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Review: The Lost Diary of Don Juan, Douglas Carlton Abrams

In diary form, legendary seducer Don Juan Tenorio tells us in his own words how he got his reputation, how he goes about seducing women, and more intriguingly, his own love stories.  Who knew Don Juan could fall in love?  We learn that he seduces because he loves women as a whole, not for particular reasons of his own, but that he’s finally stymied by one woman who is particularly hard to win over and in the end challenges Don Juan to consider his own philosophies as he’s confronted with the startling loss of his heart.

I thought it sounded interesting, particularly because I’ve read reviews all over the blogosphere and they were universally praising.  Don Juan is one of those characters who exists in phrases and popular knowledge but without much substance behind him.  Abrams has provided that substance and done so in a way that Don Juan could conceivably be a real person, albeit a rare one.  I think I was a bit let down, though, as I expected a bit more from it.  I wanted deeper characters and more to the story than a fight to win a particular woman and a trail of lovers.  I didn’t feel attachment and I knew the ending as soon as Don Juan met Dona Ana.  That’s not what I look for in regular historical fiction, but I suppose given the subject I shouldn’t have expected so much.  It would have been much better if I’d gone into it without any expectations and was looking for something lighter at that particular time instead of taking a break from that lighter fiction.  I did enjoy it, but I felt it was lacking in complexity for my particular mood.  So, most likely my fault, not Abrams’!

To sum up: a good read, but don’t expect much more than a book about Don Juan and his various exploits!  Many others have loved this novel and so might you, don’t take my word for it.

Buy The Lost Diary of Don Juan on Amazon.

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4 comments to Review: The Lost Diary of Don Juan, Douglas Carlton Abrams

  • Bummer you didn’t like it as much as you thought. I do that all the time with books and movies too. If someone recommends it I go off into my own world of thinking it is going to be the perfect book and it really never is. Because of that I don’t read reviews of a book that I am planning on reading soon…I read them after.

    The Cover is cool on the book thoguh :)
    Happy reading, Happy Holidays!

  • I wasn’t sure that I’d like this one, so I’d kind of avoided it. Thanks for posting the review because I’d been wondering if I made a mistake passing this one up. Don’t think I did. Not that I’d hate it, but there are a lot of “middling” books out there and if a book isn’t blow-your-socks-off fantastic, who has time?

    Thanks again for the review!

  • Had that just happen to me with a book. I really had high hopes, but in the end it was a bit of a let down. I’ve been seeing this one around, but couldn’t warm up enough to it to put it on my 2009 list.

  • Thanks for the review. I’ve heard so-so things about this novel, so I think I’m going to pass on this one.