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This carefully crafted ebook: "THE MEMOIRS OF CASANOVA - All 6 Volumes in One Premium Illustrated Edition” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. A series of adventures wilder and more fantastic than the wildest of romances, written down with the exactitude of a business diary; a view of men and cities from Naples to Berlin, from Mad This carefully crafted ebook: "THE MEMOIRS OF CASANOVA - All 6 Volumes in One Premium Illustrated Edition” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. A series of adventures wilder and more fantastic than the wildest of romances, written down with the exactitude of a business diary; a view of men and cities from Naples to Berlin, from Madrid and London to Constantinople and St. Petersburg; the 'vie intime' of the eighteenth century depicted by a man, who to-day sat with cardinals and saluted crowned heads, and tomorrow lurked in dens of profligacy and crime; a book of confessions penned without reticence and without penitence; a record of forty years of "occult" charlatanism; a collection of tales of successful imposture, of 'bonnes fortunes', of marvellous escapes, of transcendent audacity, told with the humour of Smollett and the delicate wit of Voltaire. Who is there interested in men and letters, and in the life of the past, who would not cry, "Where can such a book as this be found?" Yet the above catalogue is but a brief outline, a bare and meager summary, of the book known as "THE MEMOIRS OF CASANOVA"; a work absolutely unique in literature. He who opens these wonderful pages is as one who sits in a theatre and looks across the gloom, not on a stage-play, but on another and a vanished world. Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. He often signed his works Jacques Casanova de Seingalt after he began writing in French following his second exile from Venice. He has become so famous for his often complicated and elaborate affairs with women that his name is now synonymous with "womanizer". He associated with European royalty, popes and cardinals, along with luminaries such as Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Goethe, and Mozart.


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This carefully crafted ebook: "THE MEMOIRS OF CASANOVA - All 6 Volumes in One Premium Illustrated Edition” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. A series of adventures wilder and more fantastic than the wildest of romances, written down with the exactitude of a business diary; a view of men and cities from Naples to Berlin, from Mad This carefully crafted ebook: "THE MEMOIRS OF CASANOVA - All 6 Volumes in One Premium Illustrated Edition” is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. A series of adventures wilder and more fantastic than the wildest of romances, written down with the exactitude of a business diary; a view of men and cities from Naples to Berlin, from Madrid and London to Constantinople and St. Petersburg; the 'vie intime' of the eighteenth century depicted by a man, who to-day sat with cardinals and saluted crowned heads, and tomorrow lurked in dens of profligacy and crime; a book of confessions penned without reticence and without penitence; a record of forty years of "occult" charlatanism; a collection of tales of successful imposture, of 'bonnes fortunes', of marvellous escapes, of transcendent audacity, told with the humour of Smollett and the delicate wit of Voltaire. Who is there interested in men and letters, and in the life of the past, who would not cry, "Where can such a book as this be found?" Yet the above catalogue is but a brief outline, a bare and meager summary, of the book known as "THE MEMOIRS OF CASANOVA"; a work absolutely unique in literature. He who opens these wonderful pages is as one who sits in a theatre and looks across the gloom, not on a stage-play, but on another and a vanished world. Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. He often signed his works Jacques Casanova de Seingalt after he began writing in French following his second exile from Venice. He has become so famous for his often complicated and elaborate affairs with women that his name is now synonymous with "womanizer". He associated with European royalty, popes and cardinals, along with luminaries such as Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, Goethe, and Mozart.

30 review for THE MEMOIRS OF CASANOVA - All 6 Volumes in One Premium Illustrated Edition: The Incredible Life of Giacomo Casanova – Lover, Spy, Actor, Clergymen, Officer & Brilliant Con Artist

  1. 5 out of 5

    David

    Casanova famously replied to a woman who asked him what he sought, ‘A moment that lasts a lifetime.’ Although she flew past him she left an impression, an imprint, like no other. When he was writing his memoirs in old age, impoverished financially but rich in memories, she blazed back into life for him again, untarnished, forever young and forever his. There’s an instinct to possess, and it’s a hard lesson to finally understand that nobody can possess anything, least of all another human being. Ca Casanova famously replied to a woman who asked him what he sought, ‘A moment that lasts a lifetime.’ Although she flew past him she left an impression, an imprint, like no other. When he was writing his memoirs in old age, impoverished financially but rich in memories, she blazed back into life for him again, untarnished, forever young and forever his. There’s an instinct to possess, and it’s a hard lesson to finally understand that nobody can possess anything, least of all another human being. Casanova grasped that the most we can have is fleeting moments that encapsulate transient joys and preserve them in memory like flies in amber, to be contemplated and cherished later, when everything has changed. There are certain people I would love to gobble up, possess, kiss and love to pieces while there’s still time. But time itself is the problem. These people have changed, though parts of them are scattered across the years like fragments of meteorites that burned up in our atmosphere, and some of those fragments persist and continue to glow incandescently.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    The rating is for this edition and this translation. Not only is it so heavily edited as to remove any of the power of the original text, but the translator himself has admitted he "modernised" the language to make it "easier" for modern readers. Fuck you is what I say to that. And fuck Penguin. Also fuck Penguin for this type of crap: http://www.penguin.com/static/html/cl... The rating is for this edition and this translation. Not only is it so heavily edited as to remove any of the power of the original text, but the translator himself has admitted he "modernised" the language to make it "easier" for modern readers. Fuck you is what I say to that. And fuck Penguin. Also fuck Penguin for this type of crap: http://www.penguin.com/static/html/cl...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Denis

    What an extraordinary, exhilarating, brilliant book! Of course this is an abridged version: the original manuscript of Casanova's memoir takes 14 volumes, so who knows what amazing episodes are missing from this edition! But to be honest, the editors seem to have done a great job at patching all the present chapters together, and at explaining each times briefly what happens during the ones that have been cut: the fluidity of the book, as well as its comprehension, are therefore never a problem. What an extraordinary, exhilarating, brilliant book! Of course this is an abridged version: the original manuscript of Casanova's memoir takes 14 volumes, so who knows what amazing episodes are missing from this edition! But to be honest, the editors seem to have done a great job at patching all the present chapters together, and at explaining each times briefly what happens during the ones that have been cut: the fluidity of the book, as well as its comprehension, are therefore never a problem. Casanova wrote in French - I would have read the book in its original language had I known that when I bought it, but I found the translation flawless. I was not sure what I was getting into when I opened this book, except that it seemed like a good read while sipping coffee in Venice after having visiting the cavernous jail where Casanova was once incarcerated. I was in for quite a surprise. First, Casanova writes marvelously well: his style is surprisingly modern, it's laced with a great sense of humor and fantastic wittiness, his vast knowledge is fascinating. Second, his life is so incredibly filled with adventures of all sorts that it's as entertaining as any popular best-seller. You'll find everything, in this book. Absolute suspense. Diabolical political intrigue. Intelligent religious discourse. Intense historical drama. Convoluted romance. Wild sex. Lots of wild sex. Esoteric mysteries. And much more. Casanova travels all of Europe, from France to Russia, from Poland to Spain, from Turkey to Germany, while Venice remains at the heart of his complicated life: reading this book is like going through an incredible voyage across XVIII century Europe. Everywhere he goes, Casanova encounters the most brilliant minds of his time (the likes of Voltaire or Catherine the Great, for example), but he also falls madly in love (either with innocent or dangerous women), and engages himself in situations that become sometimes so complicated that you just wonder how he'll find his way out of them. Is it all real? Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares. It's just amazing. Casanova's reputation as a great lover is not usurped, and some scenes are wonderfully naughty - I have in mind the torrid love affair he had at some point with a nun, or some delirious orgies to which he participated. But there's much more to him than that, and if sex is often his downfall, it's certainly not all that this memoir is about. Capable of laughing at himself (always a good point, as far as I'm concerned), Casanova is also quite proud of himself, but never to the point of becoming conceited. And, actually, he's quite humble in his own way, and he does not shy away from narrating dubious episodes which cast him in a rather bad light. He was a scoundrel, and a thief, and he's not hiding it. There is, especially toward the end, when his constant wandering seems to take a toll on him, a hint of melancholy that is quite touching. As for people who think that what happens today in our society is new, read this book - Casanova's life as a debauched student makes the Spring break students look tame in comparison, and his descriptions of religious intolerance, and political tyranny, invite chilling comparisons. Quite simply a great, great book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nick Ruffilo

    I actually read the unabridged version of this book (Diaries of Casanova Vol 1-6) but I think its important to put this review here as I believe it will get the most exposure. Critics hailed this as the best slice of 1700s culture throughout Europe and I have to agree. What drew me most about the book was the nature in which it pulled me in. I mainly read psychology and business type books, so for me to get engrossed in a story is a rarity. On top of that - I'm usually not one for books more than I actually read the unabridged version of this book (Diaries of Casanova Vol 1-6) but I think its important to put this review here as I believe it will get the most exposure. Critics hailed this as the best slice of 1700s culture throughout Europe and I have to agree. What drew me most about the book was the nature in which it pulled me in. I mainly read psychology and business type books, so for me to get engrossed in a story is a rarity. On top of that - I'm usually not one for books more than 300 pages (this was nearly 2400 pages in total). But, despite all of that, the conversational nature as well as the perspective from which it was written was amazing. Because it was a true story (or at least it is told as such, and while many facts were verifiable, it is impossible to prove some of the adventures Casanova writes of) the introspection that you get is very real and easy to relate to. I found myself caring a great deal about all of the characters as they were painted in such a way that they became real to me. My only complaint is the sheer amount of names in the book. Casanova did a great deal of traveling, and was a very popular person, so it is very reasonable that he would meet 20 new people in each region, but it became a bit tedious trying to keep up with them as time went on. All in all, I suggest that if you wish to read this, you attempt to find a copy of the unabridged Vol 1 (I bought my copy from a rare book dealer for $15). If you like that, continue on, otherwise I guess you can just shoot for this shortened version.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shelly Jenkins

    Let me say that if I could have dinner with ten people - regardless of the time period - I would DEFINITELY want Giacomo Casanova there! He had adventure after adventure. I loved the story! It was a really wild ride. And the thing I liked most about it was it was so fresh and exciting - not your average book from the 1700s! This guy knew how to get what he wanted out of life. I recommend it highly.

  6. 5 out of 5

    L. W.

    The guy was an asshole pervert with no regard for females, but he was also genius. And I named my dog after him.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Blaber

    When I read old book, I don't often consider them to be "instructional". Any advice of a philosophical or scientific nature that has been written more than a few years ago is likely to contain assertions that are remarkable for their time, but laughable for our time. Casanova is not like this at all. His memoirs could be titled "Bad advice for a good life." He has all qualities that a bad person would need. He keeps bad company. He drinks. He gambles. He falls in an out of love unimaginably quick When I read old book, I don't often consider them to be "instructional". Any advice of a philosophical or scientific nature that has been written more than a few years ago is likely to contain assertions that are remarkable for their time, but laughable for our time. Casanova is not like this at all. His memoirs could be titled "Bad advice for a good life." He has all qualities that a bad person would need. He keeps bad company. He drinks. He gambles. He falls in an out of love unimaginably quickly... and yet we like him. Despite his bad habits and inconstancy, we like him because he always means well. His conquests in love stand up to any memoir I've ever read, though at times his stories have the ring of the unbelievable. One might question whether they are complete fictions, but I'm inclined to believe every one despite the assertion of the occasional critic. Casanova's hedonistic philosophy ends up as admirable as any I've ever read, if not impossible to follow. If I could sum it up only in a line it would be, "Be a slave only to your passion."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    The entire story of Casanova's life is about seven volumes. After reading this edition -- which consists of what the editors think are the best parts -- I want to read the entire thing one day. It's hard to believe all of this is true as it reads more like an adventure novel. If you enjoyed the Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tom Jones, The Three Musketeers and other picaresque tales, you will definitely want to read this. Casanova's name of course has become synonymous with flagrant womanizing, and there The entire story of Casanova's life is about seven volumes. After reading this edition -- which consists of what the editors think are the best parts -- I want to read the entire thing one day. It's hard to believe all of this is true as it reads more like an adventure novel. If you enjoyed the Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tom Jones, The Three Musketeers and other picaresque tales, you will definitely want to read this. Casanova's name of course has become synonymous with flagrant womanizing, and there is a lot of that here (including a few instances which readers may find a little disturbing in that they seem more like child prostitution). There is however, much more to this story. Casanova was someone who moved between the high and the low worlds. Born to an actress, he managed to get enough of a good education as to be able to hobnob with the intellectuals and courtiers of his day who found his conversation and person amusing. It seems he almost always had large sums of money, even if it is not always clear how he got it (odd translation jobs for noblemen, setting up lotteries, and gambling seemed to be his main sources of income). However, as is often the case, many of his powerful friends distanced themselves from him later in life after too much reckless behavior won him the enmity of more conservative elements of society who sought to banish him from their cities. Particularly gripping was the account of his escape from the "Leads" prison in Venice and his soujourns to Paris and Madrid (where he was again thrown into prison "by mistake"). His observations of the people and customs still ring true today.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Even though this is the abridged version, it is a must read. Many people think Casanova was a romantic, which he was, but he was also a seducer of nuns, a thief, con-man, charlatan, and addict! After a visit to Venice I believed I needed to read about the man I'd heard of, in his own words. There is sex of course, but there is also humor, action, and adventure. I learned much about Italian history, geography, privilege, and politics all while thoroughly enjoying an entertaining - and yes, sensua Even though this is the abridged version, it is a must read. Many people think Casanova was a romantic, which he was, but he was also a seducer of nuns, a thief, con-man, charlatan, and addict! After a visit to Venice I believed I needed to read about the man I'd heard of, in his own words. There is sex of course, but there is also humor, action, and adventure. I learned much about Italian history, geography, privilege, and politics all while thoroughly enjoying an entertaining - and yes, sensual - story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    It's just so good. Where else are you going to meet a complete dirt bag who can tell you everything about meeting Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin and who gets congratulated by doctors for giving people VD? This version is very puritanical. The original is 1400 pages and this version is cut down to 400 and you will read dozens of pages about the food he ate and then in italics the authors will cut between chapters Casanova soon met a pair of sisters whom he pitted against each other in a threesome, It's just so good. Where else are you going to meet a complete dirt bag who can tell you everything about meeting Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin and who gets congratulated by doctors for giving people VD? This version is very puritanical. The original is 1400 pages and this version is cut down to 400 and you will read dozens of pages about the food he ate and then in italics the authors will cut between chapters Casanova soon met a pair of sisters whom he pitted against each other in a threesome, which is where he lost his virginity. And after reading all about pre-enlightenment Venetian life for 200 pages you kinda want to read about pre-enlightenment threesoms.

  11. 4 out of 5

    R.W. Clark

    I have read the complete set, several times and it astonishes friends when I say that. Why? (If you are reading this, you probably know why, or can guess from all other contributions here). Because his entire life story consumes more than 1,000,000 words, or roughly 16 standard length novels. I read it once in book form in college and probably surprised my English professor when I wrote it up. Then I read it twice on a Palm Pilot. Now, I have embarked upon Willard Trask's translation. Casanova's s I have read the complete set, several times and it astonishes friends when I say that. Why? (If you are reading this, you probably know why, or can guess from all other contributions here). Because his entire life story consumes more than 1,000,000 words, or roughly 16 standard length novels. I read it once in book form in college and probably surprised my English professor when I wrote it up. Then I read it twice on a Palm Pilot. Now, I have embarked upon Willard Trask's translation. Casanova's story, when brought to the public by others, often gets trashed beyond recognition. Fellini's effort is truly abyssmal, and many of the video conceptions that have followed are insipid at best. All lack the vitality, honesty, and presence found in the original; and prefer to play to those authors' juvenile imaginings or haunted self-loathing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nessie

    The greatest book I ever read! This book changed my outlook on life.. And I would never be the man I am now if I didn't read this while at secondary school. Casanova lived his life to the full, took every opportunity he was given, and flourished. He was a philosopher, an adventurer.. Though he tried to write novels and plays, his greatest achievement was in the life he led, and the autobiography he wrote.. The greatest book I ever read! This book changed my outlook on life.. And I would never be the man I am now if I didn't read this while at secondary school. Casanova lived his life to the full, took every opportunity he was given, and flourished. He was a philosopher, an adventurer.. Though he tried to write novels and plays, his greatest achievement was in the life he led, and the autobiography he wrote..

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justpassingby

    Casanova at the age of 73 writes the story of his life. At 2000+ pages it must be considered incomplete; there are numerous unfulfilled promises to come back to a certain event or person at a later stage in the biography. An avowed con artist, Casanova should not inspire confidence in the veracity of his writings; and yet there is a candour in the tone that makes you assume everything is literally true - but perhaps that is the hallmark of the successful fraudster? In any case literary research h Casanova at the age of 73 writes the story of his life. At 2000+ pages it must be considered incomplete; there are numerous unfulfilled promises to come back to a certain event or person at a later stage in the biography. An avowed con artist, Casanova should not inspire confidence in the veracity of his writings; and yet there is a candour in the tone that makes you assume everything is literally true - but perhaps that is the hallmark of the successful fraudster? In any case literary research has confirmed most of the places and characters as well as numerous details, although here and there the timing seems to have been adapted to suit the story, and in at least one case two subsequent visits to a city have been merged into one. On the one hand, the author appears to suffer from severe personality issues. He is an obsessive gambler and seducer of women; and although he never willingly leaves his lovers (at least according to his own descriptions), he starts looking for a new partner as soon as circumstances have removed him from the previous one. In one case he admits to a brutal rape without much apparent regret, and in many cases his partners would be considered severely underage by 21st century standards. On the other hand he is an intelligent and educated child of the Age of Enlightenment. The text is laced with considerations on the tension between individual freedom and the mechanistic explanation of nature (Laplace's demon). Casanova feels that with each gambling table, he has the freedom to walk away; with every woman, he has the choice to conquer her or leave her in peace; and yet he observes that most of the time his choice is to defy contemporary morals and go for the kill. He insists that he is a free agent, yet feels compelled to accept that his body consists of atoms obeying the laws of mechanics. The story of his extrajudicial imprisonment at the hands of the Republic's secret service can serve as a metaphor for his personal struggle with the concept of freedom. Through patience and ingenuity he is eventually able to escape and exercise his cherished freedom, albeit at the cost of not returning to his fatherland. Significantly, Casanova does not write in his native Venitian (an Italian dialect) but in French, the language of Reason. Despite this, he does not have a mission to educate the world. On at least two occasions he sets up a long lasting fraud to procure a steady income for himself from credulous wealthy people. On both occasions the fraud is based on exploiting pseudo-religious superstitions. A staunch believer in the superiority of aristocrats, he awards himself a fictitious title and does not actively seek to unmask others who do the same. He criticizes the contradictions of Catholic dogma and endemic corruption in the Kingdom of France, but deplores the Revolution as the ascendancy of the rabble and the destruction of everything that is worthwile in a society. The language is surprisingly modern; I honestly expected more difficulties with 18th century French. It helps that Casanova has learned a lot from classical storytellers and he knows how to keep his readers' attention. The prison escape story is a match for the best parts of The Count of Monte Cristo. The problem is that much of his life, especially his love affairs, tends to become repetitive. Had Casanova been a novelist, he would have been able to reduce the number of conquests to the benefit of readability. On top of that he lacks the irony of Pierre Laclos in Les liaisons dangereuses, which shares its central theme and appeared 17 years earlier.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Marius

    Utterly fascinating Memoirs, well deserving twelve volumes. By comparison, my boring life will barely occupy several sheets of paper. My only regret is that I didn't have the means to acquire the unabridged edition, translated by William R. Trask. This 'Everymans' Library' is a heavily abridged edition, although on good paper and well-bound hardback. For instance, the last volume, consisting of 14 chapters, is not even included. Utterly fascinating Memoirs, well deserving twelve volumes. By comparison, my boring life will barely occupy several sheets of paper. My only regret is that I didn't have the means to acquire the unabridged edition, translated by William R. Trask. This 'Everymans' Library' is a heavily abridged edition, although on good paper and well-bound hardback. For instance, the last volume, consisting of 14 chapters, is not even included.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Roz Milner

    Talk about wild. Giacomo Casanova was well known in his lifetime, but even he likely couldn't have imagined how his infamy would grow over the next couple centuries. Even now, his name is familiar to people who have no idea he was actually a real person. But, of course, he was real. An adventurer and professional gambler in his youth, Casanova ended his days as a librarian and writer. He wrote several books, including novels and part of the libretto for Mozart's Don Giovanni. His longest and most Talk about wild. Giacomo Casanova was well known in his lifetime, but even he likely couldn't have imagined how his infamy would grow over the next couple centuries. Even now, his name is familiar to people who have no idea he was actually a real person. But, of course, he was real. An adventurer and professional gambler in his youth, Casanova ended his days as a librarian and writer. He wrote several books, including novels and part of the libretto for Mozart's Don Giovanni. His longest and most famous book is his sprawling memoir, which stretches out for over 3,000 pages and only covers part of his life. It is, predictably, interesting stuff. His reputation as a ladies man comes straight from his memoir, filled with stories of passion and sex. He sleeps with commoners, ladies of high standing and even a few men. His sexual appetite is voracious, even by modern standards; I can only imagine what 18th Century Europe thought of them. At the same time, his memoir is far more than just a ladies man bragging about notches on his bedpost. Honestly, the most exciting parts of the memoir are the stuff happening away from the bedroom; at it's most exciting, Casanova's life is something straight out of romantic fiction. For example, there's the daring account of him escaping from prison in his native Venice under a full moon, crawling across lead roofs with just a sharpened spike to keep him plunging to death. There's a pistol duel with a Polish noble, a tale which seems straight out of A Hero of Our Time. Or there's his verbal duel with Voltaire where both try to outshine the other in wit, learning and translation. Or the time he tricked an aging noblewomen into thinking he was a magician who'd get her pregnant and give birth to herself, allowing her to live another 70-odd years (for a huge fee, naturally). The Penguin Classics edition is admittedly pretty heavily abridged - it's trimmed from over 3,000 pages to about 500 - and slightly censored. The translation's less than 20 years old, but translators Stephen Sartarelli and Sophie Hawkes can rarely bring themselves to call a sexual act by it's name, or even call people gay/homosexual (they instead rely on dated, insulting terms). You could argue it's in the spirit of Casanova's memoirs, but one assumes the footnotes reflect their writing, not his. That annoyance aside, it's an enjoyable read, with nice segues between the episodes chosen for translation. It gives you a taste of how the longer book reads, without it being as weighed down as a huge, multi-volume memoir usually is. I can't speak to how it compares to other translations - Modern Library has another single-volume edition, while Johns Hopkins University Press has the whole thing in translation - but like most Penguins, it's an easy read, not bogged down with notes, but also lacking in things like a map or cast of characters. All in all, I had a fun time here.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amber Scaife

    I picked this audiobook up because it's read by Benedict Cumberbatch, and honestly I thought I could listen to him read *anything* to me. I've been proven so, so very wrong. In fact, the bit that is essentially detailing a gang rape, but couched in words that reassure the reader/listener that Casanova and his buddies meant no harm and in fact after the first go-round the girl was pretty okay with it and actually liked what was being done to her was so much worse than its already horrendous natur I picked this audiobook up because it's read by Benedict Cumberbatch, and honestly I thought I could listen to him read *anything* to me. I've been proven so, so very wrong. In fact, the bit that is essentially detailing a gang rape, but couched in words that reassure the reader/listener that Casanova and his buddies meant no harm and in fact after the first go-round the girl was pretty okay with it and actually liked what was being done to her was so much worse than its already horrendous nature would suggest because of the incongruity of it being delivered via the dulcet timber of Cumberbatch's voice. Even worse is reading/listening to this in the days of Kavanaugh et al. and letting it sink in in an even more absorbing way that this is all the Same Shit, Different Century. Cripes.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul Phillips

    Well that was an interesting read. Both what I expected and not what I expected. I will be travelling to Venice in a couple weeks and this book gave me perspective on the Venetian Republic in its twilight years. I found the humor in this book, though quite old, to still be funny today.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alicia May

    New drinking game: shots every time Casanova compares a sexual encounter to flowers! Result: hammered! (Pun intended)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Only 4 stars because of the abridgement

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ciprian

    From the begining if you are not ready to spend a lot of time reading an interesting story or if you get easily bored don't even try to begin to read this book. It's a huge book, very interesting, where you can discover a big part of the world traditions. Everyday Cassanova keeps our attention with a new story full of suspense. Many difficult situations where he escapes from, but through what metods, we've never thought of. That's why the book is unique and sometimes the story brings us easily fro From the begining if you are not ready to spend a lot of time reading an interesting story or if you get easily bored don't even try to begin to read this book. It's a huge book, very interesting, where you can discover a big part of the world traditions. Everyday Cassanova keeps our attention with a new story full of suspense. Many difficult situations where he escapes from, but through what metods, we've never thought of. That's why the book is unique and sometimes the story brings us easily from sadness to happiness back and forth. Cassanova has been considered one of the greatest lovers ever and this fact makes more interesting the story. He did a great thing to share with us his beautiful stories and we have to be thankful to him because of this. I personally admire the way he lives though he has a lot of money being considered a rich guy, he never forgets about the poor people, he helps those in need, he brings good fortune to the unhappy families. I could write here one hundred pages about him and will never be enough but I wish that you to discover the way the our Cassanova is. Cu cat citesc mai mult cu atata mi-e scarba mai tare de batranetzi cand vad ca e de tot cacatul. Si inca Cassanova putem zice ca si-a trait din plin viata....dar noi ce-am facut? am dormit trei sferturi din viata? sau am facut dragoste cu 2-3 femei? ori am vazut Burdujeniul si atata? Parca mi-e mila de el, a trait 73 de ani si spre sfarsit totzi radeau de el ca era deja de moda veche. Daca la inceput intorcea capul tuturor femeilor acuma trebuie sa se roage ptr o nimica toata de bani la totzi si mai mult ma doare cand majoritatea care au mai ramas in viata ii intoarce spatele.Imi aduc aminte cand cu orice ocazie ajuta pe toata lumea in nevoi, le marita pe fetele sarace cu bogatzi, le ajuta pe fetele sarace care traiau uitate de lume si in rusine in manastiri sa nasca si sa-si recastige reputatia si stima faca ca nimeni sa stie ce s-a intamplat, ii ajuta pe totzi care erau in nevoie de bani, functii sau alte trebuinte. Odata ce citesti cartea petreci fiecare clipa care nu e lipsita de vreo aventura pe care numai Marele Cassanova o poate rezolva cum nimeni altul decat el stie, spre final vezi cat de nejusta este viata. Si daca el nu a facut bine cine altul?.........

  21. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    I came to this looking for a quotation. This is not the edition I am reading, as mine appears to run much longer. I admit to being totally taken in by the author's charming and humble preface to his own work. I look forward to reading this on vacation and disappearing into the world of the 18th century--the courts of Louis XIV and Catherine the Great--through the eyes of one its truly notorious personalities. I already love the preface, where the humble author professes Christian belief and in t I came to this looking for a quotation. This is not the edition I am reading, as mine appears to run much longer. I admit to being totally taken in by the author's charming and humble preface to his own work. I look forward to reading this on vacation and disappearing into the world of the 18th century--the courts of Louis XIV and Catherine the Great--through the eyes of one its truly notorious personalities. I already love the preface, where the humble author professes Christian belief and in the next paragraph describes his love of, and the perfect justice of, his robbing money from fools. He declares that his life was worth living because he danced close to the Precipice, but did not go over. Since he alleges he is writing this at the age of 72, it may be somewhat embellished.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bob Schnell

    Giacomo Casanova's abridged autobiography (the full-length version is many volumes) is a fascinating, albeit frustrating, rollick through 18th century European society. From audiences with royalty to the horrors of an Inquisition prison, Casanova surely led the sort of libertine life most could only imagine. Along the way the sexual encounters for which he is most famous help us to understand his need to constantly be traveling, either running to or from his latest adventure. My problem with the Giacomo Casanova's abridged autobiography (the full-length version is many volumes) is a fascinating, albeit frustrating, rollick through 18th century European society. From audiences with royalty to the horrors of an Inquisition prison, Casanova surely led the sort of libertine life most could only imagine. Along the way the sexual encounters for which he is most famous help us to understand his need to constantly be traveling, either running to or from his latest adventure. My problem with the book is the way it is edited/abridged. There are synopses of the missing chapters that sometimes seem more interesting or relevant than what was included. I suppose that if I were to read the entire work I would conclude that it needed editing, but reading the digest version simply left me wanting more.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    Genre of the picaresque novel: very volatile both in space (and constantly traveling, from one situation in the other) as in fortune. Casanova is quite blunt and honest about his disposition: he's a slave of his passion, driven from one conquest to another and constantly failing; no remorse about several broken promises (his conscience is regularly lulled by a "favorable" scheme for the victim). Paradoxically Casanova expects loyalty from his counterparty. In general we get a picture of the very Genre of the picaresque novel: very volatile both in space (and constantly traveling, from one situation in the other) as in fortune. Casanova is quite blunt and honest about his disposition: he's a slave of his passion, driven from one conquest to another and constantly failing; no remorse about several broken promises (his conscience is regularly lulled by a "favorable" scheme for the victim). Paradoxically Casanova expects loyalty from his counterparty. In general we get a picture of the very libertine society in the second halve of the 18th Century (with its almost natural and hardly offensive hypocrisy), with beautiful vistas to the various European courts. Very entertaining

  24. 4 out of 5

    Czarny Pies

    Every Goodreads member should make an effort to familiarize himself or herself with this remarkable 18th Century gadfly who knew everyone from Voltaire to Mozart. I think reading his complete 12 volume memoires which run to 3000 pages would be a bit much. However, if after 150 pages of this book of excerpts you find yourself attracted to this engaging personality, stop and switch to the real thing. The Frederico Fellini movie starring Donald Sutherland was a box office bust but does indeed offer Every Goodreads member should make an effort to familiarize himself or herself with this remarkable 18th Century gadfly who knew everyone from Voltaire to Mozart. I think reading his complete 12 volume memoires which run to 3000 pages would be a bit much. However, if after 150 pages of this book of excerpts you find yourself attracted to this engaging personality, stop and switch to the real thing. The Frederico Fellini movie starring Donald Sutherland was a box office bust but does indeed offer a legitimate interpretation of this profoundly debauched man.

  25. 5 out of 5

    William Dearth

    Extraordinary Book! As much as I enjoyed Vol. 1 of the Memoirs of Duc De Saint-Simon, I enjoyed this even more. True, this is a 550 page abridged version "The Story of My Life", but it is not wanting in content. There is much more to Casanova than his legendary love affairs. There is an abundance of relevant 18th century history here and, for the most part it is a genuine page turner. Excellent. Extraordinary Book! As much as I enjoyed Vol. 1 of the Memoirs of Duc De Saint-Simon, I enjoyed this even more. True, this is a 550 page abridged version "The Story of My Life", but it is not wanting in content. There is much more to Casanova than his legendary love affairs. There is an abundance of relevant 18th century history here and, for the most part it is a genuine page turner. Excellent.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Austin Burbridge

    Abridged by Peter Washington, and with a good Introduction by John Julius Norwich

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark Farley

    He was known as history’s greatest lover, right? This massive shagger. A seducer, poet, betting man. Curious about the occult and both genders. General layabout and louche. But who was Casanova? We all know his reputation and how much he liked to fuck, but what many people are not aware of are his great literary and intellectual interests. Often described as the world's first pure celebrity, he has reason to be remembered in a large number of areas of cultural pursuit. Essentially an account of He was known as history’s greatest lover, right? This massive shagger. A seducer, poet, betting man. Curious about the occult and both genders. General layabout and louche. But who was Casanova? We all know his reputation and how much he liked to fuck, but what many people are not aware of are his great literary and intellectual interests. Often described as the world's first pure celebrity, he has reason to be remembered in a large number of areas of cultural pursuit. Essentially an account of a vanished period in time, and of different places, STORY OF MY LIFE is about a man who squeezed five times as much into his life as any normal human being. Well, if only half the stories in it are a quarter true, the mind boggles. Deflowering nuns, secret assignations, midnight gardens, transvestites, decadent orgies. Quite apart from the astonishing adventures, it's a moving and sad account with a strong underpinning of philosophy. And in its way it's a morality story. Sleeping with lots of women (and some men) really doesn't necessarily lead to happiness for everyone. Just kidding. He’s quite an amusing chap too. From the doctor who welcomed his return to town as he had made so much money from curing venereal disease the last time Casanova was there, to his asking a portly gentleman-stranger about a rather porky lady: "Who is that fat pig?", Casanova asked him. "Why, the wife of this fat pig" came the reply. Casanova is a good raconteur and such good company to the reader. His views about the results of the Empress Maria Teresa's urge to rid Vienna of the seventh sin are very funny, as is his clever riposte to her son about the selling of titles. If you haven't tried Casanova before this lively edition is a good place to start, considering it was originally 14 volumes. You may well want to move onto the excellent Ian Kelly biography from about ten years go once you've finished this, or even start there instead. Between chapters, the editor seeks to give some flavour of the parts he has omitted. But what appears inexplicable is that one of those parts includes his fateful years with Henriette, who the editor himself describes as "beautiful, cultured, intelligent, and witty, she aroused deeper feelings in Giacomo than perhaps any other woman." Another unfortunate gap appears in his return from Poland, where the visit to his mother in Dresden is omitted, as is his removal from Vienna, and his expulsion from Paris. All in all, this is a great edition of what I imagine to be a tedious slog in its vast unedited entirety. But if you like caddish adventures, japes, scrapes and swindles then Casanova is your man.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Magnus van de Kamp

    What an interesting man, what an adventurous life. Casanova had a life like no other. Listening to his biography I not seldom had the impression of engaging in a well written fiction story. Gifted in language and charming in nature he befriended people from the highest social classes all over western Europe. Especially the women were one of his greatest distractions - although distraction might be the wrong word, since he had no real aim in life except jumping from one pleasure to the next. Casa What an interesting man, what an adventurous life. Casanova had a life like no other. Listening to his biography I not seldom had the impression of engaging in a well written fiction story. Gifted in language and charming in nature he befriended people from the highest social classes all over western Europe. Especially the women were one of his greatest distractions - although distraction might be the wrong word, since he had no real aim in life except jumping from one pleasure to the next. Casanova was a connoisseurs par excellence. A really smart one, too. He almost always managed to find a sponsor for his excessive lifestyle, rarely having to depend on work for money. He lived a life riding the waves of adventure - being wealthy; losing all money through gambling; traveling all over western Europe; almost dying from his numerous sexually transmitted diseases; breaking out of a prison; having a romance with a nun, whose lover is watching her and Casanova having sex from the next room and many more. His biography is an accumulation of extraordinary events - events which won't happen to most people even once in a whole lifetime. Some of them might be slightly exaggerated thus more interesting for the reader. Although a lot of his actions were questionable, especially regarding younger women, Casanova seems to have a had a good heart and hardly any bad intentions towards others. He acknowledged the beauty and virtues of his fellow men and women wherever he went. He was also remarkably attentive in seeing and remembering the characteristics and behaviours of other people - attributes, which certainly were reasons for Casanovas "successes" throughout his journey. You might like Casanova or you don't, but his life story is an adventure like no other, giving valuable glimpses in the societies and people of the 18th century. Even if it was pure fiction, it would still be worth the read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nakkinak

    From time to time life creates such impossible creatures like the infamous Giacomo Casanova. After the lecture, I think he is very unfairly reduced to being a womanizer when it's really just one part of his epic legacy. In any sense, Giacomo is not a guy you would want to be in your circle of friends. He gambles, seduces women in complex schemes he describes with loving detail, is completely shallow in his emotions, is impulsive and unpredictable. But he's a also a cunning, charismatic weirdo and From time to time life creates such impossible creatures like the infamous Giacomo Casanova. After the lecture, I think he is very unfairly reduced to being a womanizer when it's really just one part of his epic legacy. In any sense, Giacomo is not a guy you would want to be in your circle of friends. He gambles, seduces women in complex schemes he describes with loving detail, is completely shallow in his emotions, is impulsive and unpredictable. But he's a also a cunning, charismatic weirdo and skilled socialite. Show me another guy who practically met every famous person of his time, escaped from prisons, has also been - of course - a succesful womanizer to the degree it became synonymous with his name? He also cheated occultists, and held convoluted psychological duels with femme fatales. Do I have to mention he stood a chance in debates with Voltaire? Fucking Voltaire, man! Casanova ends in old age, impoverished, realizing he is after all a lonely man, he never married and clearly had serious psychological issues that kept him from forming strong personal bonds, yet the memory of his adventures remained so he shared his wisdom with the world. A glorious histrionic, but I admit this truly is a must-read for anyone. The most amazing aspect of his life is the fact that he achieved absolutely nothing in life except indulging in hedonism, yet he wrote it all down and it became amazing literature. His life was the true work of art and he could be the closest thing we will ever get to a real-life James Bond.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gino Fortunato

    What can you say? This book is a marathon. The Audiobook was about 120 HOURS long. That is not a typo. However, its hard to measure this book by the time it takes to read/listen to it. The vignettes of the story are fascinating. It's a study of the time (mid to late 1700's) and that has some benefits (understanding that things were different then) and some drawbacks (understanding HOW things were different then). While the current focus on BLM shows how far our society has yet to go, reading thi What can you say? This book is a marathon. The Audiobook was about 120 HOURS long. That is not a typo. However, its hard to measure this book by the time it takes to read/listen to it. The vignettes of the story are fascinating. It's a study of the time (mid to late 1700's) and that has some benefits (understanding that things were different then) and some drawbacks (understanding HOW things were different then). While the current focus on BLM shows how far our society has yet to go, reading this book shows how far society has come, particularly with the place of women in society. Many of the vignettes would make harvey weinstien blush. Casanova is famous for his love life. And certainly that is the main focus of the book. However, the story of his escape from the famous prison in Venice takes a major portion of the story. His insights into human nature (while not always accurate), are interesting and mostly well thought out given the state of science at the time. If you are spending the pandemic with a lot of time on your hands, and need something to listen to while on long walks, this book deserves your consideration. I found the reader of the audiobook wonderful.

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