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Captain Corelli's Mandolin

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This collection brings together music played by Captain Corelli himself and original pieces evoking the sounds and events of the book and of 3 earlier novels, the Latin Trilogy', by Louis de Bernieres. Mandolin music by Beethoven and Hummel is idiomatically arranged for piano by Richard Harris and contrasted with Neapolitan songs, folk songs from Latin America and Greece, and music by Stephen Warbeck.

32 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2003

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About the author

Richard Harris

352 books7 followers
This is the disambiguation profile for otherwise unseparated authors publishing as Richard Harris

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5 stars
2,178 (51%)
4 stars
1,346 (32%)
3 stars
505 (12%)
2 stars
128 (3%)
1 star
48 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 65 reviews
Profile Image for Emma Robinson.
Author 14 books176 followers
March 29, 2020
Just finished a reread of this and reconfirmed it as one of my top ten books of all time. Brutal, funny, heart wrenching, intelligent, historic, articulate: it has everything. The first 100 pages require some investment, but once you are in, it will wind its fingers around your soul. I’ve just finished and am missing it already. If you do one thing during this isolation - read this wonderful book.
Profile Image for Louise Perkinton.
63 reviews3 followers
March 28, 2020
I listened to this as an audio book and found it quite confusing to start with but warmed to the characters as it went on. A fascinating period in history that I knew little about.
Profile Image for Catherine Yarwood.
77 reviews2 followers
January 27, 2016
To me, this didn’t feel like much of a love story - not like I had always assumed. It was a war story, and a story of an island, with some lovers in the background.

We are welcomed to the story with viewpoints written from several different key players. There is the diary of Carlo, a soldier struggling with a hidden self, Iannis, a doctor who is trying to write a history of the island and his daughter Pelagia, who is 17 and just falling in love for the first time. It is 1940.

Through Carlo’s narrative we are dragged through the fighting in Albania by the Greeks and the Italians. It is horrific, full of brutal imagery. I enjoyed the scene when Carlo visits the mother of a comrade - he tells her the death was quick and heroic, whilst his internal monologue reveals the tortured truth.

Meanwhile, Iannis and Pelagia are living island life with the uncertainty of the war creeping in. Soon the italian occupiers arrive, along with Captain Corelli - a typical literary hero. He is kind, chivalrous, talented and of course, tall and good looking. Pelagia is a typical heroine - feisty, voluptuous and beautiful. Against a backdrop of some increasing tension, they all cope with one another, and Pelagia and Corelli fall in love. Naturally.

But once the Nazi’s arrive, the typical storybook romance ends. What follows is pain, death, poverty, a lost youth and wasted lives. The book is not written with angry language or phrases - it cleverly makes you feel angry. Angry at the waste of everything.

Sometimes, I found some passage of description to be longer than it perhaps needed to be. It opens with many different perspectives, leading to some confusion at the beginning, but as they all die we are left with less and less voices to tell the story.

I enjoyed the description of Cephalonia and Greek life. The best word for it is colourful. It is romantic, hot, full of liveliness and animals and music. It is well written. My favourite relationship is that of the doctor and Pelagia. It is touching and funny throughout, and there is nothing sickly-sweet about it. He is a hero without being a typical hero and her grief when they are finally separated will make your lips tremble as you have something in your eye.

I’m not particularly keen on the ending. I won’t spoil it for you - but if we ever discuss it I shall be particularly vocal about the UNWILLINGNESS TO ASK A GODDAMN QUESTION!
Profile Image for Laura Robinson.
5 reviews9 followers
November 2, 2017
This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read in my life. So heartbreakingly sad and honest, but with a writing that is so beautiful. The characters are magical and the humor and dialogue made me laugh out loud. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants an amazing story and adventure, who is ready to dive deep into the lives of such extraordinary characters.
Profile Image for Gavin.
93 reviews
June 25, 2014
Loved this wonderful novel. I hesitated before reading, as I had already seen the film, but they do not compare. The novel is composed of a wonderful prose and attention to detail that no Hollywood offering can match. The novel is a symphony, the film a fart in a bucket
Profile Image for Sarah Saunders.
31 reviews1 follower
May 13, 2019
The 2nd time I’ve read this book. The first time was in Kefalonia 23 years ago. I remember loving the book, but I forgot just how much. What a diamond, just like the Island. My favourite book of all time.
Profile Image for Jennifer Murray.
266 reviews8 followers
June 3, 2017
This book walks you through so many emotions. So many smiles and so many deep lows. It makes you hate war and wonder at the frailty of life. I was very surprised at the story's happy ending; that love found a way through all of the cruelty of everything. However, it was a hard journey to get there and I found myself deeply hurt by many of the loses and deaths of the novel.

I also enjoyed how the story took on a unique (at least to me as an American) perspective on WWII. It showed the complexities of the "good" guys and the "bad" guys and everyone caught in-between. It also showed a path towards forgiveness for some of the failures of the most horrific crimes.

My only distraction from the myriad of loveliness and sadness of the story was the shifts in POV. It was really hard for me to keep up and sometimes really irritated me that I could not continue with the POVs I preferred, especially when those stories were exchanged for random side characters. I understand the point of it but it was distracting.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
1 review
September 4, 2022
This is not the sort of book I would normally read but thought I would read it during a holiday in Cephalonia!

I really enjoyed the book, I did find it hard to get into at first with the different seemingly unconnected stories told in different styles depending on Characters. The chaotic style of the writing for the character of Mussolini I guess showing in chaotic and confused thought processes the man had.

What really let the book down for me was the final ending. After getting into the Character of Captain Corelli I can’t believe or accept the final chain of events. It’s out of keeping with the description of the characters as he unfolded to me. I guess it shows that not only war tragically changes lives from their normal trajectories.

Apart from that an excellent book and leas me to want find out more about the Italian / German occupation of Cephalonia.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Leonie Reczniarek.
284 reviews1 follower
July 25, 2021
My goodness what a journey! History, love story, war story, humour, tragedy, education and more in this large and at times difficult book. Haha I felt relieved when upon completion I turned the last page and there a previous reader had created a long list of words that I too had never heard of before.
Don’t give up the story evolves and this one just needs the concentration and attention to reward you with a satisfaction you know you earned.
January 21, 2019
I eventually read this on my third attempt. I found it difficult to get in to and found the flitting backwards and forwards between stories didn't work well in this case. I felt that there was a whole section (or three) of the book that didn't add much value. The book did eventually get more settled and interesting around chapter 55!
Profile Image for Josette Piscopo.
11 reviews
January 31, 2019
I have read this book a very long time ago and I did enjoy it. Though the story is fictional it still gave me an insight on WWII and the Italian soldiers stationed in the Greek Islands that I did not know existed. I would have preferred if the story timeline was shorter but I still enjoyed reading it.
Profile Image for Renāte Bružāne.
24 reviews3 followers
December 20, 2019
Many of us use the “after the war I/we will” every day and not necessarily under war circumstances. There is no excuse to waste your life and wait for something that may never happen and not pursue your dreams every day. Makes you think.
Profile Image for Sausagecreature.
27 reviews1 follower
March 10, 2020
One of the most charming, beautifully crafted bitter sweet tales I have ever read. A true gem, written by a real talent.
In my top five all time reads.

The film does not reflect well on this book, and that is a shame.
79 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2021
A heartfelt novel with a simple and important message about loving the family life gives you, seizing opportunities and the heavy burden of regret. This book was charming, heartbreaking and exasperating in the best way and made me feel all the feels at once.
Profile Image for MCase.
2 reviews
November 22, 2017
The first 100 pages are hard going, but then it takes off! Persevere for a wonderful read!
Profile Image for Carolina.
153 reviews7 followers
April 15, 2018
Faboulous book. Well written, informative and entertaining. The only thing that spoilt for me was, having watched the movie, thinking of the main characters as Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz.
94 reviews
July 24, 2018
Holiday regularly in Cephallonia and seen the film so thought I would give it a read.
Took a few pages to get into but so glad I persevered. Stupendous read.
Profile Image for Sharon Chase.
311 reviews2 followers
June 16, 2019
Overall a good read. Lots of interesting vocabulary, quirky characters. Annoying that a major plot element was totally not believable.
5 reviews
August 6, 2019
A tough book to get in to but really enjoyable once you do, but I admit to being disappointed in the ending
10 reviews
June 22, 2020
A generous round up from 4.5, only gripe would be the pacing in some parts but overall a wonderful time
Displaying 1 - 30 of 65 reviews

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