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Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres


Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

This is the poignant, tragic, and at times humorous tale of an Italian officer stationed on the Greek island of Cephallonia during WWII, and his love for Pelagia, a local woman. It chronicles the tragic events surrounding their love as well as the devastating effects of the war on the island as a whole.

Have you read the extra chapter that was published in the Sunday Times? Why do you think the author chose to write it four years after the publication of the book? Do you think the addition of this chapter would strengthen the ending?

See the Extra Chapter here.

I read the extra chapter found on the Corelli feature page, and was slightly disappointed in it. I loved the book, but felt the end could have been improved, this chapter, however does not address anything that I felt needed improvement on. Although the Gunter character was very important in the story, I think he would have been better off left as he was in the original book. I do wonder why Louis de Berniere chose to write this.

Post your thoughts below.

Submitted by Sharon, posted on Saturday February 24, @12:43PM

Probably not necessary

I followed your link and read the extra chapter of Corelli's, sad to say it was good but probably not necessary, I personally would have expected more from a epilogue, you know, to tie up the characters properly. However I guess it was probably hard for de Bernieres to write into the story again, taking into account the fact the Corelli has already been out in print for quite some time, it must have be hard not to be tempted to change the story after such a long time! what do you think?

by Jennifer on Saturday February 24, @12:48PM

Re: Feature: Corelli's Mandolin

We felt cheated by the ending, not because of the way the story ended, but because of the writing. It was as if the author lost his muse, his love of the language, and his passion for the characters. We had even wondered whether the last chapters were written by someone else.

We both read the additional chapter for the book. Bill doesn't think it helps the ending because the writing still lacks the "magic" found in the first half of the book.

I think it helps somewhat. While I agree with Bill, the author at least takes us back to a time in the book when we cared most about the characters.

by Terry on Saturday February 24, @12:50PM

Re: Feature: Corelli's Mandolin

I also loved Captain Corelli's Mandolin, but i agree that it seems like the author just didn't put as much into the end as he did the rest of it. I had a hard time evaluating the extra chapter, mostly because it has been a while since I read the book, it felt like i was already out of touch with the story.

by Pam on Saturday February 24, @12:52PM

Re: Feature: Corelli's Mandolin

Looking forward to reading the extra chapter has ended in dissapointment. It is an addition that is wholly unnecessary to the narrative of the novel. Weber's mysterious dissapearance was more effective and the reappearance of Dr Iannis totally destoys the most beautiful and moving chapter in the book;"Plagia's Lament".

by Saskia on Saturday February 24, @12:54PM

Re: Feature: Corelli's Mandolin

I have had the great pleasure of reading this text for my English A level. I agree wholly that the apperance of Dr Iannis in the extra chapter spoils 'Pelagia's Lament', a beautifully written chapter full of vivid emotions. In my opinion Gunter Weber's confession fell on dead ears, it added no more depth to his character, his redemption was unfeeling and lacked the innocence he carried through the novel. I much prefer the original ending despite many peoples criticisms of it. Is our society so bitter that they can reject a happy ending? I may not have experienced much life yet and you may percieve me to be naive, however i feel many people cannot see the true beauty and anticipation of the ending. I agree that de Berniers rushed the ending and perhaps should not of had 50 years within some 80 pages, however had he lengthed it anymore I doubt I would have apperciated the pair meeting up again. My advice would be to read the novel again as i have several times and i can promise you will find text you never knew was there.

by Meera on Wednesday October 09, @07:34AM

Re: Feature: Corelli's Mandolin

I read the 2nd ending and I felt that I knew what would be written in the following paragraphs. It seems that de Bernières added a fourth level in his book only to make the third one more apparent. The levels are history-love-Greece/West-war/ideology. Did you notice that he refers to the Hellenic (not greek, Hellenic with a capital) frame of mind? The fact is that this frame was a present from the ancient Greeks to the world but it was not enough. Modern Greeks needed to make this present again and when you make a present it does no longer belong to you as Mandras thought.

by Georgios on Saturday February 24, @12:58PM

Re: Feature: Corelli's Mandolin

i felt that the ending in captain corelli's mandolin was a purely classical ending. the way the motorbike touched pelagias privates denotes the sexual activity between her and corelli. marvellous. it touch my heart as well as everything else. anyone who did not see these implications is severly demented and i suggest you re-read the masterpiece once more to get in touch with your sexual nature.

p.s where was the first ending i think i missed it!

by bantho and preetho on Monday January 20, @04:53AM

Re: Feature: Corelli's Mandolin

I thought something like the first 3/4 of the book were really breathtaking, very well written, lots of passion and evident love for the greek culture and ppl, passion for a lost world and civilisation. The last fourth was a bit too much, like cramming some 50 years into 80 pages.

Maybe the allegory demanded all that, but Im still sure it couldn have been done otherwise, without such a hollow feel to it.

by Kedem on Saturday February 24, @01:00PM

Re: Feature: Corelli's Mandolin

two friends who tried to read this book thought it was awful and didn't finish it. i managed to get through to the end and thought it was much better than the start. the start seemed to be wilfully obscure in the vocabulary corelli uses and in the constant switching of narrators. when it settles to the story of correlli and the doctor's daughter it was much improved. thought the ending was much the best bit. it was lovely. currently reading Cold Mountain which is similarly engaging.

by Grainne on Saturday February 24, @01:02PM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin

So many of my friends raved about this book that I was eager to read it.
Yes, it was enjoyable & the history lesson was terrific & I came to like many of the characters, but ultimately, it was just good. Nothing more. Which is sad, because it could have been great.
I thought it was terribly overwritten in parts - if ever there was a almost-great book in need of a good editor, this was it.
And one huge plot failure: would Corelli really run screaming in the other direction after one glance of his beloved Pelagia with a child in tow? You mean he could resist taking her in his arms & at least asking her whose kid it was before he regarded her as despoiled? As well, that on that small island, someone wouldn't notice this guy returning year after year and tell Pelagia? Or that Corelli wouldn't ask someone, "Hey, whose baby is that with Pelagia? Was she unfaithful to me?"
It made no sense in terms of who he was, and turned the book into a travelogue after that point. Too bad.

by Elaine on Monday October 01, @05:25PM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin

The extra chapter was not a second ending to the book - How can it
be if Dr Iannis clearly dies in the earthquake! This must surely be a chapter to
slot in after Corelli escapes to Italy.

by Monica on Friday May 09, @07:15PM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin

I'm afraid I can't add much in the way of insightful criticism, but I really do think this novel is excellent. The description of Mussolini in Chapter 2 and Francesco's death in Chapter 19 are some of the best pieces of writing I have had the pleasure of reading (sharp black humour and shocking imagery). On the other hand many passages are overly descriptive and lacking in realism, while the ending is really disappointing (sudden loss of plot, little characterisation, and a senseless timeframe). I don't believe it could ever be described as a 'modern classic', but it's an admirable piece of popular fiction.

by Donald on Sunday October 03, @01:56PM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

I'm just about to start studying this book but I need to be able to read it - I'm a bit late in starting the course and I haven't yet been able to buy the book. Does anyone have a website where I can read the first few chapters for free? It's extremely important and I'd appreciate it very much because I have an essay due in this coming friday already. Thankyou,


by Hannah on Sunday October 10, @04:39AM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

by sharon on Friday November 19, @02:30AM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

What a fantastic book, i really loved reading it, it was gripping and a joy to read. i would recommend to anyone.

by Rebecca Anderson on Sunday September 11, @12:27PM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

We found the chapter thoroughly disappointing. Not only does it fail to conjure the emotions that the novel did it is also weak from a literary perspective. De Bernieres for some reason felt that he had to explicitly draw upon the ideas that are undefined throughout the novel, reverting to the technique of using cruel situations in order to captivate the reader and distract from the poor quality of writing.
Shame on you…gnome look alike.

by Johnny and Charlotte on Thursday June 01, @04:40AM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

Whilst on holiday in Kefalonia, i stumbled across this book on the book swap table in our complex. i had been on a tour of the island with a very experienced rep who parted with some great stories of the island. the book completely took over my holiday. i visited all the areas listed in the book and simply loved the read. as soon as i came home i bought it. it made my holiday.

by A Robinson on Tuesday August 15, @05:46AM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

I haven't read any extra chapter; I already felt there were a few too many of those. It was at least 150 pages too long.

There were some quite beautifully written parts, but at times it lapsed into slapstick, and the author attempted to tell the story from too many viewpoints. Honestly, definitely no need for a chapter told from the perspective of Mussolini.

by Neil on Wednesday August 16, @06:23AM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

i dont get the ending can some1 explain please???

thank you =)

by emma on Saturday September 13, @04:39AM

Re: Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres

I believe that the book was perfect without the extra chapter. Too much additional information has been put into this extra chapter, and seeing as Dr. Iannis had died before the end, this chapter just adds more to the story that wasn't needed. However, I have really enjoyed reading this book in my literature A Level class, and it will always be one of my favourite books to read, i'll just make sure i forget about the extra chapter!!

by Lucy on Friday January 20, @06:27AM

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