By Louis de Bernieres
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780679763970, 448pp.
Publication Date: August 29, 1995
List Price: $15.95*
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Extravagant, inventive, emotionally sweeping, Corelli's Mandolin is the story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history. The place is the Greek island of Cephallonia, where gods once dabbled in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically rises from his sarcophagus to cure the mad. Then the tide of World War II rolls onto the island's shores in the form of the conquering Italian army.
Caught in the occupation are Pelagia, a willful, beautiful young woman, and the two suitors vying for her love: Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, a reluctant officer of the Italian garrison on the island. Rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly with the fantastic, Corelli's Mandolin is a passionate novel as rich in ideas as it is genuinely moving.
"Brims with all the grand topics of literature--love and death, heroism and skull-duggery, humor and pathos, not to mention art and religion. . . . A good old-fashioned novel." --Washington Post Book World
"An exuberant mixture of history and romance, written with a wit that is incandescent"--Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Stunning. . . . A high-spirited historical romance. . . . Remarkable." --The New York Times Book Review