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What Casanova Told Me: A Novel

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3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  142 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
A dazzlingly imagined novel that embraces two centuries, two young women, a long-lost journal, and the mystery of the legendary Casanova's last great love.

It's 1797, and an aging Casanova has returned to Venice in disguise to elude the authorities. There he meets Asked For Adams, the niece of American president John Adams, who is accompanying her father on a trade mission,
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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 6th 2005 by Bloomsbury USA (first published September 7th 2004)
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Paula Dembeck
Apr 23, 2016 Paula Dembeck rated it liked it
What an interesting title, one that initially attracted me to the book.

For most of us, the name Casanova heralds us back to stories of a lusty rogue chasing and seducing scores of women during his lifetime. He wrote a set of memoirs which detailed his travel adventures and his romantic liaisons, although it is difficult to ascertain the validity of his many tales. But Swan presents a different picture of this man who lived during the eighteenth century and traveled widely, living the life of an
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Maya
Pro:
- liked the idea of dual-timeline story, with one protagonist in the present learning about and partially retracing the physical and psychological journey of her ancestor protagonist
- great settings: Venice, Istanbul, Athens
- best character: Asked For Adams, the Puritan young woman who travels to Europe with her father and fiance and then, when certain circumstances arise, chooses to forge on without them rather than going back home

Con:
- felt like the cover testimonials promised way more th
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Becky
Aug 05, 2011 Becky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
I had recently watched the 'Masterpiece Theater' version of 'Casanova' staring David Tennant (whom I'm a huge fan) and Peter O'Toole. So I was craving more about this curious person and went to my local library. They didn't have any copies or even a 'Cliffnotes' version of the book actually written by Giacomo Casanova but I did stumble across this little piece of fiction.

The concept the story is written in is not one I particularly like. Its the letter/diary style that Bram Stoker used and Eliza
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Monica
Feb 03, 2008 Monica rated it it was amazing
Luce's mom has died, and she's traveling to Crete for the burial services. Accompanying Luce is Lee, her mom's lover. Luce is also giving to a museum several letters from Jacob Casanova that belonged to her ancestor Asked-For Adams, the niece of President Adams. This book is an intersting blend of past and present. Luce carries Asked-For's journal,which ends abruptly. Luce must find out what happened to her ancestor, and come to peace with her mother's death and her mother's lover. It wasn't exa ...more
Pamela
Oct 08, 2010 Pamela rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Not my usual reading fare, and not really my cup of tea, either. This book is well crafted, though, and I very much enjoyed both of the protagonists--present-day Luce, and her ancestor Asked For. The book got a little tedious at times, and it felt bogged down because it was going in so many directions. But it's a solid story, with interesting twists and turns, and likable narrators.
Sarah
Jun 17, 2009 Sarah rated it liked it
What Casanova Told Me: A Novel by Susan Swan is an epistolary style novel, which generally I loathe to read, but this book was quite engaging! Isn't it odd how I find myself quite enjoying historical fiction? Never thought I would.
Lisa
May 12, 2013 Lisa rated it did not like it
This was probably the worst novel I ever read in my entire life. If it were possible to give it zero stars, I would do that. No sense of history. Politically correct. Pretentious. Don't waste your time.
Mariel
Feb 07, 2012 Mariel rated it it was amazing
This book made me want to pack my bags and take to the seas looking for love and adventure. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, sexy and inspiring read.
Tealen
Oct 20, 2008 Tealen rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-fiction
The description of this book looks really good, sadly I just can't get into it. Maybe I will try it later, when I am not distracted. I am just struggling with wanting to read it.
Michelle
Jun 27, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it
Lovely work of "historical" fiction. A great read for literary fans.
Brian
Sep 10, 2010 Brian rated it liked it
Interesting tale of historical nature.
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ELEVEN READERS CL...: critical writing 2 8 Jan 18, 2012 09:12PM  
  • Casanova in Love
  • Ruse, Vol. 1: Enter the Detective
  • What Alice Knew: A Most Curious Tale of Henry James & Jack the Ripper
  • A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century
  • Hell On Wheels (Southern, #3)
  • De skandalösa (Slottet Wadenstierna, #3)
  • Le chant des sorcières, Tome 1
  • Falling Sideways
  • Clinical Distance  (Choice, #2)
  • Fangs: The Vampire Archives, Volume 2
  • Every Inch of Her
  • Life on Planet Mom: A Down-To-Earth Guide to Your Changing Relationships
  • You Belong to My Heart
  • Have Gun We'll Travel (Gun, #3)
  • One Virgin Too Many (Marcus Didius Falco, #11)
  • Pink Ice
  • Boswell: A Modern Comedy
  • The Serpent and the Pearl  (The Borgias, #1)
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Journalist, feminist, novelist, activist, teacher, Susan Swan’s impact on the Canadian literary and political scene has been far-reaching. Susan Swan’s critically acclaimed fiction has been published in twenty countries. Her new novel, The Western Light, shares a heroine with her international bestseller, The Wives of Bath (published September 2012).

Swan’s last novel, What Casanova Told Me, was p
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