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The Story of My Life (Memoirs of Casanova #12)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  869 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Seducer, gambler, necromancer, swindler, Good Samaritan, spy, swashbuckler, self-made gentleman, entrepreneur, wit, poet, translator, philosopher, and general bon vivant, Giacomo Casanova was not only the most notorious lover the Western world has known, but also a storyteller of the first order. Since he lived a life richer and stranger than most fictions, the tale of his ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1789)
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Casanova famously replied to a woman who asked him what he sought, ‘A moment that lasts a lifetime.’

Although she flew past him she left an impression, an imprint, like no other. When he was writing his memoirs in old age, impoverished financially but rich in memories, she blazed back into life for him again, untarnished, forever young and forever his.

There’s an instinct to possess, and it’s a hard lesson to finally understand that nobody can possess anything, least of all another human being.

What an extraordinary, exhilarating, brilliant book! Of course this is an abridged version: the original manuscript of Casanova's memoir takes 14 volumes, so who knows what amazing episodes are missing from this edition! But to be honest, the editors seem to have done a great job at patching all the present chapters together, and at explaining each times briefly what happens during the ones that have been cut: the fluidity of the book, as well as its comprehension, are therefore never a problem. ...more
Lina AL Ojaili
اهم حكمة كتبت فى مذكراته
انه يجب على الشخص ان يكون تقى
وان لم يستطع يتظاهر بالتقوى فى كل الاحوال
محمد على عطية
صعلوك..مغامر..جسور..فاسق..داعر..نذل..عاهر..يصاب بالأمراض السرية أكثر من إصابته بالبرد...هذا هو كازانوفا, و لكن مذكراته تعطى لمحة عن الحياة فى أوروبا القرن الثامن عشر
Nick Ruffilo
I actually read the unabridged version of this book (Diaries of Casanova Vol 1-6) but I think its important to put this review here as I believe it will get the most exposure.

Critics hailed this as the best slice of 1700s culture throughout Europe and I have to agree.

What drew me most about the book was the nature in which it pulled me in. I mainly read psychology and business type books, so for me to get engrossed in a story is a rarity. On top of that - I'm usually not one for books more than
Even though this is the abridged version, it is a must read. Many people think Casanova was a romantic, which he was, but he was also a seducer of nuns, a thief, con-man, charlatan, and addict! After a visit to Venice I believed I needed to read about the man I'd heard of, in his own words. There is sex of course, but there is also humor, action, and adventure. I learned much about Italian history, geography, privilege, and politics all while thoroughly enjoying an entertaining - and yes, sensua ...more
Robyn Blaber
When I read old book, I don't often consider them to be "instructional". Any advice of a philosophical or scientific nature that has been written more than a few years ago is likely to contain assertions that are remarkable for their time, but laughable for our time. Casanova is not like this at all. His memoirs could be titled "Bad advice for a good life."

He has all qualities that a bad person would need. He keeps bad company. He drinks. He gambles. He falls in an out of love unimaginably quick
Jul 24, 2007 Brendan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ben
It's just so good. Where else are you going to meet a complete dirt bag who can tell you everything about meeting Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin and who gets congratulated by doctors for giving people VD?

This version is very puritanical. The original is 1400 pages and this version is cut down to 400 and you will read dozens of pages about the food he ate and then in italics the authors will cut between chapters Casanova soon met a pair of sisters whom he pitted against each other in a threesome,
Let me say that if I could have dinner with ten people - regardless of the time period - I would DEFINITELY want Giacomo Casanova there! He had adventure after adventure. I loved the story! It was a really wild ride. And the thing I liked most about it was it was so fresh and exciting - not your average book from the 1700s! This guy knew how to get what he wanted out of life. I recommend it highly.
L. W.
The guy was an asshole pervert with no regard for females, but he was also genius. And I named my dog after him.
Michiyo 'jia' Fujiwara

Seperti halnya ‘Don Juan’ yang telah menjadi istilah ‘tersendiri’ dalam berbagai bahasa. Menurut Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Edisi ke-11 kata benda Casanova berarti:

‘Lover; a man who is promiscuous and unscrupulous lover’
‘Pecinta; Lelaki penganut pergaulan bebas dan pecinta tak setia’

Kehidupan seksnya penuh warna, bukan lagi satu lawan satu bahkan dia pernah dengan 2 orang perempuan sekaligus dalam satu ranjang. Ia pun pernah mencicipi hubungan homoseksual dengan lelaki yan
Oct 11, 2007 Terry rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Unknown
I came to this looking for a quotation. This is not the edition I am reading, as mine appears to run much longer. I admit to being totally taken in by the author's charming and humble preface to his own work. I look forward to reading this on vacation and disappearing into the world of the 18th century--the courts of Louis XIV and Catherine the Great--through the eyes of one its truly notorious personalities.

I already love the preface, where the humble author professes Christian belief and in t
After reading this, I can't believe the posers who dare to write autobiographies about their "adventurous" lives. Casanova is the real thing, and he did it all without a manager and publicist!

I wish my edition had contained more than 500 of the manuscript's 3500 pages. I suppose I'll just have to read the unabridged version.

I was impressed by Casanova's intelligence, and his strong sense of right and wrong, which was always amusing. An excellent read about someone who actually deserved celebrity
William Dearth
Extraordinary Book! As much as I enjoyed Vol. 1 of the Memoirs of Duc De Saint-Simon, I enjoyed this even more. True, this is a 550 page abridged version "The Story of My Life", but it is not wanting in content.

There is much more to Casanova than his legendary love affairs. There is an abundance of relevant 18th century history here and, for the most part it is a genuine page turner. Excellent.
Gijs Grob
Casanova's memoires beslaan niet minder dan 12 boeken en duizenden pagina's, goed genoeg om menig lezer af te schrikken. Dat is jammer, want Casanova heeft in één leven meer meegemaakt dan anderen in tien én hij kan daar zeer smakelijk over vertellen. Gelukkig heeft Arthur Japin nu een handzame compilatie gemaakt uit de eerste zes boeken van 'histoire de ma vie', zodat ook de minder fanatieke lezer kennis kan maken met deze 18e eeuwse avonturier, vrijdenker en rokkenjager.

Zoals verwacht komt er
Casanova led one of the more fascinating lives in history and this memoir, albeit the abridged version of the several volumes he originally wrote, is a wonderful look into his many adventures, romantic and otherwise.

I picked this up after watching the David Tenant version of Casanova's life. I was curious how much of the "facts" were just that. It turns out, more than I had originally thought. Sure, his life was squished into a 3 hour mini-series by BBC, yet they touched upon many important tim
Victoria Brown
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I'd expected it to be either the dull and dry ramblings of an elderly man imagining a nostalgic past, or simply seedy and sleazy, an 18th century Fifty Shades of Grey. He is in fact rather sensitive about the women he discusses, leaving them anonymous in some cases, and usually professing some form of emotional attachment which he deems to be love. But there is also so much more discussed - adventures breaking out of prison and politics across Europe. The ...more
Czarny Pies
Dec 10, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who are very interested in the 18th Century nobility.
Recommended to Czarny by: Frederico Fellini.
Shelves: french-lit
Every Goodreads member should make an effort to familiarize himself or herself with this remarkable 18th Century gadfly who knew everyone from Voltaire to Mozart. I think reading his complete 12 volume memoires which run to 3000 pages would be a bit much. However, if after 150 pages of this book of excerpts you find yourself attracted to this engaging personality, stop and switch to the real thing.

The Frederico Fellini movie starring Donald Sutherland was a box office bust but does indeed offer
Keegan King
I found it difficult to read, 200 year old empirical French translated into modern day English which was written by an Italian can be a little hectic, but the adventures Casanova goes on, the way he relates himself to "the reader," and presents his life as it really was blew me away. Its not some lust filled page turner full of scandalous sex and rock n' roll, but so much more about the actual life he lived, the thoughts he had, and the world he experienced, he just happened to have a hottie or ...more
Brodie Dakin
Never before have i been so incredibly bored and riveted by the same book! I initially bought the book out of curiosity regarding Casanova's amorous adventures, though ironically I found the description of these to be underwhelming, and instead found the more chaste areas of the book to be the most captivating; his conversations with great leaders and thinkers as well as his adventures, duels and prison escapes make the book worthwhile.
A lot of 'Story of my life' is quite difficult to follow.
Christopher Roth
I'm sorry now that I didn't buy and read an unabridged version of the memoirs, since I imagine that would be just as interesting as this, just with more of it. In fact, oddly enough, some of the more interesting sections, to judge from the editor's commentary, were taken out (such as Casanova's escape from prison), presumably because they are frequently printed elsewhere, which is silly. Erica Jong's foreword and the back-cover blurb seem eager to brace readers for contents that are disappointin ...more
From the begining if you are not ready to spend a lot of time reading an interesting story or if you get easily bored don't even try to begin to read this book.
It's a huge book, very interesting, where you can discover a big part of the world traditions.
Everyday Cassanova keeps our attention with a new story full of suspense.
Many difficult situations where he escapes from, but through what metods, we've never thought of. That's why the book is unique and sometimes the story brings us easily fro
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.L. Dobias
Sep 10, 2013 J.L. Dobias rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of victorian romance and histories
Shelves: book-shelf-11
The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

(The boy who never grew up)

I purchased what appeared to be an incomplete copy of this on Amazon and then went to the Gutenberg site to find the full 29 episodes of which one is rather incomplete. It comes with a warning:

[Transcriber's Note: These memoir's were not written for children, they may outrage readers also offended by Chaucer, La Fontaine, Rabelais and The Old Testament. D.W.]Giacomo Casanova. The Complete Memoirs of Jacques Casanov
Esraa soso
ألا ما أكثر الذين يموتون دون أن يكونوا قد فكروا في حياتهم يوماً, تفكيراً حقيقياً.. لالأن الذكاء كان يعوزهم, وإنما لأنهم لم يتعرضوا لأحداث وظروف غير عادية, تكفي مفاجآتها لأن تهزهم فتوقظهم وتنبههم كي يينفضوا عنهم ما ألفوه من رتابة الحياة!
إن الأمة التي تتحرر من الخرافة والوهم تصبح أمة فلاسفة, والفلاسفة لا يعرفون الطاعة, في حين أن الحكم لا يستقيم بغير الطاعة, لهذا أرى أن لا سعادة لشعب ما لم يتسن للحاكم إخضاعه وكبح جماحه!
Jan 17, 2008 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone bored w/ Hollywood, Apple, Aspen, South Hampton, Malibu, Vegas, Shanghai & Dubai...
An extraordinary book(s), tale, history, memoir—a frolic, that's the word. It provides the reasons books continue to have relevance—no movie could tell this man's story or reconstruct the 18th Century in so rich a telling. Real, remembered, invented, it doesn't matter—it's all true. The man's every bit an enlightenment hero as Voltaire. His loves and records of his love aside, it is the worlds within the worlds of his time, his ability to go from gutter to palace to bourgeois house, to bordello, ...more
Well it took a long time to finish (over 1000 pages) but was worth it. A fascinating account of life in 18th century Europe, chock-full of swindling and seduction. I kept forgetting it was an actual account of someone's life as it is so full of extraordinary events. This is the edited down version, the original is twice the length and he never finished it!
Steph H.
In 'the story of my life' Giacomo Casanova tells the reader extensively about his life - how his mother abandoned him, how he grew up, falling in love with the daughter of Dr. Gozzi, being a priest, about having an affair with a nun who has an affair with another man...
it's hard to read, partly because of the language and because of how he tells about the many women he loved (and did not love, but still 'dated').
certainly amazing is the part where he tells abobut his escape from the venecian pr
Marc L
Genre van de schelmenroman: zeer volatiel zowel in de ruimte (voortdurend rondtrekkend en van de ene situatie in de andere belandend) als in de fortuin.
Zeer eerlijk uitkomend voor eigen ingesteldheid: slaaf van zijn hartstocht, gedreven van de ene verovering naar de andere en voortdurend falend. Geen gewetenswroeging over ettelijke verbroken beloften (geweten wel geregeld gesust door “gunstige” regeling voor het slachtoffer). Van de andere kant verwacht Casanova wel trouw van zijn tegenpartij.
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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

Memoirs of Casanova (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • The Venetian Years
  • Histoire de ma vie : Texte intégral du manuscrit original suivi de textes inédits, tome 2
  • Military Career
  • Memoirs of Casanova, Vol 5: Milan and Mantua
  • Paris
  • Venice
  • Convent Affairs
  • The False Nun
  • Under the Leads
  • Memoirs of Casanova - Volume 11; Paris and Holland
History of My Life, Vols 1-2 The Venetian Years Of Mistresses, Tigresses and Other Conquests History of My Life, Volumes 3 & 4 History of My Life, Vols. 5 & 6

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“The sweetest pleasures are those which are hardest to be won.” 44 likes
“Beauty without wit offers nothing but the enjoyment of its material charms, whilst witty ugliness captivates by the charms of the mind, and at last fulfils all the desires of the man it has captivated.” 27 likes
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