My great uncle was an Italian soldier in Greece during WWII. The only words he said about it was that after the armistice he made it home, somehow.
This humorous and sentimental novel takes the reader to Cephalonia initially occupied by the Italian troops during WWII that were left to their fate and succumbed to the Nazi after the Armistice, then prey of the Greek revolution.
The contents and the manner of narrating events, in an extremely refined and polished English, with a style that is poetic, epic and humorous, make it a pearl in contemporary literature.
I read it around 13 years ago while I was pregnant and it made me cry and laugh. It's written in a very skillful way.The author reminds me of the Italian writer Umberto Eco.
I liked the most of the book, it made me think about my grandfather that spent 6 years in Greece for the mad ambitions of a dictator. Unfortunately the ending is not worthy of the rest of the story...
"At their head perspired Captain Antonio Corelli of the33rd Regiment of Artillery, and slung across his back was a case containing the mandolin that he had named Antonia because it was the other half of himself"
"He was like one of those saprophytic orchids that can create harmony and wonder even as it grows and blossoms on a pile of shit, in a place of skulls and bones. He let his rifle rust, and even lost it once or twice, but he won battles armed with nothing but a mandolin."
"Why do Italians wear moustaches? To be reminded of their mothers"
"There would be no tyranny, Captain, and no wars if minions did not ignore their conscience"...Continua
I studied this for English Literature A2 and the first time I read it I couldn't stand it. However, I really enjoyed analysing it and I found it a lot more interesting the second, third and forth times round. It has a lot of hidden messages and Louis De Berniers is quite a skilled writer when it comes to that....Continua