Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a novel by British author Louis de Bernières originally published in 1994. A romance story set in World War II background, this book captures couple of themes besides love, such as music (as reflected by the tile), war, totalitarianism, heroism, and villainy. The story of Captain Antonio Corelli and Pelagia has inspired many adaptations in various media (radio, film, and theatre), but the most famous is probably Nicholas Cage’s movie with the same title as the novel. The novel has also won Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book in 1995 and in 2004 it was ranked at 19 on on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
Review from Amazon.com:
Captain Corelli's Mandolin is set in the early days of the second world war, before Benito Mussolini invaded Greece. Dr Iannis practices medicine on the island of Cephalonia, accompanied by his daughter, Pelagia, to whom he imparts much of his healing art. Even when the Italians do invade, life isn't so bad—at first anyway. The officer in command of the Italian garrison is the cultured Captain Antonio Corelli, who responds to a Nazi greeting of "Heil Hitler" with his own "Heil Puccini", and whose most precious possession is his mandolin . . . Love is complicated enough in wartime, even when the lovers are on the same side. And for Corelli and Pelagia, it becomes increasingly difficult to negotiate the minefield of allegiances, both personal and political, as all around them atrocities mount, former friends become enemies and the ugliness of war infects everyone it touches.
. . . de Bernières seems interested in dissecting the nature of history as he tells his ever-darkening tale from many different perspectives. Captain Corelli's Mandolin works on many levels, as a love story, a war story and a deconstruction of just what determines the facts that make it into the history books.
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