It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscientious soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilised, humorous - and a consummate musician. When the local doctor's daughter's letters to her fiancé go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable. But can this fragile love survive as the war gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?
©1994 Louis de Bernières (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I had tried a couple of times to read this book but gave up after the first dozen chapters as it didn't capture me. A friend encouraged me to preserve so I then downloaded this. The book is exquisite in its description of such harrowing history and the characterisation is extremely skilled. For me the narration is a triumph. The range of accents and ages of the characters are spot on but what makes it truly listenable is how pace and tone are conveyed in a way I would not get by reading it myself.
A beautiful story - both funny and sad in equal measure. I thought the narration was superb and added even more to the characters and storyline. Simply fantastic. A must listen!!!
The breadth of his characterization and the emotional involvement he brings to passages whether moving, amusing, historical or horrible is excellent and brings this great book to life.
No, I just tend to read a book once!
Can't pick just one as there were so many moments that made this a truly excellent book.
Yes, good narration
A love story, the second world war in a small greek community and all over many years made for both laughter and tears.
I can understand why this is in the top 50 reads of all time.
Romanticised Greek history
Like all successful historical novels the personal sagas suck you in and the catastophic back drop of modern Italian & Greek (Ionian) history fascinates, appalls & most importantly educates you (unless of course you already knew all about it !)
Pity about the ending which was so unrealistic & annoying that I abandoned the last two chapters.
The writing is exceptionally eloquent if not sometimes verbose. it is at times poetic and the effort put in by the narrator is exceptional in creating definition between characters. The story has all emotions and set against the backdrop of very real genocide in Kefelonia.
the richness of the characters and the descriptive writing
young Yannis learning to play Antonia.
no.. good work should be savioured
do not judge the book on the film, I enjoyed the movie but the book is tremendous.
The most enjoyable so far.
There were many. However, I learned some history about WW2 that I wasn't aware of.
I wouldn't have got through it without him.
I struggled many times to try and read this book and just couldn't get beyond the first two chapters. My husband had read it and praised it so much that I thought I'd give the audiobook a go to see if it helped. And it certainly did! Michael Maloney is a wonderful narrator - brings all of the characters to life and the book deserved all the praise my hubby gave it. I listened to it on holiday and couldn't wait to plug in the earphones again every day to get more of it. I was so disappointed to get to the end - I just wanted more of the beautiful story and of Michael Maloney's narration. I have since sought more audiobooks narrated by him and, although the stories haven't entranced me as much, his narration hasn't failed. I wish he'd do more LDB books!
This is a thoroughly enjoyable book. It as a little darker than I had expected but no worse for this. The only reason I gave this book 4 rather than 5 stars is that it felt, to me, to have a rather long epilogue with a sizable break from the principle stories in the final third. I was not as engaged as I had been but there was a sense that it was building towards something. Michael Maloney did a solid job but I did not feel he brought to life the secondary characters well enough - some slightly lazy voices. Would still recommend this without reservation.
Having seen the Hollywood version of Captain Corelli's Mandolin I was interested to see how well they had adapted it for the big screen. I have tried to read this book a few times but found it quite difficult to get into, however I have to say that the story is wonderful! and much, much better than the Hollywood version (no surprize there!). I wasn't entirely sure about Michael Maloney's reading of it at first, he reads quite quickly in parts but once I got used to it I found it a gripping listen. The story pulls no punches and all the futile and heartbreaking points of war are retold alongside a love story. If you thought you knew this story from the film then I urge you to try this, you will not be disappointed!
I was so skeptical about this book and only downloaded it as I'm going to Greece this year.
But it is an extraordinary book that stays with you long, long after you've read it.
The wonderful love story interwoven with the horrors of Kefalonia's war is just marvellous.
I loved it.
Stick with the first chapters, you'll be glad you did later.
Lovely, unobtrusive yet perfect narration.
I've read a few of de Bernieres earlier books and really enjoyed them, particularly the dreamily evocative language he uses to draw life into new (and often fictional) regions, with powerfully crafted characters and a real sense of authority. Here, LDB proves his mastery again, in a tale full of rich and vibrant people and places, mixed with the harsh conditions and dreadful atrocities of wartime Greece.
A sign of a compelling experience is when you feel your emotions rising in various scenes, which I especially found with Weber, Carlo and Mandras (on more than one occasion). When you unwittingly buy into a story to the extent that you're actively urging someone to do something, you know you've found a winning story.
The only reason I fell short of the maximum 5 stars was that I was not really convinced by the events of the latter stages, which I found a little weak in light of everything the characters had been through. Doubtlessly, others may not feel the same. I have not seen the film to know if it followed the same path.
Even so, I did really enjoy the whole book. I think LDB is a very under-rated author and I hope we get to take on more of his work.
Michael Maloney read this book beautifully. His performance made me laugh out loud or feel sad in all the right places. I can't imagine anyone else to read this book better!
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