Literature: Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Captain Corelli's Mandolin is a novel by Louis de Bernières, set on the Greek island of Cephalonia. The occupation of the island by Italian troops during World War II forms a major part of the plot; the title character, Antonio Corelli, is an officer in the occupying forces.

Adapted into a 2001 film starring Nicolas Cage.


This novel provides examples of:

  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Bury Your Gays: Both subverted and played straight.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Francesco dies in Carlo's arms.
  • Happily Adopted: Antonia
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Carlo.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Well, not kills, exactly, but the entire bittersweet ending could have been avoided with the right questions.
  • Sabotutor/Trolling Translator: Corelli wants to get on with the people whose village his men are occupying, so he asks an Italian-speaking local to teach him how to greet the villagers in their own language. The "greeting" he gets taught is thoroughly impolite, and causes him to become even less popular.
  • The Women Are Safe with Us: Corelli does not take kindly to Italian soldiers abusing the Greek girls.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Bunny Warren arrives in Cephalonia speaking only Ancient Greek, which is rendered in the novel as (unusually scrupulous) Chaucerian Middle English. As the novel proceeds, Bunny's speech becomes gradually more modern.

The movie adaptation provides examples of: