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The Lost Diary of Don Juan: An Account of the True Arts of Passion and the Perilous Adventure of Love

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It was a time of discovery and decadence, when life became a gamble and the gold that poured endlessly into the port of Sevilla devalued money, marriage, and love itself. In the midst of these treacherous times, Juan Tenorio is born and then abandoned in the barn of a convent. Raised secretly by the nuns, he learns to love and worship all women and wants nothing more than It was a time of discovery and decadence, when life became a gamble and the gold that poured endlessly into the port of Sevilla devalued money, marriage, and love itself. In the midst of these treacherous times, Juan Tenorio is born and then abandoned in the barn of a convent. Raised secretly by the nuns, he learns to love and worship all women and wants nothing more than to be a priest, until he falls in love with one of the sisters. When their affair is discovered, Juan leaves the Church forever. He is soon recruited to be a spy by the powerful Marquis de la Mota, who teaches him to become the world's greatest libertine and seducer of women. But when he crosses swords with the most powerful man in the Empire, Don Juan must escape the murderous fury of the Inquisitor who battles all forms of debauchery, deviance, and heresy.It is after knowing countless women that he is convinced by the Marquis to keep a diary, and it is here within its pages that Don Juan reveals his greatest adventures and the Arts of Passion he mastered. But what finally compels him to confess everything and risk losing his life, livelihood, and honor is the most perilous adventure of all -- the irresistible fall into the madness of love with the only woman who could ever make him forget all others.


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It was a time of discovery and decadence, when life became a gamble and the gold that poured endlessly into the port of Sevilla devalued money, marriage, and love itself. In the midst of these treacherous times, Juan Tenorio is born and then abandoned in the barn of a convent. Raised secretly by the nuns, he learns to love and worship all women and wants nothing more than It was a time of discovery and decadence, when life became a gamble and the gold that poured endlessly into the port of Sevilla devalued money, marriage, and love itself. In the midst of these treacherous times, Juan Tenorio is born and then abandoned in the barn of a convent. Raised secretly by the nuns, he learns to love and worship all women and wants nothing more than to be a priest, until he falls in love with one of the sisters. When their affair is discovered, Juan leaves the Church forever. He is soon recruited to be a spy by the powerful Marquis de la Mota, who teaches him to become the world's greatest libertine and seducer of women. But when he crosses swords with the most powerful man in the Empire, Don Juan must escape the murderous fury of the Inquisitor who battles all forms of debauchery, deviance, and heresy.It is after knowing countless women that he is convinced by the Marquis to keep a diary, and it is here within its pages that Don Juan reveals his greatest adventures and the Arts of Passion he mastered. But what finally compels him to confess everything and risk losing his life, livelihood, and honor is the most perilous adventure of all -- the irresistible fall into the madness of love with the only woman who could ever make him forget all others.

30 review for The Lost Diary of Don Juan: An Account of the True Arts of Passion and the Perilous Adventure of Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    Oh Don Juan. The legendary lusty libertine. The astoundingly amorous adventurer. The dashing dream man of damsels' desires. Stay with me...these alliterations are the only fun to be had out of this book. Apparently Don Juan was also a loquacious chronicler of his exploits, because here is his diary, soggy silly cheesy mess of it. Granted one should expect a certain amount of shall we say romance in diaries of such a character, but it's just so tediously corny. Thought it would redeem itself as a Oh Don Juan. The legendary lusty libertine. The astoundingly amorous adventurer. The dashing dream man of damsels' desires. Stay with me...these alliterations are the only fun to be had out of this book. Apparently Don Juan was also a loquacious chronicler of his exploits, because here is his diary, soggy silly cheesy mess of it. Granted one should expect a certain amount of shall we say romance in diaries of such a character, but it's just so tediously corny. Thought it would redeem itself as a work of historical fiction, but the corniness always won out. And I'm no prude by any means, I can appreciate a well done love scene for its aesthetics or as a plot device, but this was beyond that. This was just ignominiously froufrou and overwritten, fifty shades of something sort of thing. There were some scenes... like the seductive dining scene, for example, listening to which was like getting ear raped. Scott Brick, a seasoned audio book reader of primarily action, tried in his best watered down Antonio Banderas accent...but one can only do so much with a turd like this. Normally I'm pretty forgiving of audio books, but this has to be the worst one yet encountered. Cue in the passage on Don's supreme seed control. Yes, seriously. He is a considerate man above all. On and on went this story about an irresistible lover who finally fell in love with the one woman he really wasn't suppose to. Apparently in the end the old ticker proved tougher to control than seed. Somewhere there must be a horny lonely lady of a certain age who'll think this to be the greatest thing since Christian Gray, but for a more discerning reader this is just an embarrassing to behold inanity. Selected purely due to lack of choices at the library at the time. Lesson learned. More discernment shall be shown from now on.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shana

    Before reading The Lost Diary of Don Juan, the infamous title character was nothing more than a name to me. From a mere caricature, Abrams has skillfully created a character who is richly complex and multi-layered. As I read the eloquently written pages of Don Juan's diary, it was impossible not to be drawn into his libertine life and the intrigues of the city of Seville in 1593. With beautiful, readable prose, Abrams paints a vivid picture of late 16th century Spain. The descriptions have a very Before reading The Lost Diary of Don Juan, the infamous title character was nothing more than a name to me. From a mere caricature, Abrams has skillfully created a character who is richly complex and multi-layered. As I read the eloquently written pages of Don Juan's diary, it was impossible not to be drawn into his libertine life and the intrigues of the city of Seville in 1593. With beautiful, readable prose, Abrams paints a vivid picture of late 16th century Spain. The descriptions have a very cinematic feel. I could visualize the walled courtyard of a nobleman's home, and the dark, dank interior of Don Juan's favorite tavern. I could feel the velvet fabric of his maroon doublet. I could smell the faint, seductive orange-apricot scent of a woman's perfume. The prose tends to feel a little flowery and euphemistic when describing Don Juan's many and varied sexual encounters, the upside of this being that the subject matter is thus handled in a manner that is inoffensive to a broader audience. The Spanish Inquisition was going strong in 1593, creating a sinister atmosphere in Seville which Abrams conveys well. His Inquisitor is a cruel, dark, ominous figure. The reader will sense that treachery and betrayal are rampant in Don Juan's world. Because of this, the trustworthy few - a nun or priest here, a loyal coachman there - feel all the more significant and engaging as supporting characters.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Natasa

    Doug Abrams has delivered a fascinating, fast-paced adventure brimmed with passion, intrigue, and humanity. This book is a page-turner, cleverly crafted and researched, yet tightly written, you will find yourself torn between racing to find out what happens next and savoring every delicious detail. It tracks the life of Don Juan and relives many of his exploits. It also is very instructional as to his romantic style and understanding of a womans needs. Full review you can find on my blog: Doug Abrams has delivered a fascinating, fast-paced adventure brimmed with passion, intrigue, and humanity. This book is a page-turner, cleverly crafted and researched, yet tightly written, you will find yourself torn between racing to find out what happens next and savoring every delicious detail. It tracks the life of Don Juan and relives many of his exploits. It also is very instructional as to his romantic style and understanding of a woman’s needs. Full review you can find on my blog: https://poetryofreading.blogspot.com/...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica (thebluestocking)

    I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own. I was delighted to have the chance to read this book on my way to Spain. It definitely enhanced my Spanish experience. Don Juan, as you probably know, is known as the greatest lover in Spain, perhaps all of Christendom. This book is the story of Don Juan as told through his diary, which was purportedly preserved by his friend for generations. It is the story of his journey from a lovemaker to a lover. I have I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own. I was delighted to have the chance to read this book on my way to Spain. It definitely enhanced my Spanish experience. Don Juan, as you probably know, is known as the greatest lover in Spain, perhaps all of Christendom. This book is the story of Don Juan as told through his diary, which was purportedly preserved by his friend for generations. It is the story of his journey from a lovemaker to a lover. I have mixed feelings about this novel. On the one hand, the writing was a little cheesy at times and some of it read like a trashy romance novel. On the other hand, I was pulled into the story and thought about it for a while after I finished it, which isn’t always the case. I could see some of the scenes as clearly as if I was watching a movie. For me, though, the literary device of the diary seemed contrived at all times. Every time it came back to reference of the diary, I was pulled out of the story and reminded that it was made up. See, mixed feelings. Still, I think this book is worth the read, and I would specifically recommend it to historical fiction/romance lovers. (No pun intended.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andreea

    I picked this up from my own bookshelf at home...it had been there for some time. My mom had bought it some time ago to read while traveling. I also needed something to read on the plane. This books brings nothing new to the scene...the same old tale of Don Juan. And the author's style not particularly enticing or memorable. It did strike me as incredibly easy to read and I was unpleasantly surprised when I finished it 30 minutes before my flight was over (that is a 4 hours flight). To begin I picked this up from my own bookshelf at home...it had been there for some time. My mom had bought it some time ago to read while traveling. I also needed something to read on the plane. This books brings nothing new to the scene...the same old tale of Don Juan. And the author's style not particularly enticing or memorable. It did strike me as incredibly easy to read and I was unpleasantly surprised when I finished it 30 minutes before my flight was over (that is a 4 hours flight). To begin with, we have Don Juan, a free spirit, ambassador of love but hunted by the inquisition. Nothing new so far. Entirely predictable, he is smitten by the only lady that does not fall to his feet. The major disappointment was the lack of originality and very, very predictable storyline. Characters as well did not have much to their spine. Don Juan himself is a stereotype, a myth and this book served him well, without distancing him from the crowd of previous Don Juans. Dona Ana - stereotype of the strong, honorable lady who at first rejects the hero. It's been three weeks since I read it, but I can't remember any other character. This is an easy read and good to waste your time with. However, it contains lots of cheesy scenes, especially the ones in which Don Juan expertly pleases all the women in the book. The author uses rather poor metaphors for most things sexual and they seem to overcrowd the book at some point. So, if you want something to think about, this definitely is not the book. Same cliches, same myths and portrayal of Don Juan.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tara Chevrestt

    I was delightfully surprised with this story. I must confess, I was expecting something more along the lines of Deuce Bigalow, American Gigolo, but much to my pleasure, this was a romantic historical fiction. It is very informative should you be looking more into what times were like during the Spanish Inquistion. It starts out with Don Juan, basically a womanizing man whore. However, he has utmost respect and reverence for the female species and when he actually falls in love, it warms the I was delightfully surprised with this story. I must confess, I was expecting something more along the lines of Deuce Bigalow, American Gigolo, but much to my pleasure, this was a romantic historical fiction. It is very informative should you be looking more into what times were like during the Spanish Inquistion. It starts out with Don Juan, basically a womanizing man whore. However, he has utmost respect and reverence for the female species and when he actually falls in love, it warms the readers heart. You laugh and cry and literally sit on the end of your seat in anticipation wondering if he and his love will be reunited. I rarely read novels about or written by men, but I highly recommend this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bookrazy-Koi

    ALthough the "bed" scenes were a bit muted...I can give this book this much stars because I strongly believe that in order for men to understand how to treat women, they should at least read this book! LOL I'm not saying that they go around seducing as much women as they can in one lifetime...but they need to understand how don juan sees women..:D It is a wonderful love story :) but if you're looking for some exciting "actions" then...LOL

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Bell

    I just could not get passed the voice of this book. I actually had to stop reading it about half way through. There were interesting points and the idea that someone actually lived this life is pretty amazing but not a satisfying read for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    I found this book on the bargain table at a bookstore, so I thought Id give it a shot. Glancing over the summary, I thought it would be a NEW take on Don Juan, something that showed more character than caricature. I think I was wrong, but I cant be sure because I couldnt bring myself to finish it. The love scenes are particularly offensive, more for the way they were presented than for the actual content. The language in those scenes is trite and stupid, all the metaphors for things, I felt like I found this book on the bargain table at a bookstore, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Glancing over the summary, I thought it would be a NEW take on Don Juan, something that showed more character than caricature. I think I was wrong, but I can’t be sure because I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. The love scenes are particularly offensive, more for the way they were presented than for the actual content. The language in those scenes is trite and stupid, all the metaphors for things, I felt like I was reading one of those Harlequin paperback pornos. It all seems very male, which I realize is fitting as our hero is a man as is the author, but somehow it comes off as condescending. He’s all, “Oh I get women, no one understands women like me,” meanwhile nothing he said swept me off my anything. Oh, and it’s kind of blasphemous in places, if I remember correctly. Overall, what I read of this book was unpleasant. I give it a disapproving tongue cluck and a smirk that’s laughing at it, not with it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    I only picked this book up because it was very cheap and it looked interesting, at least the cover art was. To quote my students: It sucked. The writing was mediocre at best. The lesson to be learned here, just because someone works in the book industry doesn't make that person a good writer. The styling and word choice showed the obvious attempts to make it quick and interesting but left me thinking it was melodramatic and pompous. The characterization was one-dimensional and yawn worthy. The I only picked this book up because it was very cheap and it looked interesting, at least the cover art was. To quote my students: It sucked. The writing was mediocre at best. The lesson to be learned here, just because someone works in the book industry doesn't make that person a good writer. The styling and word choice showed the obvious attempts to make it quick and interesting but left me thinking it was melodramatic and pompous. The characterization was one-dimensional and yawn worthy. The plot was about as deep as a mud puddle. And the sex scenes made me laugh out loud. One would think that a passionate sex scene from a male author would be something different and would leave out all the flowery euphemisms for body parts and foreplay, but it was so bad that there needed to be additional entries in the glossary! And I also got the impression that the author was thinly veiling boasts on his tantric abilities through Don Juan. Really, it took me so long to read because it was just that bad. Never again will I touch this author's works.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Delacruz

    I picked up this book on the bargain table, and I normally don't read romance novels. However, I found it an easy read, and intriguing, which again surprised me because I don't normally pick historical-fiction novels for leisure. There were some points that were lacking, but overall pretty entertaining. I appreciate how the author did research into the history of Sevilla and even visited. That probably helped in his writing, as I was able to imagine myself in Sevilla (and I can't wait to one day I picked up this book on the bargain table, and I normally don't read romance novels. However, I found it an easy read, and intriguing, which again surprised me because I don't normally pick historical-fiction novels for leisure. There were some points that were lacking, but overall pretty entertaining. I appreciate how the author did research into the history of Sevilla and even visited. That probably helped in his writing, as I was able to imagine myself in Sevilla (and I can't wait to one day visit). Love and lust and tackling religion/spiritual issues has lately been of interest to me, and because of this book, it has been enhanced. I love the tension I felt while reading about Don Juan, whose views on love and sexuality were completely contradicting with his time. I also felt it very empowering to read about a man appreciating the desires of a woman and how the women were actively seeking pleasure, something that is still somewhat taboo in society. "...passion and compassion beat in the same breast"

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    What a great writer! This one caught my eye in the library. From what little I'd read in the past Don Juan has always struck me as a hilarious character. I was thinking more Pepe Le Peau (sp?) the cartoon skunk, but DCA takes this to an unexpected level. Dashing, romantic, full of honor and deceipt. He communicates a sense of Seville, Spain at this time and place that is staying with me. In other words, as good a historical and literary picture as I've ever seen. The style here is maybe drawn What a great writer! This one caught my eye in the library. From what little I'd read in the past Don Juan has always struck me as a hilarious character. I was thinking more Pepe Le Peau (sp?) the cartoon skunk, but DCA takes this to an unexpected level. Dashing, romantic, full of honor and deceipt. He communicates a sense of Seville, Spain at this time and place that is staying with me. In other words, as good a historical and literary picture as I've ever seen. The style here is maybe drawn from some courtly, archaic Spanish stories? That's a big part of it. Reminded me of the Zorro stories (a good thing).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Doc

    I am a big fan of classic swashbucklers. This isn't one of them. I found a few quotable things in it, and it has all the requisite ingredients: an evil cardinal inquisitor, a damsel being forced into marriage, &c., but it just never grabbed me. I think the book couldn't quite decide whether to be a swashbuckler or a romance. The classics succeed at being both. This one was neither. The sex scenes were sort of graphic in that I knew what was happening, but stilted and laden with euphemisms. The I am a big fan of classic swashbucklers. This isn't one of them. I found a few quotable things in it, and it has all the requisite ingredients: an evil cardinal inquisitor, a damsel being forced into marriage, &c., but it just never grabbed me. I think the book couldn't quite decide whether to be a swashbuckler or a romance. The classics succeed at being both. This one was neither. The sex scenes were sort of graphic in that I knew what was happening, but stilted and laden with euphemisms. The book would have been better without them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    The story of Don Juan is given true heart in this book, with all of his exploits being charmingly regurgitated in a way that would make any woman swoon romantically. So...he was a slut, but that's because he does not want any woman to lack attention or endure loneliness! I thoroughly enjoyed the passion with which his exploits were unfolded, especially as the diary turned towards his own inner turmoil at an inability to love one sole woman. Also, had just the right amount of swashbuckling to keep The story of Don Juan is given true heart in this book, with all of his exploits being charmingly regurgitated in a way that would make any woman swoon romantically. So...he was a slut, but that's because he does not want any woman to lack attention or endure loneliness! I thoroughly enjoyed the passion with which his exploits were unfolded, especially as the diary turned towards his own inner turmoil at an inability to love one sole woman. Also, had just the right amount of swashbuckling to keep it lively. A book for a heroine in need of a hero - or just some good thought for dreams :)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    I love historical fiction and this was a great book. I stayed up way to late finishing it. Don Juan asks his mother her secret to lasting love and she said: The heart is forever unfaithful, and the feelings of love come and go, but true love is not about how you feel. It is about what you do. That really hit me, true love is about being faithful, respectful, caring, fun, passionate, and getting thru the times when your heart just isnt in it, because love will come around again. It is a good I love historical fiction and this was a great book. I stayed up way to late finishing it. Don Juan asks his mother her secret to lasting love and she said: “The heart is forever unfaithful, and the feelings of love come and go, but true love is not about how you feel. It is about what you do.” That really hit me, true love is about being faithful, respectful, caring, fun, passionate, and getting thru the times when your heart just isn’t in it, because love will come around again. It is a good lesson to anyone in a good relationship that is starting to feel restless.

  16. 4 out of 5

    retro.fox

    I had so much trouble finishing this book, to me it was very boring and badly written. It almost put me into a reading slump. I thought I would like this book because I love the historical genre but this book did not appeal to me at all. It brought nothing new to the story of Don Juan, just another re-telling and not even a good one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    amandra

    I was hoping for more then I got out of this

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liviania

    The book begins promisingly, with the meta joke, "Many, I am sure, will try to turn my life into a morality play after I am dead." For whether Don Juan truly existed as a Spanish nobleman or not, he is commonly known due to plays, books, poems, and movies. Of course, the book shortly after offers a preview of its greatest downfall, when Don Juan seduces the Widow Elvira: I sipped the moist nectar of her mouth as she opened her petals to me. Our mouths fused together, her thirst palpable and her The book begins promisingly, with the meta joke, "Many, I am sure, will try to turn my life into a morality play after I am dead." For whether Don Juan truly existed as a Spanish nobleman or not, he is commonly known due to plays, books, poems, and movies. Of course, the book shortly after offers a preview of its greatest downfall, when Don Juan seduces the Widow Elvira: I sipped the moist nectar of her mouth as she opened her petals to me. Our mouths fused together, her thirst palpable and her breath short. With out tonges and lips, we drank from each other a cordial as sweet as honey. Yes, it's oftentimes that purple. Now, I was expecting a little purple in a book about one of the world's most famous lovers. It just wouldn't be right without it. However, Abrams often ventures to the point of just plain silly. (In the glossary included in the notes, just look at the definitions for Supreme Pleasure and Ultimate Skill. Even the author is a bit confunded by the word choice.) This dovetails in with the other fault, which is how Abrams addresses Don Juan's spirituality. Don Juan believes in a 'heresy,' that laying with a woman, even outside of marriage, is a way of worshipping God. It's an interesting point of view and Abrams uses Juan to make some good points, it all seems a bit false coming from a man who only physically loves his lovers. These things detract from an otherwise excellent story. On the romance side, Don Juan finally becomes emotionally connected to a woman, but one with whom he cannot have a physical relationship due to his loyalty to her fiance. On the historical side, Don Juan's practicing heresy during the Inquisition. Abrams presents the Inquisition in its full hideousness, torturing the innocent to death as well as the guilty. The text also speaks of those men who would denounce people to this fate for their own gain. Human history is full of dark and shameful things, which most certainly fits the Inquisition. It was a dangerous time, and Abrams uses it well. Don Juan had far more to fear than an enraged husband. Back to the romance side, the circumstances surrounding Dona Ana and Don Juan's relationship are more interesting than the woman herself. I liked her at her first introduction, but after that she seemed somewhat bland. It's realistic for a high born woman of the time to not be able to do much about her fate, but it left the novel with a hero far more dynamic than the heroine. Still, she did well enough as the love interest. I wanted to love THE LOST DIARY OF DON JUAN at many points, but I just couldn't. There's certainly a good story there, but it would be better if the language were a little less flowery.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Set in 16th century Seville during Spains Golden Age and the Spanish Inquisition, The Lost Diary of Don Juan is an action-packed look at the life and passion of the worlds greatest lover. The son of a prostitute, Juan Tenorio is abandoned as an infant at the gates of a convent. He grows into a young man under the sisters loving care and instruction. Juan seems destined for the priesthood until he falls in love with one of the nuns, Sister Teresa. The two begin a passionate affair, meeting in Set in 16th century Seville during Spain’s Golden Age and the Spanish Inquisition, The Lost Diary of Don Juan is an action-packed look at the life and passion of the world’s greatest lover. The son of a prostitute, Juan Tenorio is abandoned as an infant at the gates of a convent. He grows into a young man under the sisters’ loving care and instruction. Juan seems destined for the priesthood until he falls in love with one of the nuns, Sister Teresa. The two begin a passionate affair, meeting in secret each evening. When they are eventually discovered, Juan is forced to leave the Church. The teenaged Juan Tenorio then joins a burglary ring in order to support himself. His skill as a thief and usefulness as a spy soon attracts the attention of the Marquis de la Monta, Don Pedro. The Marquis trains Juan as a libertine – one unbridled by traditional morality – and even secures a nobility title for the young man. Don Juan is a natural when it comes to the art of seduction, and his conquests are soon the stuff of legend. Unbeknownst to Don Juan, the Marquis is blackmailing the husbands and fathers of the women Don Juan seduces. Once Juan learns of this, he continues his libertine ways but refuses to reveal the identity of his partners to the Marquis. When the beautiful Dona Ana captures Don Juan’s eye, the world’s greatest lover finds himself embarking on his most challenging conquest of all: the mastery of his own heart. Can one who has enjoyed the pleasures of so many women find himself content with one woman for the rest of his life? Douglas Carlton Abrams gives us an intriguing look into the soul of a character who is usually portrayed as a villain and a rapist. Instead of depicting Don Juan as someone who preys on women, Abrams shows us a more tender side of the mythical lover. Passion is a central theme, not just sexual passion but also passion for life. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the humor. At one point, Don Juan is climbing a tree to reach a woman’s bedroom. As the rough bark digs into his hands, he tells himself that one day, he will seduce a woman on the ground floor. As one would expect, sex plays a large part in this book. The Lost Diary of Don Juan is very sensual but never crass. The prose seems, on occasion, a little too flowery, but the compelling story tends to compensate for much of the florid language.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carey

    Seville, Spain in the year 1593 is a wealthy city. The gold and riches pouring in from the New World have led to prosperity for Spain but unfortunately the country has lost many of its men to recent wars and the colonization of the New World. There are more widows and lonely wives than ever before. The result of the low male population is the rise of the Galanteador, a gallant or seducer. The most successful and famous of these was Don Juan Tenorio. Don Juan was abandoned as an infant at a Seville, Spain in the year 1593 is a wealthy city. The gold and riches pouring in from the New World have led to prosperity for Spain but unfortunately the country has lost many of its men to recent wars and the colonization of the New World. There are more widows and lonely wives than ever before. The result of the low male population is the rise of the Galanteador, a gallant or seducer. The most successful and famous of these was Don Juan Tenorio. Don Juan was abandoned as an infant at a convent in Seville. He was raised by the nuns who were thrilled to have a child in their care. Growing up amidst a group of women has great advantages for Don Juan. He learns to understand and love them in a way that many men do not. At the age of fifteen he falls in love with a young novice but their affair is found out and he is expelled from the convent. He briefly lives in a nearby monastery where he is mistreated by the monks, so he leaves to make his own way in the world. After several years as a burglar Juan is befriended by a Marquis who trains him to be a spy and Galanteador. Juan learns quickly and soon exceeds the Marquis in talent. He becomes famous for his exploits with women. He worships women and he believes that he could never be happy with just one. His happiness lies in showing each different woman how beautiful she is, regardless of her age, race or station in life. Then one day Don Juan meets the beautiful Ana and she has an unexpected effect on him. The narrative will leave you breathless. It has amazing sword fights, frantic escapes, a fantastic bull fight, the horrors and torture of the Inquisition and steamy love scenes. It is full of action and excitement and I couldn’t put it down! The characters run the gamut from charming and endearing to dastardly and evil. I was rooting for Don Juan as he grew from his experiences and finally learned the truth about love.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This book was not on my "to-read" list. I chose it because I needed a book on tape, and my two-year-old was gleefully climbing in between shelves in the library, so I basically grabbed the first thing I saw and ran with it. As it turns out, I enjoyed this book much more than I was expecting. I will do a pros and cons. Pros: 1. The idea is really intriguing. The famed lover Don Juan was a real-life person, who (of all things!) kept a diary detailing his affairs. Mildly sordid, but more showcasing This book was not on my "to-read" list. I chose it because I needed a book on tape, and my two-year-old was gleefully climbing in between shelves in the library, so I basically grabbed the first thing I saw and ran with it. As it turns out, I enjoyed this book much more than I was expecting. I will do a pros and cons. Pros: 1. The idea is really intriguing. The famed lover Don Juan was a real-life person, who (of all things!) kept a diary detailing his affairs. Mildly sordid, but more showcasing his gallantry and not-so-hidden heart of gold. 2. It had good pacing, was not painfully predictable, and didn't have nearly as many or as graphic of sex scenes as you would expect based on the title. 3. It was great historical fiction. The Spanish Inquisition, viewed simulatneously through the eyes of a noble and an orphan. Very interesting. 4. As unrealistic as Don Juan's gallantry and 21st-century mindset were, it did make him pretty endearing. He was such a good guy! Cons: 1. The swordfights, chase scenes, and narrow escapes did get a little ridiculous after awhile. It almost felt like the author was working his way through some kind of checklist for a Zorro episode. 2. The sex scenes weren't as bad as I expected, but that doesn't mean they weren't bad. I was listening on tape and I would just skip to the next track when one started, so I can't say definitively how bad they were. My estimation is the high end of PG-13. 3. There was this whole big thing where Juan was trying to convince everyone and anyone that lust, passion, and love are essentially intertwined, and one can come to know God through lust (I'm simplifying). Anyway, I was not convinced, and thought the soap boxing detracted from the story. 4. It wasn't brilliant writing, but it wasn't bad. The author had a very repetitive cadence, which may have been compounded by the actor reading it. So, sometimes I didn't love the writing, but on the whole, it was a good book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    A.

    I like the style used; ounds modern yet intriguing. Im still at the beginning, and a bit taken by the irony of a boy raised by 24 nuns growing up to be a libertine! Monday, April 07, 2008 I reached page 51, and I feel the need to quote some lines... just an old habit! A mans ambition, however, like his fate, is not always known to him in advancepage2 The only secret I have used to unlock the bedchambers of the women I have known is their own unquenched thirst for life. The greatest power in the I like the style used; ounds modern yet intriguing. I’m still at the beginning, and a bit taken by the irony of a boy raised by 24 nuns growing up to be a libertine! Monday, April 07, 2008 I reached page 51, and I feel the need to quote some lines... just an old habit! “A man’s ambition, however, like his fate, is not always known to him in advance…”page2 “The only secret I have used to unlock the bedchambers of the women I have known is their own unquenched thirst for life. The greatest power in the world, greater than kings and popes, is the desire of women. Love, the priests tell us, rules heavens, but does desire not rule the earth? One who understands the workings of desire understands the very secret of life...” page 20 “A woman’s modesty is too important to sacrifice on the altar of a man’s glory” page 48 “Pride, Priora Francisca had once said, is the greatest of these sins because it leads to all the others. Only humility before God can keep us from sin.” page 43 Tuesday, April 08, 2008 not sure when I stopped reading this book; it was becoming more like Robin Hood adventures, so another book stole me.I’ll try to go back and finish it! Friday, May 02, 2008 My final comments on this book-I have to admit, it was not what I expected. I expected a lot of passion and loads of raw emotions…at least for the one who made him forget all the others. While reading, Don Juan seemed to me interested in describing streets and buildings more than exposing his deep feelings…I still don’t know why Don Juan loved Dona Anna more than any woman he met. I find it ironic that he carried on his shoulders the burden of pleasing all the lonely women and once Dona Anna committed her love to him, he forgot about his noble goal towards the others! Surprisingly, the ending was adventurous rather than romantic. Monday, June 23, 2008

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ariel Coro

    I grew up wanting to visit Spain, when I finally did in 1998 I fell in love. Truth be known, I really fell in love with the Southern part of Spain or Andalusia and in particular with the city known as Sevilla If you love literature as I do, you probably have heard many tales of Don Juan Tenorio that famous character personifying romance, bravery, and the essence and soul of Andalusia. When I heard the title of this book called The Lost Diary of Don Juan, I had to have it. I normally have 2 or 3 I grew up wanting to visit Spain, when I finally did in 1998 I fell in love. Truth be known, I really fell in love with the Southern part of Spain or Andalusia and in particular with the city known as “Sevilla” If you love literature as I do, you probably have heard many tales of “Don Juan Tenorio” that famous character personifying romance, bravery, and the essence and soul of Andalusia. When I heard the title of this book called “The Lost Diary of Don Juan”, I had to have it. I normally have 2 or 3 books going at a time, but in this case, once I started, I could not put it down. Descriptions of Seville, its people, and its lore kept me glued to this one book until I finished. I even came to believe that many of the places described by Mr. Abrams were ones we had visited, after all much of the action takes place in the Barrio Santa Cruz where we stayed in the quaint local Hotel Murillo. What an adventure! Mr. Abrams takes you through the life of a “Seducer” and brings you to his discovery of the true meaning of love and how to achieve it. Don Juan passion develops before your very eyes and you get to appreciate the lessons that lead him to find happiness. Interspersed throughout the book, you get history as it happened, tales of the Spanish Inquisition. For those not familiar with the Spanish language the Glossary is perfect. You may even want to glance over it at the beginning so you are fully prepared to enjoy the trip back to Seville’s glorious time of Romance and Adventure. One last thing, when you have finished reading this book, you will probably want to start planning the vacation of a lifetime to Seville, Spain, where you will undoubtedly relive the adventures described throughout the pages of The Lost Diary of Don Juan.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Serena

    Douglas Carlton Abrams' The Lost Diary of Don Juan transports the reader into a world where honor and piety are praised. But love must be chaste, and not lustful. Don Juan is fabled to be one of the greatest lovers and seducers of women, much like Cassanova. This work of fiction, written in a diary format, examines the inner Don Juan, his philosophies about love and lust, and his desire to remain honorable even as a galanteador. He refuses to tell tales of his "conquests," a term that really is Douglas Carlton Abrams' The Lost Diary of Don Juan transports the reader into a world where honor and piety are praised. But love must be chaste, and not lustful. Don Juan is fabled to be one of the greatest lovers and seducers of women, much like Cassanova. This work of fiction, written in a diary format, examines the inner Don Juan, his philosophies about love and lust, and his desire to remain honorable even as a galanteador. He refuses to tell tales of his "conquests," a term that really is inappropriate in the context of this novel. Don Juan does not conquer these women, but sets them free from the constraints of a society against passion and living life. Don Juan is a sympathetic and believable character, and his redemption is so fleeting. It's a classic love story full of redemption, despite the fleeting nature of his redemption. He loves women, and in some ways worships them. Don Juan is unaware of what he is missing in these fleeting relationships because his adrenaline pumps through his veins as he leaves their homes and seeks to escape their angry husbands and fathers. That is until he meets Dona Ana. This novel has all the makings of a great historical piece from the duels and the honorable father to the trapped maiden, the wrath of the Inquisitor, and the betrayal of misplaced loyalties. Abrams carefully chooses his language to describe the streets and alleys of Sevilla, Spain, while sprinkling the text with Spanish words. This technique provides the diary technique with greater authenticity. Although Don Juan is often thought of as a cad, this novel will provide readers with an alternative view--a renewed perspective on why one man sought love in the arms of numerous women and why that one man ultimately met his match.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    So, I give this one 4 - it was going to be 3 1/2 but I must rate fairly. There are a couple of things I would have changed - but had that not been the case, this book would rate 4 stars. So - 4 it is. I listened to this on CD, narrated by Gordon Griffin. Who, by the way, does a spectacular job. I was hooked from the moment he began speaking. The book is based on - well, the lost diary of Don Juan DeMarco. It provides a wonderful story about his background, from being abandoned as a baby to being So, I give this one 4 - it was going to be 3 1/2 but I must rate fairly. There are a couple of things I would have changed - but had that not been the case, this book would rate 4 stars. So - 4 it is. I listened to this on CD, narrated by Gordon Griffin. Who, by the way, does a spectacular job. I was hooked from the moment he began speaking. The book is based on - well, the lost diary of Don Juan DeMarco. It provides a wonderful story about his background, from being abandoned as a baby to being raised amongst nuns. It delves into how he became the most infamous lover of women - and begs the question, can he ever truly fall in love? The way it's written was marvelous. A libertine? Yes, indeed he was - but he respected women. Loved them, worshiped them, and it's so incredibly refreshing to read that. He cared for them on a spiritual level. Yes, there are sex scenes - and some may make you fan yourself! Not once was it ever vulgar, the author choosing to depict such scenes with tenderness, caring - and some really intriguing metaphors! I leave you with one of my now-favorite quotes, from the book: "A woman's modesty is too important to sacrifice on the altar of a man's glory."

  26. 5 out of 5

    liz

    Very enjoyable. Basically, Don Juan falls in love and foils the Inquisition. I enjoyed the spiritual perspective that Don Juan takes toward physical love, although the descriptions of the physical lovemaking can be cheesy. I also liked that the ending wasn't too happy - it was a nice surprise. But I say desire is older than humanity, created on the sixth day with the animals, and it has a power that is greater than our ability to control it. It is this power that the seducer draws upon as the Very enjoyable. Basically, Don Juan falls in love and foils the Inquisition. I enjoyed the spiritual perspective that Don Juan takes toward physical love, although the descriptions of the physical lovemaking can be cheesy. I also liked that the ending wasn't too happy - it was a nice surprise. But I say desire is older than humanity, created on the sixth day with the animals, and it has a power that is greater than our ability to control it. It is this power that the seducer draws upon as the sorcerer uses his spells. Before monogamy, before marriage, before Church, and before King, there was seduction. Women as well as men long for its embrace and need the fire of lust that was stolen from the gods to survive the bitter cold of life. And an alarming true fact from the glossary: The Sacred Congregation of the Universal Inquisition, the Vatican's authority for defending the Church from heresy, still exists, although it has been renamed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was headed by Prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger until he was enthroned as Pope Benedict XVI on May 7, 2005. So not only was the Pope a Nazi, but until he became Pope he was in charge of the Inquisition!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Therese Regina Marie

    An adventurous tale of the "world's most greatest lover" - Don Juan, the Spanish equivalent of Casanova. A galanteador (spanish for gallant or seducer) Don Juan lived a debauched life. However, he is not portrayed here as a cynical man whose sole desire is to hop from one woman's bed to another, as a matter of fact, in this tale, Don Juan is portrayed as a lover of women. A Connoisseur skilled in the art of passion, he worships the divine beauty inherent in women. He enjoys them like fine wine, An adventurous tale of the "world's most greatest lover" - Don Juan, the Spanish equivalent of Casanova. A galanteador (spanish for gallant or seducer) Don Juan lived a debauched life. However, he is not portrayed here as a cynical man whose sole desire is to hop from one woman's bed to another, as a matter of fact, in this tale, Don Juan is portrayed as a lover of women. A Connoisseur skilled in the art of passion, he worships the divine beauty inherent in women. He enjoys them like fine wine, and he enjoys the fact that he can have different "flavors" of wine fresh from the bevy of beauties found in Sevilla... That is, until the moment that he fell in love... "Desire is the world's most oldest battle. Women valiantly try to keep their chastity, while men do everything in their power to steal it..." As Don Juan struggles to get a grip of his emotions, he enters the battle and somehow under the moonlight, he loses his heart.... The Lost Diary of Don Juan is a spellbinding adventure that will shed light onto the complexities of love, as told by the very person who seemed to have an immunity to it, until he met the one woman who allowed him to forsake all others... LOVED IT

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    After getting of to a shaky start this turned out being pretty good. I'm not sure if it has enought "romance" to keep a romance reader going but it didn't have so much romance that it turned me off and I'm not a romance reader. Though the overall plot was fairly predictable, I really liked the ending. One thing that bothered me was the constant "tension building" that never ended bad. Like "his legs were weak from the torture but with a final burst of strength he was able to..." and then 2 After getting of to a shaky start this turned out being pretty good. I'm not sure if it has enought "romance" to keep a romance reader going but it didn't have so much romance that it turned me off and I'm not a romance reader. Though the overall plot was fairly predictable, I really liked the ending. One thing that bothered me was the constant "tension building" that never ended bad. Like "his legs were weak from the torture but with a final burst of strength he was able to..." and then 2 paragraphs later, "he could barely hold the sword but he was able to...". It just seemed like Don Juan was Superman by the time the chapter was over and it didn't really build any tension after the fifth near disaster in as many paragraphs. The other thing that was a little off-putting for me was that the narrator for this (audio) book was the same guy that does all the new Dune prequels. I kept on expecting sandworms to pop-up and eat Don Juan. But I don't suspect that would be a problem for too many people.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I really enjoyed this book, and found myself chuckling out loud as I listened to it. The narrator had a great Hispanic accent that lent authentic flavor to the story. The story had some great fight scenes and generally good pacing throughout. CAUTION: this book is quite graphic. For the character of Don Juan, you might expect some pretty racy romance scenes, and you would be right. But what surprised me were the graphic torture scenes, as the story takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. I really enjoyed this book, and found myself chuckling out loud as I listened to it. The narrator had a great Hispanic accent that lent authentic flavor to the story. The story had some great fight scenes and generally good pacing throughout. CAUTION: this book is quite graphic. For the character of Don Juan, you might expect some pretty racy romance scenes, and you would be right. But what surprised me were the graphic torture scenes, as the story takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. Those scenes were pretty gruesome, and unfortunately with an audio book, it's hard to fast forward through them without missing other parts of the story. With a printed book, at least you could scan forward to skip any parts that aren't to your liking. (Yes, the parts were that bad, hence my rating of 4 stars, instead of the full 5.) But overall, I enjoyed the book, and may pick it back up again to re-read in the future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karina

    Although the writing was good, the portrayal of Don Juan just turned me off so much, that I couldn't finish the book. And there were very explicit sex scenes, which generally don't bother me, but for some reason did in this case... I agree that most of my dislike comes from Don Juan's supposed raison d'etre: to free women from their imprisoned and empty lives by introducing them to the passion they are capable of feeling. All fine and nice, but he has no compunction as to who the woman is or what Although the writing was good, the portrayal of Don Juan just turned me off so much, that I couldn't finish the book. And there were very explicit sex scenes, which generally don't bother me, but for some reason did in this case... I agree that most of my dislike comes from Don Juan's supposed raison d'etre: to free women from their imprisoned and empty lives by introducing them to the passion they are capable of feeling. All fine and nice, but he has no compunction as to who the woman is or what this could do to her standing in life, should they be discovered, nor does he ever give a woman more than one night of passion. So if reading about the above doesn't bother you, go ahead and pick it up; if it does, save yourself the money and don't.

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