Monday, January 9, 2012

Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres

I loved the prose style of this historical novel. It's witty and kind of hard to describe, but very distinctive. If you read it, you'll see. I guess it sort of reads like a folktale or a epic quest or something. And the way the book is formatted- and the font is very good. It has "love and death, heroism and skullduggery, humor and pathos, and art and religion... a good old-fashioned novel." (Washington Post.) Corelli's Mandolin tells of the Greek island of Cephallonia during World War II. In the midst of the occupation are Pelagia, a beautiful young woman, and two suitors: Mandras, a fisherman of the island, and the charming, funny, clever mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, an officer of the Italian garrison. This was a very exciting book, and I really raced through it, wanting to get the end and find what ultimately happened. But it was deeply sad. So many characters that you grow to love throughout the book die during the various occupations of the war, and also many animals that are characterized and then killed. The ending was also kind of unsatisfying; I felt so frustrated with it. But I did like the characters. They felt so real. 4 stars.

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