I Capture the Castle : Movie Tie-In Edition

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<p><b>One of the 20th Century's most beloved novels is still winning hearts! </b><br /><i></i><br /><i>I Capture the Castle</i> tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has &quot;captured the castle&quot;-- and the heart of the reader-- in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.</p> <p>&quot;This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met.&quot; -- <i>J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series</i></p>

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One of the 20th Century's most beloved novels is still winning hearts!

I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of the reader-- in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

"This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met." -- J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series

One of the 20th Century's most beloved novels is still winning hearts!

I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of the reader-- in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

“This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met.” -- J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series

Specifications

Publisher
St. Martin's Publishing Group
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
352
Author
Dodie Smith
ISBN-13
9780312316167
Publication Date
April, 2003
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.30 x 5.64 x 0.94 Inches
ISBN-10
031231616X

Customer Reviews

5 stars
64
4 stars
46
3 stars
21
2 stars
6
1 star
2

Top mentions

Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
Im a person who finds...
I'm a person who finds classics a bit intimidating because sometimes I find the language a bit rough to get through. So, I was a little apprehensive when I first picked up I Capture the Castle. Still, I figured a good introduction to the classics genre (I've only read a few) would be a classic young adult novel and I was right. I Capture the Castle is one of the most beautiful books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I noticed that in other reviews, people stated that I Capture the Castle was really slow to get into at first. I didn't find it that way at all. From page one I was enchanted with Cassandra and her life at the castle. Cassandra is just so sweet and funny that you can't help but love her. Due to her flaws, she's also extremely real. I got annoyed at her when I read who she was in love with and at some of the things she did and then I remembered that most teenagers act illogical sometimes when they are in love. Cassandra wasn't really a heroine that was glorified. Because I Capture the Castle is written in the form of Cassandra's journal entries, we see her at her absolutely best, yet we also see her at her absolute worst. Cassandra wasn't the only charming character in I Capture the Castle. I found myself falling in love with not only Simon, but with Neil, and especially Stephen (poor, poor Stephen. I just wanted to hug him throughout the whole novel). I also absolutely loved Topaz and the way she was prone to dramatizing certain situations that she felt needed a bit of "drama" to be romantic. As for Rose, it was heartbreaking what she was willing to do in order to save, not only herself but her family, from poverty. I found my feelings varying from dislike to pity for her. The thing that I loved most about I Capture the Castle was the progression between how Cassandra was at the beginning of the novel up until the end. You truly see Cassandra grow up and become more of an adult. However, the feelings you get in regards to that are mixed because while you know she could use some growing up, you really don't want her to change from the enchanting person you met when you first started the novel. But I guess it really was necessary. I definitely recommend I Capture the Castle to everyone. It was an amazing classic novel that is still surprisingly relevant today despite that it was written so long ago. You can still relate to Cassandra and her problems and feel for her. You are charmed by her through every step of the way as she captures the castle and our hearts. Tremendous novel that I no doubt will read again and again.
Most helpful negative review
1 customers found this helpful
Very romantic idealism...
Very romantic idealism of poverty. Women are just waiting for the men in their lives to make decisions for them. They have no control over their own destinies. Yuck on all levels.
Most helpful positive review
3 customers found this helpful
Im a person who finds...
I'm a person who finds classics a bit intimidating because sometimes I find the language a bit rough to get through. So, I was a little apprehensive when I first picked up I Capture the Castle. Still, I figured a good introduction to the classics genre (I've only read a few) would be a classic young adult novel and I was right. I Capture the Castle is one of the most beautiful books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I noticed that in other reviews, people stated that I Capture the Castle was really slow to get into at first. I didn't find it that way at all. From page one I was enchanted with Cassandra and her life at the castle. Cassandra is just so sweet and funny that you can't help but love her. Due to her flaws, she's also extremely real. I got annoyed at her when I read who she was in love with and at some of the things she did and then I remembered that most teenagers act illogical sometimes when they are in love. Cassandra wasn't really a heroine that was glorified. Because I Capture the Castle is written in the form of Cassandra's journal entries, we see her at her absolutely best, yet we also see her at her absolute worst. Cassandra wasn't the only charming character in I Capture the Castle. I found myself falling in love with not only Simon, but with Neil, and especially Stephen (poor, poor Stephen. I just wanted to hug him throughout the whole novel). I also absolutely loved Topaz and the way she was prone to dramatizing certain situations that she felt needed a bit of "drama" to be romantic. As for Rose, it was heartbreaking what she was willing to do in order to save, not only herself but her family, from poverty. I found my feelings varying from dislike to pity for her. The thing that I loved most about I Capture the Castle was the progression between how Cassandra was at the beginning of the novel up until the end. You truly see Cassandra grow up and become more of an adult. However, the feelings you get in regards to that are mixed because while you know she could use some growing up, you really don't want her to change from the enchanting person you met when you first started the novel. But I guess it really was necessary. I definitely recommend I Capture the Castle to everyone. It was an amazing classic novel that is still surprisingly relevant today despite that it was written so long ago. You can still relate to Cassandra and her problems and feel for her. You are charmed by her through every step of the way as she captures the castle and our hearts. Tremendous novel that I no doubt will read again and again.
Most helpful negative review
1 customers found this helpful
Very romantic idealism...
Very romantic idealism of poverty. Women are just waiting for the men in their lives to make decisions for them. They have no control over their own destinies. Yuck on all levels.
1-5 of 139 reviews

The Mortmain family li...

The Mortmain family lives in a rundown castle in the English countryside in the 1930s. The book is presented as the 17-year-old Cassandra's journal and in this way we see the world through her eyes. There's her father, a famous author who has become temperamental and withdrawn and no longer writes a thing. Topaz, her stepmother, a free spirit convinced that her purpose in life is to inspire great works in others. Rose, Cassandra's older sister, is a beauty whose goal in life is to marry a rich man and escape poverty. Thomas, her brother, is a clever boy who never steps into the story's spotlight. Finally there is Stephen, the son of their deceased maid, who lives with them and helps take care of the grounds. He's a kind, humble boy and is devoted to Cassandra. He spends his extra time and money trying to make her life better in every way that he can. Despite their financial ruin, Cassandra and her family are rather content. They make do with what they have, though it's not a lot. Their lives are turned upside down when two wealthy American brothers, Simon and Neil Cotton, move into the mansion up the road. The two very different families find their fates unavoidable intertwined. Like many literary second daughters before her (Jo March, Elizabeth Bennet) Cassandra makes a wonderful central character. She's someone who you just want to be friends with. She's a bit naïve for her age, but that's because she's grown up with almost no social interaction outside of her family. Throughout the book we watch her mature and begin to understand not only the world around her, but also herself. This is one of those books that I just knew I was going to love. I've been saving it to read when I was in just the right mood. People had recommended it to me for years, comparing it to some of my favorites like, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Near the beginning of the book Cassandra and her sister share this exchange... "How I wish I lived in a Jane Austen novel!" "I said I'd rather be in a Charlotte Bronte." "Which would be nicest - Jane with a touch of Charlotte, or Charlotte with a touch of Jane?" Please tell me how I could have resisted a book with a passage like that. In the end it was all that I hoped it would be. The characters are rich, but deeply flawed. The plot is much more complicated than a simple happily ever after. The writing was wonderful and completely engrossing. Throughout the story I felt like I was there, enjoying the Midsummer Night's Eve or sipping from my first glass of port on a rainy day right beside Cassandra. It did what so few books can do, left me wanting more from the characters who now felt like my friends. A couple great lines... "Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression." "They went on interrupting each other in a perfectly friendly manner." 

Ill be honest. When I...

I'll be honest. When I first came across this book in Barnes and Noble a number of years ago, I dismissed it as something I wouldn't like (literally, I judged a book by its cover, shame on me). I re-discovered this book a few months ago, and now I'm wondering why, oh why, didn't I read this book earlier. I Capture the Castle is the diary, kept over a six-month period, of seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, who lives with her unconventional family in a decrepit, crumbling castle. She keeps the diary in order to strengthen her skills as an author. The novel is written not so much as a diary; rather Cassandra writes it very much as a story is written (aside from mentioning the month, she doesn't date her entries). Cassandra's strength lies in her recreation of her family members and the people in the small country village in which they live; even the dog has a personality. All of the characters have depth; take, for example, Cassandra's stepmother Topaz, a former model who is more complicated than she appears at first. Cassandra narrates this story with a great amount of humor; especially funny is the story about the bear. Cassandra and her whole family are charming, and I absolutely fell in love with all of them. I think if I'd read this book when I was seventeen, I would have loved it; but it's no less funny and poignant ten years later. It's a great coming-of-age story, especially since Cassandra's coming of age happens so imperceptibly over the course of the novel.

I loved everything abo...

I loved everything about this one. The style, the characters. JK Rowling said the character of seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain is "one of the most charismatic narrators" she'd ever met--and I concur. It's the 1930s, and Cassandra, living with her family in a decrepit English castle, is keeping a journal. Her father may be going mad, her stepmother sometimes roams the country nude to commune with nature, the servant who has been raised with her shows all the signs of being infatuated, and her sister Rose swears to sell her soul to the devil if it means breaking out of their mortifying poverty. Temptation arrives in the person of two American heirs to lands that include the castle. If all that makes this sound like one of those madcap romantic comedies filled with eccentrics--well, while it's quite funny in places, it's a lot more than that. Each of those characters is real and endearing, Cassandra is a credible teenager who relates her growing pains with insight and poignancy in a lovely, lyrical style with plenty of quotable lines. First published in 1948, despite period details, this doesn't feel the least bit dated. Among the novel's pleasures are depictions of Americans and Englishmen and their differences without falling into stereotypes, and as you might expect from the author of Hundred and One Dalmations, there is a cat and dog in the picture (Heloise and Abelard) as winning as any human character. There are also allusions to Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte that are far from incidental. This is more bittersweet than Austen's novels, but I think this is one book Austen fans might appreciate. It has that ability to make someone grin madly on one page and feel a lump in the throat on the next.

Im a person who finds...

I'm a person who finds classics a bit intimidating because sometimes I find the language a bit rough to get through. So, I was a little apprehensive when I first picked up I Capture the Castle. Still, I figured a good introduction to the classics genre (I've only read a few) would be a classic young adult novel and I was right. I Capture the Castle is one of the most beautiful books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I noticed that in other reviews, people stated that I Capture the Castle was really slow to get into at first. I didn't find it that way at all. From page one I was enchanted with Cassandra and her life at the castle. Cassandra is just so sweet and funny that you can't help but love her. Due to her flaws, she's also extremely real. I got annoyed at her when I read who she was in love with and at some of the things she did and then I remembered that most teenagers act illogical sometimes when they are in love. Cassandra wasn't really a heroine that was glorified. Because I Capture the Castle is written in the form of Cassandra's journal entries, we see her at her absolutely best, yet we also see her at her absolute worst. Cassandra wasn't the only charming character in I Capture the Castle. I found myself falling in love with not only Simon, but with Neil, and especially Stephen (poor, poor Stephen. I just wanted to hug him throughout the whole novel). I also absolutely loved Topaz and the way she was prone to dramatizing certain situations that she felt needed a bit of "drama" to be romantic. As for Rose, it was heartbreaking what she was willing to do in order to save, not only herself but her family, from poverty. I found my feelings varying from dislike to pity for her. The thing that I loved most about I Capture the Castle was the progression between how Cassandra was at the beginning of the novel up until the end. You truly see Cassandra grow up and become more of an adult. However, the feelings you get in regards to that are mixed because while you know she could use some growing up, you really don't want her to change from the enchanting person you met when you first started the novel. But I guess it really was necessary. I definitely recommend I Capture the Castle to everyone. It was an amazing classic novel that is still surprisingly relevant today despite that it was written so long ago. You can still relate to Cassandra and her problems and feel for her. You are charmed by her through every step of the way as she captures the castle and our hearts. Tremendous novel that I no doubt will read again and again.

I think that this is a...

I think that this is a small classic. Cassandra is completely charming, and her family and friends form a nearly perfect setting for her, the lovely jewel at the center. Other people have written about the plot, so I'll just add my couple of thoughts on completing the book. First, I had the most trouble believing Mr. Mortmaine. I think that genius must always be hard to portray. Even more difficult for the writer of traditional fiction must be the description of experimental, avant-garde fiction. I almost think that if one can conceive of it, one writes it. I'll accept that the seven cats on the seven mats are wonderfully meaningful for Cassandra's sake, but I really don't believe it. On the other hand, I'm blown away by Cassandra's ability at 18 to manage the man she loves as she does in the last scene. There can't be many girls who would be able to let go or who have such a strong sense of their own value. I'm sure, as she is, that he will be back! At any rate, I rejoice to have found this; it's one for rereading.

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