Book review: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres

So this was book six in my new Goodread’s challenge of 2017. Every book I have read so far I have reviewed here on my blog and I’ve decided I want to try and read 25 books before the end of 2017. Now this book was not quite what I thought it would be if I’m honest. It was like a more wordy version of ‘All the Light We Cannot see’, just in another country. I didn’t enjoy it as much I thought I would. Someone on Goodreads wrote that the first bit is fantastic and the second part sucks and they’re absolutely right. So I’m going to split this review into two halves. I admit I found the 200 page for Captain Corelli to arrive on the Island a bit of a long wait but that first half was so beautifully written and enchanting that you didn’t really mind the wait. You really feel like you’re there, in Cellapholonia amongst the Olive Trees and charming eccentric locals. I loved the rehearsals with La Scala, the power of music to contrast with War and the distinct characters. I also liked the exploration of different forms of love and I thought that was very powerfully explored.


However, as the book goes on, it begins to drag and I felt like I was jumping between about three very different history textbooks which were so detailed in guns and countries and chapters upon chapters about random Greek Gods. I also wish Louis De Bernieres had explained from the start who Carlos was and why he was narrating because I found it really confusing. I just feel like the book could have been condescended to something a little bit shorter and less wordy. I felt like it was trying to do too much by the end and it could have finished right when Corelli left the Island rather than drag it out.

Overall, as a story of what war does to people and how the human spirit endures, it is a great and powerful read, just maybe a little long and drawn out. But that’s just my opinion. 3/5 *

Has anyone read this? Or has anyone seen the film and is it any good? (I’ve heard it’s not!)



9 thoughts on “Book review: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres

  1. I’ve not read the book but if the reviews mostly say that the book isn’t an enjoyable read, chances are I won’t pick it up as well :/


  2. I haven’t read this but, you know me, I like a good war book/film. It sounds interesting but I hate when books drag out and take forever to start or get to the point! It’s really off-putting! I loved this honest review – and good luck with your goodreads reading challenge 🙂


  3. I can totally understand why you wouldn’t love this if it skips and drags a bit, that’s the main reason I don’t enjoy books from this genre x


  4. Ooh I don’t think I’d like this one! I’m not good at waiting for a plot to get moving, so maybe not for me. Great review.

    Lisa |


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