Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova, Vol 1: Venetian Years” as Want to Read:
The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova, Vol 1: Venetian Years
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova, Vol 1: Venetian Years (Histoire de ma vie #1)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  397 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
(Jacques) Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt (1725-1798) was a Venetian adventurer and author. His main book Histoire de Ma Vie (History of My Life), part autobiography and part memoir, is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. So famous a womanizer was the Italian-born libertine Giacomo Ca ...more
Paperback, illustrated, 644 pages
Published December 12th 2008 by Dodo Press (first published 1789)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 859)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 14, 2012 TallOrangeAngry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually one to listen to books-on-tape... but I'd pay to hear Jeremy Irons, Alan Rickman or Benedict Cumberbatch read a shampoo bottle, let alone an entire book.

I'm about half-way through it and it's wonderful. I'd read the book as a teenager, but it's so different to hear the book read to you. Cumberbatch is an amazing narrator. I hope he does more books in the future. On par with Irons' reading of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita.
Sep 03, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From this book, I get the feeling that one shouldn't read Casanova hoping for erotica. When it comes to the actual deeds done, he's remarkably discreet. However, he's an excellent storyteller and this book is worth reading for the stories alone (whether or not they're "true" or this is the real version of the actual events). Cumberbatch is a fantastic reader--he captures Casanova's voice and adds a touch of sensuality to the narration, despite the redaction of specifics.
1er tome sur 3. Bon, c'était un vrai régal. Jacques Casanova, citoyen Vénitien du 18me siècle a écrit ses mémoires après la révolution française. S'il est connu pour ses aventures galantes, la lecture de ses écrits ne laisse pas spécialement entendre qu'elles fussent pour lui un sujet de fierté, leurs issues n'étant pas toujours heureuses. Il met en avant une sincérité qui le rend immédiatement aimable, une indépendance d'esprit qui le rend intéressant. Tout à tour séminariste, soldat, violonist ...more
Jan 12, 2013 Megan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Casanova is a great big bag of dicks. The only reason I finished the book was because it was read by Benedict Cumberbatch, he could read the yellow pages and I'd still listen. The only thing that made me smile in this novel was when Casanova got an STD proving that at least there is some justice in the world.
Colette Murphy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

I have this shelved as nonfiction--it is a memoir--but it might as well be fiction, because I hardly believe a word of it. It comes off as an extremely unreliable narrator bragging. That being said, it was very entertaining, if not plausible, and I enjoyed it greatly. The narration by Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic, and perfect for the part. I wish he would narrate more parts of the memoirs, because no other voice will ever be Casanova to me.

Those of you who prefer your characters likeable,

Jul 08, 2013 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've listened to several of Cumberbatch's readings of audiobooks, and he is great on all of them. However, this reading of Casanova's memoirs surely is the perfect marriage of voice and book and really shows off his talent. He adapts his voice for each character with a seamless flow, and has just the barest hint of falsetto for the women without being silly. He gives Casanova a charming pompousness that I'm sure the real man had, and puts on a bedroom voice that could make a grandmother blush. T ...more
Je to také ľahké čítanie - osobne ma na tom viac zaujalo historické pozadie a spoločenské konvencie, než jeho milostné dobrodružstvá, opisované veľmi decentne a v náznakoch. Fascinoval ma však ten traktát, ktorý mal byť akýmsi úvodom k jeho spomienkam - príliš vyumelkované, filozoficko-náboženské reči točiace sa okolo toho istého, minimálne na desiatich stranách. Nezdá sa mi, že by bol vyslovene neúprimný, ale i tak som sa nemohla zbaviť dojmu, že sa chce tak trochu prikrášliť, zľahčiť svoje kon ...more
Jennifer Uhlich
Casanova was a much, much better plotter than Rousseau was.

... Though really, my cat is a better plotter than Rousseau was.

And now, an addendum:

The comparison to Rousseau, and how light this narrative was when placed alongside JJR, was the first thought that sprang to mind. And they are similar projects, especially in these earlier years, though Casanova moves us ahead far more briskly.

But more particular to Casanova, what I find myself coming back to is how different it was being a teenager. T
Meredith Watkins
Nov 29, 2014 Meredith Watkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned so much about this man, and it was only volume 1!! He is far more fascinating than history portrays. And funny. There were a few parts I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. This book is an interesting dichotomy of religion and philosophy. I can't wait to get my hands on volume 2 ...more
Jul 01, 2014 Yaboiksar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fiction
If this wasn't read by Benedict Cumberbatch, it would have been equal parts boring and rather disgusting.

I find it ironic and a bit disturbing that we use the term "casanova" for someone who is a great lover of women when in fact, the guy was a pedophile. I understand, different time and different place but a 12 year old? Really?

Two parts that cracked me up: the first was he kept getting STDs and getting mad about it which I found hilarious and second hearing Cumberbatch have to say "dildo."

I do
R.W. Clark
Oct 15, 2015 R.W. Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read the complete set, several times and it astonishes friends when I say that. Why? (If you are reading this, you probably know why, or can guess from all other contributions here). Because his entire life story consumes more than 1,000,000 words, or roughly 16 standard length novels.

I read it once in book form in college and probably surprised my English professor when I wrote it up. Then I read it twice on a Palm Pilot. Now, I have embarked upon Willard Trask's translation.

Casanova's s
Andre Dumitru
Jun 03, 2015 Andre Dumitru rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As impressive as the first time I read it. Definitely Casanova was a great man and I trully admire his character.
Really interesting book. Whether or not Casanova did all the things he claims to have done is completely irrelevant to me. This is a wonderful look into the social history of the early 18th century.

Also Benedict Cumberbatch narrated and is wonderful.. although was there really any doubt?
I had no idea man whores had such an illustrious history! Of course I knew of Casanova's reputation, but seriously, how many horny sisters can one man possibly run into? His method of seduction is basically "grope around in the dark," and it works marvelously every time. I've learned so much.
Jan 26, 2015 Nicolette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listening-to
The story was not my favorite thing, but being read be the B. C. well it was an interesting experience....
Jun 17, 2013 Sarah marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Another book I've added because of the narrator. When Benedict Cumberbatch, whose voice is made of sex and chocolate and silk, reads the memoir of famous lover Casanova, I'll listen.
Aug 06, 2011 Ariel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved listening to Benedict Cumberbatch reading the story, but I found the words themselves to be rather dull.
Aug 18, 2014 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, you cannot go wrong listening to an audiobook narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. His voice is smooth and sensuous and I found myself entertained while listening to this book. Had I been reading this on my own, I'm fairly certain that I'd have been bored, but not with such an excellent narrator.

Secondly, Casanova was different. He fell in love so many times that I'm completely certain that he mistook lust for love. He's one of those guys that I'd probably punch in the face if I ever
Constantin Minov
Dec 21, 2015 Constantin Minov rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-inspiring
Ho appena finito il primo volume di questa bellissima opera autobiografica di Giacomo Casanova. Una veloce ricerca su Internet identifica i termini "casanova" e "libertino"; il suo nome viene spesso erroneamente associato soltanto al proibito, al tabù. Nel suo testo l'autore racconta nel dettaglio la sua vita "avventurosa", ma non solo: il lettore ha l'opportunità di immergersi nella cultura veneziana settecentesca, nel sistema politico dell'epoca, e di rivivere l'intensa trasformazione cultural ...more
Elina Zalkalne
Well, I'll be honest and admit I sort of cheated-this was an audio book, narrated by the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch....
This was the only reason why I even bothered reading/hearing a story written by the world's greatest womanizer who clearly states than in his lifetime he's slept with approximately over a thousand women.
The story was weak, and immensely unbelievable with chronological mistakes and an incredible muddle of names. Casanova seems to be the world's luckiest guy, always runnin
Apr 27, 2012 Ivana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that I can't possibly believe that everything written in Casanova's memoirs is true, I still enjoyed reading this first volume of his memoirs and I'll probably read the rest of them. It was better than I expected.

Yes, Casanova can be a little self occupied and he does brag about his love adventures a lot (that will not really be a surprise to any reader considering that Casanova's name is synonymous with womanizer- and his memoirs are the reason for it). However, when describing
Ich hab das Buch gekauft weil ich dachte, es wäre quasi das Buch zum Film mit Heath Ledger, immerhin ist draußen groß ein Sticker mit Referenz auf den Film drauf. Und etwas mit historischem Hintergrund lese ich eigentlich immer gern, zudem ich von Casanova nicht viel weiß.

Jetzt nahm ich das Buch endlich mal zur Hand, und habe dann feststellen müssen, dass es inhaltlich doch ganz anders ist. Nämlich eine Neuauflage eines Teils der Aufzeichnungen von Casanova - von 1754 bis zu seiner Flucht aus de
Jun 07, 2015 Britt rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic first hand account of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. (Those who read this book and complain that Casanova was a jerk are missing the point - This book is valuable because of the glimpse into the vanished world that was the 1700s.) He paints vivid pictures of social situations, often using humor, that allow us to momentarily imagine ourselves in this time.
Jan 14, 2013 S, rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Hmm. I don't think the story was believable, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Plus, needless to say, one couldn't ever help liking something Benedict Cumberbatch has read - his voice is made for storytelling, and he uses it well.

I rarely if not ever listen to audio books, since I'm highly suspicious towards actors' influence on my opinion of the story itself, fearing my dislike of the narrator forces me to dislike the story too, but my prejudice can be lessened, apparently: this evening of listenin
Gwenyth Love
The only thing I really liked was Benedict's charming voice as he read this. Casanova was a pompous player who only ever played at love but really knew nothing about it. I am glad this was only abridged because I couldn't take much more of him (however I would have put up with it just to listen to more Benedict off to see if I can find him reading something more enjoyable!)
Svetlana Pavelko
Brillant. Literally, Brilliant.

First of all, I have to say that I am not the biggest fan of audio books, but this voice....God, this voice I can listen as melody in non-stop regime. Benedict Cumberbatch. His voice is soft and gentle like a whisper, it's velvet and hypnotic. I demand that only such voices should be recorded for audio books. Once again, dearest Mr. Cumberbatch, you're absolutely magical and exceptionally talented. Thank you, it was a pleasure listening to your voice!

Now, to the b
Sep 29, 2014 Valissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, e-lib
oh delicious.

Casanova is quite a character, and true or not, fascinating, stunning, adventurous . . . a true romantic.

but, perhaps the best part was listening to Benedict Cumberbatch read the memoir. although, I should have probably listened to it in private, just a bit distracting at work . . .
Mar 18, 2015 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars - A quick audio book 'read'. The best part is the narration, by Benedict Cumberbatch. The story line isn't bad, but is just way too ego-ridden and reeks of embellishment. Let's just place this under genre of tall tales, and leave it at that.
Mar 21, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This diary of Casanova during his Venetian Years is read by Benedict Cumberbatch. It actually is surprising good because it sounds like Cumberbatch is having a laugh with you via Casanova’s diary.

Crossposted at Booklikes
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 28 29 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Cabin Pressure (Cabin Pressure, #1)
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Rediscovered Railway Mysteries and Other Stories
  • Archives du Nord
  • Casanova: Actor Lover Priest Spy
  • Warren Buffet Partnership Letters 1957-1970
  • Torchwood: Ghost Train
  • The Japanese Chronicles
  • Neverwhere: BBC Dramatization
  • Orlando Furioso: Part 2
  • The Poems
  • Last Post: The Final Word from Our First World War Soldiers
  • Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire: Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World
  • Amanti e regine. Il potere delle donne
  • Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children
  • Érasme
  • And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2000 Years of British and Irish History
  • Letters from Prison
  • How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile...and 18 Mistakes to Avoid
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was a Venetian adventurer and author. His main book Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), part autobiography and part memoir, is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century.

He was so famous as a womanizer that his name remains synonymous with the art of seduction and he is sometimes ca
More about Giacomo Casanova...

Other Books in the Series

Histoire de ma vie (3 books)
  • Histoire de ma vie : Texte intégral du manuscrit original suivi de textes inédits, tome 2
  • Histoire de ma vie : Texte intégral du manuscrit original suivi de textes inédits, tome 3

Share This Book

“If you refuse me, I shall be compelled to believe that you are cruelly enjoying my misery, and that you have learned in the most accursed school that the best way of preventing a young man from curing himself of an amorous passion is to excite it constantly; but you must agree with me that, to put such tyranny in practice, it is necessary to hate the person it is practised upon, and, if that be so, I ought to call upon my reason to give me the strength necessary to hate you likewise.” 8 likes
“if you have not done anything worthy of being recorded, at least write something worthy of being read.” 6 likes
More quotes…