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.
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