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Corelli's Mandolin
by Louis de Bernières

"An exuberant mixture of history and romance, written with a wit that is incandescent." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

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  • About the Book

    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 al the grand topics of literature--love and death, heroism and skullduggery, humor and pathos, not to mention art and religion. . . . A good old-fashioned novel." --Washington Post Book World

    "Stunning. . . . A high-spirited historical romance. . . . Remarkable." --The New York Times Book Review

    "A captivating read . . . a daring work. De Bernières writes with a sense of the fantastic [and] his writing takes on a terrible force. To embrace Corelli's Mandolin is to be enveloped." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

    About the Author

    Louis de Bernières is English, and was born in 1954. He spent four months in the British army, then moved to Colombia, where he worked both as a teacher and as a cowboy. Upon his return to England he took numerous jobs, with stints as a mechanic, a groundsman, a landscape gardener, and a teacher of truants. In the early 1990s, prior to Corelli's Mandolin, he published a trilogy of tragicomic novels set in Latin America.

    About the Film

    Universal Pictures, StudioCanal and Miramax Films present a Working Title production of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, directed by John Madden (Shakespeare In Love). Based on the classic novel by Louis de Bernières, the screenplay is adapted by Shawn Slovo, with Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kevin Loader and Mark Huffam producing. In theaters August 2001.

    Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage (The Family Man) and Penelope Cruz (All the Pretty Horses) star in Captain Corelli's Mandolin, an epic tale about the enduring hope of love and the devastating brutality of war, set amid the Italian occupation of Greece during World War II.

    The idyllic beauty of Greece's Mediterranean coast has been invaded by Italy, bringing legions of soldiers to the once tranquil island of Cephallonia. Captain Antonio Corelli (Cage), an officer with an irrepressibly jovial personality and passion for the mandolin, initially alienates a number of the villagers, including Pelagia (Cruz). The daughter of the village doctor, Pelagia is an educated and strong-willed woman, and while at first offended by the Italian soldier's behavior, she slowly warms to his certain charms as they are forced to share her father's home.

    When Pelagia's fiancee, a local fisherman, heads off to war, the friendship between Antonio and Pelagia grows even stronger. Her beauty and intelligence capture his heart, and his fondness for the village's vibrant community causes him to question his reasons for fighting. Antonio becomes a part of the lives of the villagers, but the moment is fleeting. As the war grows ever closer, Antonio and Pelagia are forced to choose between their allegiance to their countries and the love they feel for one another-a love which must overcome tremendous odds, and endure the inevitable sacrifice which accompanies eternal devotion.



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