Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Sunday, May 9, 2021

"Captain Corelli's Mandolin" by Louis de Bernieres

I have this new thing. I pick a small handful of books (three or four) from my massive TBR pile to be my next reads. I put them on my end table in our reading room. Then I pick the one I'm least interested in to read first, and work my way through the small pile until I've read them all. Then I get to make a new pile. 

Captain Corelli's Mandolin was the book I was least interested in from my newest pile. I've known about this book for a long time (mainly due to the movie, which I've never seen) and had always meant to read it someday, and then I feel sure it was mentioned in glowing terms in Oh, Reader magazine (but of course now that I'm looking for it I can't find the reference). Meaning to read it and glowing reference aside, I knew it was set in wartime and you know I don't like reading about war. But I did it anyway. 

And throughout most of the book I was . . . SO BORED. Is it just me? Isn't this supposed to be an amazing book? I ended up forcing myself to meet a quota of 25 pages every evening so that I would eventually make it through. Some evenings I didn't read at all. And then, three quarters of the way through--ugh, all the horrors of war, culminating with that awful firing squad scene. And then the death of Father Arsenios! Why do people like this book? It's horrible. This was followed by more boredom, as the feeling of denouement continued for pages upon pages upon pages. And so many years of youth and beauty are wasted, which I found far more annoying than romantic. 

So what about the movie? I'm even less interested in watching it now. Though I must admit that most of my resistance stems from the fact that Nicholas Cage plays Antonio Corelli. I can't imagine that being a good thing.

1 comment:

Ti said...

I've not read it but I have wanted to read it since figuring out that that is what Hugh Grant's character is reading at the end of Notting Hill! My husband zoomed in on it and then we Googled it and this is the book he was reading to Anna Scott!