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Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Author(s): Louis de Bernieres

Location(s): Kefalonia (Cephalonia)

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): Late 1930s/Early 1940s

Location

Content

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is set in the early days of the second world war, before Benito Mussolini invaded Greece. Dr Iannis practices medicine on the island of Cephalonia, accompanied by his daughter, Pelagia, to whom he imparts much of his healing art. Even when the Italians do invade, life isn’t so bad–at first anyway. The officer in command of the Italian garrison is the cultured Captain Antonio Corelli, who responds to a Nazi greeting of “Heil Hitler” with his own “Heil Puccini”, and whose most precious possession is his mandolin. It isn’t long before Corelli and Pelagia are involved in a heated affair–despite her engagement to a young fisherman, Mandras, who has gone off to join Greek partisans. Love is complicated enough in wartime, even when the lovers are on the same side. And for Corelli and Pelagia, it becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate the minefield of allegiances, both personal and political, as all around them atrocities mount, former friends become enemies and the ugliness of war infects everyone it touches.

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Lead Review

“Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is an emotional, funny, stunning novel which swings with wide smoothness between joy and bleakness, personal lives and history…it’s lyrical and angry, satirical and earnest. “Observer” Winner of the Commonwealth Writers...

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