Bel Canto

Bel Canto

Book - 2001
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"Blissfully Romantic....A strange, terrific, spellcasting story." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Bel Canto...should be on the list of every literate music lover. The story is riveting, the participants breathe and feel and are alive, and throughout this elegantly-told novel, music pours forth so splendidly that the reader hears it and is overwhelmed by its beauty." --Lloyd Moss, WXQR

"Glorious." --The New Yorker

Ann Pratchett's award winning, New York Times bestselling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Patchett's other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician's Assistant, the author's lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060838720
0060838728
9780060188733
0060188731
9780061565311
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 318 p. ; 25 cm

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e
elizali
Dec 04, 2017

This beautiful book surprised me from beginning to end. All in all refreshing and the writing is fabulous.

v
vikkilawr
Oct 25, 2017

This was my second book by the author. The first, Commonwealth, was difficult to get through. Thumbs down. But I gave her another chance when I picked up this one.

It ran smoother, and until the last few paragraphs of the last chapter (of the main book...not the epilogue) it was wonderful. I knew the end would be tragic, and it was, BUT the epilogue was out of left field. Heck, it was from a different planet! I had to go online to see if I was the only one confused. I'm not. The sudden marriage between two characters who had affairs with others during the hostage part makes no sense. None. Not even if I take the whole novel symbolically.

I kept thinking maybe Roxanne was pregnant with Hosokawa's baby, so Gen married her out of Japanese respect. Pregnancy wasn't even alluded to.

Nope. I am done with this author.

DBRL_IdaF Aug 10, 2017

Beautifully written. Interesting premise. In an unnamed South American country, a plot by rebels to kidnap the president goes as far awry as possible. The president is not in attendance at the party they crash with their guns and demands. What was meant to be a quick in-and-out kidnapping turns into a months-long hostage situation, with several young rebel soldiers guarding an international contingent of politicians and businessmen, plus one opera diva and a very overworked translator. As time drags on, alliances and bonds are forged, with a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome settling down on everyone.

Despite the guns and military element, this is much more a character drama than an action novel. The characters learn a lot about themselves as they grow and change in response to their unusual situation.

s
sgcf
Mar 26, 2017

Loved it! Bel Canto has as its premise a massive international hostage-taking, but with an huge heart that symbolizes all humanity in microcosm. Like a dream, the slow pace depicts the characters as “who they are” and gradually peels and reveals layer upon layer, begging the question: what’s real? Patchett brilliantly folds a terrifying situation in on itself, allowing individual inner growth and bonding amongst the unlikeliest of characters – an exultation of our shared humanity. Then she balances it with page-turning flares of viciousness and panic. Loved it.

j
January1545
Dec 28, 2016

Beautiful, moving and one of my favourite books.

s
SaraJellicoe
Oct 15, 2016

Very well written and I agree that it felt like its own universe. The gradually growing empathy for the terrorists was the most intriguing part about this story. I did not find it romantic in the slightest, however. The women in the story were treated like objects (on a pedestal, to be worshipped for their beauty and talent) rather than persons, which makes for a strange concept of intimacy and relationships.

ehbooklover Sep 18, 2016

This book had been in my TBR list for a while now. I have always been intrigued by its concept and had heard wonderful things about it from coworkers and friends. They were right! I really enjoyed it. A unique and beautifully written story full of wonderful characters that kept me engaged and invested in the outcome until the very last page.

c
Candaceb108
Aug 25, 2016

This was my first Patchett book; I was underwhelmed. Great story line, some memorable characters. But it seemed to me the point of the story was emerging awareness of everyday ecstasy when we stop/slow down. That has value, but to describe that clarity with too many words seems to miss the point. A hundred fewer pages would have made a better book.

c
Courtneyre3
Jul 25, 2016

This was a well written, engaging story. I would have liked to see a note by the author about the real events the fictional book was based upon.

Incredible masterpiece. Patchett is a one of our great author talents!

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BostonPL_AnnaD Aug 29, 2015

BostonPL_AnnaD thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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i
isilme
Nov 26, 2013

Based on the Lima Crisis, this book is about a group of terrorists who hold high executives and people of high political standing hostage. It explores how the terrorists and hostages cope with living in a house together for several months. Many of the characters form unbreakable bonds of friendship, while some fall in love.

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LazyNeko
Sep 08, 2011

All of the love and the longing a body can contain was spun into not more than two and a half minutes of song, and when she came to the highest notes it seemed that all they had been given in their lives and all they had lost came together and made a weight that was almost impossible to bear.

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