supposed ladies' men struggling with the idea of commitment (i.e. every 25-30 year old guy alive)
as a story, i consider this a 2 star book. but for its author and philosophy and circumstance, i think it's more interesting.

when i picked this up in the bargain bin, i could tell from the giant portrait on the back of the book that it was written by a douche who wanted to share with me his advice on how to get laid. the book had more positive reviews that i'd have expected though, so i was intrigued.

all that actually matters about the story is that don juan is a famous libertine and seducer,
Jul 09, 2011 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, and found myself chuckling out loud as I listened to it. The narrator had a great Hispanic accent that lent authentic flavor to the story. The story had some great fight scenes and generally good pacing throughout.

CAUTION: this book is quite graphic. For the character of Don Juan, you might expect some pretty racy romance scenes, and you would be right. But what surprised me were the graphic torture scenes, as the story takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. Tho
Mar 23, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
É um livro fantástico para quem aprecia um bom romance histórico com um toque de drama, suspense e aventura.
A escrita é tão envolvente que a determinada altura temos a sensação de que estamos a ver um filme, que a trama se desenrola mesmo ali à nossa frente, pois o livro é rico pormenores e sensações sem, no entanto, conter descrições demasiados extensas e maçadoras.
Como é um diário auto-biográfico, a história torna-se ainda mais cativante, pois é nos dada a conhecer a vida emocionante de Don J
May 25, 2009 Iulia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probabil ar fi fost interesant sa recitesc aceasta carte, in care pentru personaj, asemenea cum ar trebui sa fie pentru noi, dragostea si dorinta carnala nu este altceva decat jumatatea sacra a iubirii. Nu mi-a fost greu sa asimilez asta, caci e o senzatie cunoscuta, explicabila.
S-a vorbit despre patima si despre iubire; poate despre ce inseamna sa te imparti pentru o persoana.
Personajul, unul aproximativ tipic, in care nu poti gasi ceva neaparat nou, descopera o latura ce ar trebui sa fie evi
Julia DeBarrioz
Nov 06, 2015 Julia DeBarrioz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spain
A lush historical romance, filled with political intrigue, sword fighting, and a hero you'll love to love. A scintillating tale of Seville in the Golden Age of Spain.

I read this a few years ago and really enjoyed it. This round I listened to the audio by Scott Brick, who is very good at the Spanish accent, and I very much recommend!
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“Seduction and passion are simply life longing for life” 4 likes
“A true lover must know how to receive as well as to give.” 4 likes
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