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The Eaten Heart: Unlikely Tales of Love (Great Loves, #3)
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The Eaten Heart: Unlikely Tales of Love (Great Loves, #3)

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  241 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Love can be surprising

Ten young Florentines take refuge in the countryside from the Black Death and tell stories to pass the time. From the unfaithful wife who unwittingly eats her lover’s heart to the sly peasant plotting to seduce a whole nunnery, these are tales of lust, adventure and unexpected twists of fate.
Paperback, 120 pages
Published August 2nd 2007 by Penguin Books (first published 1353)
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Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Basically Aesops Fables for lovers, this series of short medieval tales tell of love, lust and cuckoldry and delve into the frivolous and fantastic all of which still have an appeal today.

Sowing the seeds of love

If you are a lusty young Italian with the body of Adonis and the face of Paris, then what could be better than banging an equally lusty young nun? Why, banging nine nuns and the Abbess of course! Via his friend Nuto, the strapping young Masetto becomes aware of an “opening” at the local
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
If your reading lately has been sorely lacking in a certain bawdy ribaldry, you need look no further than the fourteenth century when Giovanni Boccaccio presented his The Decameron,the classic work involving ten Florentines who have escaped their plaque-ridden city and are passing the time by telling stories.

Penguin has collected eleven of the more, ahem, romantic stories here as part of their Great Loves series.

These gathered tales concern love and lots of s-e-x, though they are in no way remo
Ana Rînceanu
I can't decide whether these tales are fables or soup-opera scripts. But they're great!
Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This is definitely my favourite of the Penguin Great Loves series that I have read so far. The Eaten Heart is a selection of 11 of the tales from Boccaccio's Decameron, a text that I previously knew nothing about, but this little selection has definitely piqued my interest to read the text in full some day!

The stories contained in this slim volume are surprisingly bawdy and silly, and a lot were very good fun. From a young peasant pretending to be deaf and dumb to seduce a whole nunnery, to a ri
Feb 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
I love the idea that a group of people told these stories to each other in order to distract themselves from the Plague. What I don't love, however, is how... uninteresting these stories actually were. Even the title story, The Eaten Heart, was a let down. Here I am expecting the heart to be eaten right out of the lover's body, and instead it's just served to her on a plate. Disappointing.
Oct 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
Fun, bawdy and occasionally a little disturbing. Semi adult fairy tales for the vaguely twisted. Part of the 'classic loves collection'.
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book; I enjoyed it. You have to come to the book knowing the stories are a bit risqué, but it is overall very interesting.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
While these stories were mostly fun and entertaining, there was not a lot of variety between them. The characters were essentially the same (the highly sexual yet unsatisfied female, the sexual male who can sate her desires, and the cuckholded male) in different scenarios, but the stories were short and generally amusing. My favourite was probably the first one; who DOESN'T want to read about a bunch nuns conspiring to have have sex with the sexy gardener.... as I type this, I feel like I am pit ...more
These were a lot of fun to read. Short and funny, and I love the idea of a bunch of Florentines hiding in a cave from the Black Death telling each other risque stories. It was nice to take a break from the modern short story where you don't get the whole story and enjoy a bunch of stand-alone stories - I guess where tales differ from short stories is how they are always complete.
Although on the surface many of the tales seem trivial (quite a few run along the lines of boy meets girl, girl and bo
Benjamin Chandler
Jan 08, 2009 rated it liked it
I wanted to add more stars to this book because I love the object of this book. Part of Penguin's series of classics with a very hand-made feel. (Many books in the series have embossings and blind printing on the cover.) But the content only rated 3 stars.

The 3rd in Penguin's "Great Loves" series, this one contains 11 stories from Boccaccio's Decameron. Some the later stories in the book are quite nice—little tragedies similar to Romeo and Juliet where women keep their lover's head in a pot of
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
What an amazing little book, part of Penguin's Great Loves series, which in itself is a thing of wonder - oh, how i love thee Penguin :o)
These (mostly bawdy) selected tales out of Boccaccio's Decameron are a delight, surprising me with their frankness and candor. And they were written in the 1300s! Quite funny as well. I'll definitely be grabbing myself a copy of the Decameron at some point, to dig more into it, now that i've had such a lovely taste.
Lindsay Goto
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: european
Crude and humorous in a strange way, these are for people who didn't think their fairytales were raunchy enough. There are a lot of problems with them, or I found there were a lot of problems with them, but considering the time that they were produced that can be overlooked. The first story starts your right off in the ribald feeling with a man seducing nuns in a convent. The title talks about love, but a better one would be "Unlikely tales of sex" as that's what most stories revolve around.
Maggie Hesseling
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's easy to understand where the modern comedy romances come from when you read these tales. Nun's gone awry, accidental bedswaps and much much more. It reminds the reader about the 14th century sense of humor. According to texts like these it was a romp and a riot. It really shows how great the penguin great lovers series is.
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
The stories in this book were all surprising coming from a 14th century writer. I found it interesting that female desire was seen as something normal and human - how things changed in centuries thereafter! The stories themselves weren't fantastic (and a couple were downright rapey), but it was a quick read every evening during a week where I struggled to find time for myself.
Emily Iliani
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home
Very very very interesting and makes a fun, laid-back reading. Suitable for a weekend break at the beach.

However, instead of wasting money on a cheaper version, go for the real deal. Read the Decameron.

Anyway, this is the first title that got me so hooked on Boccaccio. Love every piece of it.
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Taken from the Decameron, these are the stories of "love". I remember the selections I read in high school were pretty funny, but these were hilarious. I'm not sure there were any morals to be gained and they certainly weren't very romantic, but I'm glad it was entertaining.
Alina Grace
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-loves
Goodness....Love could not be any more exciting!!! A definite page turner with lots left to the imagination. If only Love and all this love making was as great now as it was before.....
Ann Marie
Aug 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Good bawdy fun, with a couple of disturbing tales ("Head in the Herbs"!). A great read!
Dec 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Fun, bawdy tales of lusty wenches, nunnery seductions and wicked revenge.
its easier to carry then Decameron....but that is not a good enough reason to read this book.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
For a collection of short stories written in the 14th century, this was MUCH dirtier than I expected.
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Disturbingly engrossing, and vividly grotesque. Do not read at the dinner table. I enjoyed the outdated narrative, though the book is vague about when exactly these stories were told.
Celine Huizer
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-have
A little bit disturbing but a lot funnier than I had expected.
Leona Sheehy
Jun 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I think Woody Allen must have read this book when he was researching 'Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask! Short stories, not about love, but sex in its various forms.
Dec 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's the Canterbury Tales, essentially.
Tales of stupid people doing stupid things in the name of love.

~ Whoever it was,
Whoever the villain
That stole my pot of herbs, etc.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Quite silly, romantic and trashy at times. A fun, quick read!
Joanna Thirkettle
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Hilarious, gruesome at times too. A great lighthearted read. At times hard to believe this was written in 14th century!
Tim Caines
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Enjoyable - some of the stories were even quite erotic!
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
The stories were quite entertaining and short enough to remain captivating. Interesting to read stories from the 14th century.
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Giovanni Boccaccio (1313 – 21 December 1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend and correspondent of Petrarch, and an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular. Boccaccio is particularly notable for his dialogue, of which it has been said that it surpasses in veris ...more
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