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In Casanova, noted author Ian Kelly traces the life of Giacomo Casanova, a man whose very name is synonymous with sensuality, seduction and sexual prowess. But Casanova was more than just a great lover. A businessman, diplomat, spy, and philosopher, he authored more than twenty books, including a translation of The Iliad. Confidant to many infamous characters—including Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire, and Catherine the Great—Casanova was undoubtedly charismatic. But how exactly did he seduce himself into infamy?

In this richly drawn portrait, Casanova emerges as very much a product of eighteenth-century Venice. He revealed in its commedia del arte and Kelly posits that his successes as both a libertine and a libertarian grew from his careful study of its artifice and illusion. Food, travel, sex: Casanova’s great passions are timeless ones and Kelly brings to life in full flavor the grandeur of his exploits. He also articulates the fascinating personal philosophy that inspired Casanova’s quest to bed all manner of women and also a few men.

A riveting look at the life of the most legendary lover of all time, this is destined to become the definitive biography of Giacomo Casanova.


Casanova’s story is a poignant testimony, easily unnoticed while one is in the thrall of his king-size tale, to the absolute power of the printed word

If you are a reader who doesn’t usually like reading about an unlikable and horrible person, then don’t even start. This book is definitely not for you.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book and eloquence of Benedict Cumberbatch and his pleasant voice makes it a different deal. A sensual deal!

It is an interesting read as you travel and find the antics and sexual ventures of a priest. In a sentence, I would say that Casanova was ‘ The Naughty Devil’.

The powerful part of this book is that Casanova’s experience is honestly expressed with pure rawness and thereby giving engrossing entertainment. The author’s voice is captivating and would surely read more of his books.

Even though the character ‘Casanova’ is not likable, it doesn’t stop you from liking the unlikeness. Yes, it is controversial but still, you could have that as a guilty pleasure.
The book setting feels real and the pace of the book is fast and never bores you. Do not expect many twists in this fascinating memoir.

It has compelled me to ask this question. Is this really real? Did a person like Casanova really exist?
These were my questions when I finished the book. Now you know how interesting the read was.

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