Corelli's Mandolin

Version: Abridged
Author: Louis De Bernieres
Narrator: Stephen Lang
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: January 2001
# of Units: 3 CDs
Length: 3 hours
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The time -- fifty years ago. The setting -- the Greek Island of Cephallonia -- an idyllic world that is only slowly entering the twentieth century when the inexorable and transforming tide of World War II rolls onto its shores.

Louis de Bernieres's stunning novel chronicles the lives of the people of Cephallonia as they contend with the Axis invasion and occupation, and the unexpected acts of God and man that shape their lives during the five decades that follow. It chronicles the days and nights of the island's inhabitants -- the widowed doctor, his brainy daughter and her innocent (or deadly) fisherman fiance, the wine-besotted priest, the gentle strongman giant, the ancient political debaters down at the tavern, and the uninvited newcomers: in particular, the reluctant head of the Italian garrison -- the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli -- and his aide-de-camp, who harbors a well of secrets and shame.

Corelli's Mandolin is a tale of human tenderness in an age of barbarism.

Reviews (5)

Corelli's Mandolin

Written by Gibert from Aiken, SC on December 23rd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Wonderful story, but the abridgment took too much out. The story is noticeably choppy.

Corelli's Mandoline

Written by Anonymous from Port Washington, NY on July 29th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

A wonderful story beautifully told, and the narrator does of good job of distinquishing characters with different voices. But VERY unfortunately only available in the abridged version. You can tell that chunks of the narrative, as well as historical anecdotes and character descriptions are missing, so the overall impression is one of rushing through a book skipping pages. Novels should only be offered in abridged formats if the unabridged format is also available. This is a very frustrating part of belonging to audio book clubs.

Did not keep my attention, hard to follow

Written by Leslie Green on May 4th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I was not able to finish this audiobook. It could be that the book used too much descriptive or literary language to hold my attention in the car. It was also partly because the book skips from one person's story to another. I had difficulty keeping track of the characters' names and stories and sometimes didn't know when one character's story ended an another began. The part of the book that I heard only has one, minor female character. She only seemed to be in the story to support the story lines of her father and fiance. As a woman, the male-centered story made it difficult for me to get "hooked." But, I think that listeners looking for something which takes a little more concentration, who enjoy seeing different storylines intertwine, and who like male-centered books could definitely give this one a try.

Corelli's Mandolin

Written by James Dowd on January 21st, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Easy listening, beautiful writing, good story line. All in all a very pleasant time.

Lyrical and touching

Written by Ken Crosson from Marietta, GA on January 26th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Corelli's Mandolin features beautiful -- almost baroque -- and evocative writing, depicting the life of the residents of a small Greek island during World War II, and the dual depravities of Nazi occupation and Communist insurgency. WWII has provided the scenery for many novels, and while Corelli's Mandolin may not break any new ground, it is a competently crafted, floridly written tale that entertains, even if it does not illuminate.

Author Details

Author Details

De Bernieres, Louis

"Louis de BerniŠres was born in London in 1954. After leaving school at 18 he went to Sandhurst (the British army officer training college) but left after 4 months. He graduated from the Victoria University of Manchester and took a postgraduate certificate in education at Leicester Polytechnic, followed by a MA (Master of Arts) at the University of London.

He now writes full-time but before this he held a variety of jobs including landscape gardener, motorcycle messenger and car mechanic. For a time he taught English in Colombia which provided the inspiration for his first three novels: The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (1990), Se¤or Vivo and the Coca Lord (1991) and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman (1992). All three novels are written in a style heavily influenced by South American literature.

In 1993, Granta magazine (a quarterly literary magazine published in London and New York) named him one of the 20 Best Young British Novelists. Captain Corelli's Mandolin was published in 1994 and won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for best book and was shortlisted for the Sunday Express Book of the Year. It became a worldwide bestseller and has been translated into at least 11 languages. A movie adaptation of the novel was released in 2001 (although de BerniŠres was not happy with the adaptation). It has also been adapted for the stage. In 2001, he published Red Dog - a collection of stories inspired by a statue of a dog that he saw at an Australian writer's festival a few years earlier.

In addition to his novels, de BerniŠres wrote the introduction to The Book of Job, one in a series of books reprinted from the Bible and published as separate stories in 1998, and a play performed on BBC Radio 4 in 1999 called Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World. He also regularly contributes short stories to various magazines and newspapers. Birds Without Wings was published to great critical acclaim in 2004. He lives in London."