Customer Reviews for

I Capture the Castle

Average Rating 4.5
( 104 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(66)

4 Star

(25)

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(8)

2 Star

(2)

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(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

One of my new favorites

I can't believe I never came across this book until now. It was unbelieveably good. I'm sure all Jane Austen fans will approve, since it reminds me of Pride and Prejudice, with a twist. Cassandra and her family were truly original, livng in their old, run-down castle. P...
I can't believe I never came across this book until now. It was unbelieveably good. I'm sure all Jane Austen fans will approve, since it reminds me of Pride and Prejudice, with a twist. Cassandra and her family were truly original, livng in their old, run-down castle. Plus her narration, written as a series of journal entries, was smart, funny and sometimes tragic. A perfect account of a young girl's first experience with love.

posted by 142823 on March 15, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Good but could be better

I think this book was worthy of some praise but not necissarily the best. The characters are pretty good but I think it would be better if it was not written in diary format. But I do have to admit that it did get incredibly boring and only lovers of reading can see th...
I think this book was worthy of some praise but not necissarily the best. The characters are pretty good but I think it would be better if it was not written in diary format. But I do have to admit that it did get incredibly boring and only lovers of reading can see the point in this story. I enjoyed reading it but I couldn't read it more that once.

posted by Anonymous on October 15, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2009

    One of my new favorites

    I can't believe I never came across this book until now. It was unbelieveably good. I'm sure all Jane Austen fans will approve, since it reminds me of Pride and Prejudice, with a twist. Cassandra and her family were truly original, livng in their old, run-down castle. Plus her narration, written as a series of journal entries, was smart, funny and sometimes tragic. A perfect account of a young girl's first experience with love.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith is an interesting book with multiple layers that can be appreciated by readers aged 13 and up. The book takes place in the 1930s, and it tells the story of a family living in a crumbling castle in England. The dad is a well-known author who hasn't written since his first book was released to critical acclaim in both England and the U.S. The narrator is Cassandra, the 17-year-old daughter. Rose, 21, Thomas, 15 and stepmother Topaz, completes the family. With no income coming in, the family has gradually sold off all its furniture and other valuables until they are on the brink of crisis. When two young men from America inherit the castle next door, it's no surprise that the family sees the men as their salvation in more ways than one. The characters are all very complex, and as Cassandra writes in her journal, the reader watches them grow in many different ways. We see Cassandra grow from childhood to adulthood and take on more responsibilities. Some of the many things that can be discussed in a book club after reading this book: the changing role of women in society, love and marriage, the role of religion in our lives, money, children and their parents I served tea sandwiches and scones for dinner to my mother-daughter book club, and everyone seemed to think it was a fun tie-in to the book. We talked about our favorite scenes in the book, and all twelve of us had a different one. I think that's amazing depth for one book. As we talked about what we liked about the characters, I also felt like I learned a lot more about each one. The only criticism is that the book was a little wordy, and some people had a hard time getting into it. It also uses fairly sophisticated, complex language. With that in mind, I still highly recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2005

    A Delightful, Witty Novel

    Every time I picked up this novel, I was wrapped up in the eccentric and entertaining world of Cassandra Mortmain's family, and it was difficult to leave it. Cassandra is a clever and witty teenage girl with realistic problems which I could certainly relate to and believe. I felt like Cassandra was my best friend, and I was reading a long, beautifully written note from her. Her family members give the novel a unique flavor. Mr. Mortmain is especially fascinating to read about. At first glance, this novel is a simple coming-of-age tale about first love. Yet after looking a little deeper, it is really about writing, a topic which I found extremely fun to explore. I recommend this novel to writers, teenagers, and anyone who just wants a fun, special read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2004

    Superb

    I first read this book as a bored undergraduate (my college hall library had a copy which I started reading in the absence of anything more suitable)in the late 1960s, and have always remembered it as one of the books that made a significant impression on me. So much so that I recently bought my own copy to read and re-read (which I have!). The fact that a book about the hopes and fears of an adolescent girl in the late 1940s can fascinate a bored male student normally more interested in beer, ciggies and girls in kinky boots should give you some idea of the gripping power of this tour-de-force of imagination and fine detail.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2002

    Good but could be better

    I think this book was worthy of some praise but not necissarily the best. The characters are pretty good but I think it would be better if it was not written in diary format. But I do have to admit that it did get incredibly boring and only lovers of reading can see the point in this story. I enjoyed reading it but I couldn't read it more that once.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 8, 2012

    Brilliant. Funny. Warm-hearted. I read this in my thirties when

    Brilliant. Funny. Warm-hearted. I read this in my thirties when it was first rereleased about twelve years ago. I couldn't believe every librarian I'd known throughout my life hadn't tried to get me to read it alongside The Catcher In The Rye. It's that good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    Warm, wise and witty, a lovely (and quite funny) story of young

    Warm, wise and witty, a lovely (and quite funny) story of young love in a crumbling English castle. The voice is delightful and although I was, as I began reading, a bit concerned about the diary-entry structure, I needn't have been. Suits perfectly. And it made me want to drink lots of tea, which is always a bonus. Enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2012

    If you liked 'Anne of Green Gables', you'll love 'I Captured the

    If you liked 'Anne of Green Gables', you'll love 'I Captured the Castle'!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Cute, old-fashioned romance

    I Capture the Castle has been sitting on my to-read pile for years…ever since my aunt gave me a copy and told me I’d love it. She was right! It is a sweet (and a little silly) coming-of-age story about a girl, Cassandra, who lives in poverty in a dilapidated castle with her eccentric family. She wants to live in a 50/50 mix of a Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte novel, so you can guess how the story progresses when a rich family moves in nearby! I’m happy that I took time to read this gem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2011

    Captured my heart

    I bought an old copy of this book at an Estate sale in my town. This book just made me smile the whole time I was reading. I wanted to live in the castle and you can't help but love all the quirkiness of this family. The characters in this book are unforgetable and I am surprised that you don't hear more about this book. I highly recommend this book for a large age range. young adults and up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    This period piece was lovely and refreshing and took me away the entire time I was reading it! My book group was divided because they thought women wouldn't act like this now...and I pointed out that this book was not written "Now". Women's roles have changed over the past 70 years and it's easy to take for granted that we've always been this way.
    If you would enjoy escaping the everyday in the here and now, this is a wonderful way to do it! Charming!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2011

    Never fails to capture me...

    I first read this book 13 years ago. I was 17. At the time I really connected with Cassandra and I could imagine being there and being her friend. Now, after having read the book many times over the years, I have a connection to each character for different reasons. The way Smith writes these characters- I feel like I really know them. They make me smile, laugh, and cry. I love Cassandra's honesty and the way she loves her family and friends. I don't have anything bad to say about I Capture the Castle. I will probably read it a dozen more times. I just wish it was available for Nook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2011

    Just as good as the movie... if not better!

    The movie inspired me to pick up the book, and I couldn't be happier that I did. I absolutely loved this book! After what seemed like ages of picking it up and putting it down (due to required reading for school); I finally did it! Cassandra is the perfect narrator... she's funny, intelligent, and very insightful. I love how she tells things as they are, and provides a very mature perspective for her age. All of the characters seem remind me of myself and people I know, and their eccentricities make them real to the reader. A truly wonderful read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    Good narrator, iffy plot

    I enjoyed Cassandra's voice as narrator, but the book totally lost steam and focus in the second half, and the plot seemed really contrived, even as our narrator kept trying to convice us and herself it was real. Many of the relationships felt very forced, and it seemed as though Cassandra herself should not have felt as she did and that no one really came across as true to himself/herself, or that any of the characters really knew themselves, I suppose.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Delightful

    I made the mistake of watching the movie first - I`d never even heard of the book before, which is shameful. I did not like the movie at all, actually I couldn`t even finish it - despite the excellent cast, it did not pull together. But the book is a completely different matter. It all lies in the narrator`s voice, which is fresh, delighful, witty and funny. It really is a coming of age novel. Some have compared it to Pride and Prejudice - well, I didn`t see that. For one, this book is not romantic at all - despite the love stories and that`s why it hits you as real, I guess.
    In any case, read it and see for yourself. I enjoyed it, I think it well written and sometimes extremely funny!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    A Wonderful Find

    I happened upon this book recently and am so glad I did. It is such a sweet, enchanting little story with a lovable narrator. It is a great read without being dark or depressing, as so many good adult books can be. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Love.

    I was given this book by a friend last year. Since then, I have bought it for 5 other people! The characters are rich and witty. There is something very special about this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Review of I Capture the Castle

    What a fantastic book.

    I cannot believe I've never heard of this book until recently. It has every element of what I love in a book. The quirky, humorous writing, the interesting characters, the fantastic descriptions and best of all.. the promise of an ending that can be unique and personal to every reader.

    It was NOT a book I could just breeze through. I chewed and worked my way through this book at a pace much slower than other novels I'm able to read that are about the same length.

    Fantastic book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2009

    Wished it had a better ending...

    I rellay wanted to love this book, and I did enjoy it but I didn't like the ending. I prefer a definative ending. This one dissappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2009

    Very Cute coming of age book

    I loved reading this book. It took a few chapters to get into it, but then you were hooked! The characters were developed in such a way you thought they were getting to know your good friends. I highly recommend reading this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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