- Fizzy Thoughts: I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I Capture the Castle
Dodie Smith
352 pages

How did I never hear about this book until this year? Have I been living under a rock? Or has the book been hiding under a rock? Well, regardless of where we've both been, we managed to hook up last week. And it was love at first sight.

Oh wait, I know why I've never read this book. I usually read modern stuff, and this book has been around since 1948. For some reason, it was sitting on one of those Barnes and Nobles' display tables (once again, it just goes to show those things work after all). So thank you anonymous B&N person for choosing this book. I love you. I love the book, too. Although I'm not so fond of this particular cover...it looks like there is a giant sticky note plastered across the cover, and I'm pretty sure they didn't have sticky notes in 1948. Besides, someone saw the book and all they noticed was J.K. Rowling's name, so they thought I was reading a book by her. I wonder how many copies of the book sold for that reason?

The key to this book is the narrator, Cassandra Mortmain. Young Cassandra lives with her family in a crumbly house attached to an even crumblier castle, and she's a hoot (and I can't believe I just used that line, but it's appropriate, so I'm leaving it). I still can't get over the opening line, "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink." Cassandra has a great voice, and the book is Cassandra's journal..she records the tale of her family over the course of a year. And that's all I'm going to say about it, because I knew squat about the book when I started it, and I think it's a great book to know nothing about before diving into it.

6 comment(s):

LisaMM said...

Apparently I was under the very same rock. This book came to my attention about a year ago from another book, The Book Club Companion- it mentions it in the "classics" section and raves about it. I've had it on my list ever since but have not taken that extra step to buy it or look for it at the library. So many books, and all that..

Messy Karen said...

while i was reading this the movie came out. i used to be movie-only girl. but with so many books being made into movies i'm now a movie-after-reading-the-book girl. i enjoyed both.

anne said...

Yup, another under-rock-dweller here too! Can't wait to read it though :)

softdrink said...

Karen, I have a friend at work who offered to lend me the movie. I need to remember to take her up on the offer!

Lisa and Anne...there are just too many good books out there. And the publishers are torturing me by printing more.

Melissa said...

So glad you liked it; it's one of my all-time favorites. I discovered it through NPR -- Nancy Pearl had it on a list of "books with the best first lines" which got me curious. I'll second the movie, too -- I really enjoyed it (though the book is better). :)

trish said...

DUDE! I think I read this book! And I may have seen the movie but I think the book was better. But don't go by my recommendation since I'd forgotten that I'd even read it until I saw this post and your description. :-)

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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