|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Among the hostages are not only Hosokawa and Roxane Coss, the American soprano, but an assortment of Russian, Italian, and French diplomatic types. Reuben Iglesias, the diminutive and gracious vice president, quickly gets sideways of the kidnappers, who have no interest in him whatsoever. Meanwhile, a Swiss Red Cross negotiator named Joachim Messner is roped into service while vacationing. He comes and goes, wrangling over terms and demands, and the days stretch into weeks, the weeks into months.
With the omniscience of magic realism, Ann Patchett flits in and out of the hearts and psyches of hostage and terrorist alike, and in doing so reveals a profound, shared humanity. Her voice is suitably lyrical, melodic, full of warmth and compassion. Hearing opera sung live for the first time, a young priest reflects:
Never had he thought, never once, that such a woman existed, one who stood so close to God that God's own voice poured from her. How far she must have gone inside herself to call up that voice. It was as if the voice came from the center part of the earth and by the sheer effort and diligence of her will she had pulled it up through the dirt and rock and through the floorboards of the house, up into her feet, where it pulled through her, reaching, lifting, warmed by her, and then out of the white lily of her throat and straight to God in heaven.Joined by no common language except music, the 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds. Time stands still, priorities rearrange themselves. Ultimately, of course, something has to give, even in a novel so imbued with the rich imaginative potential of magic realism. But in a fractious world, Bel Canto remains a gentle reminder of the transcendence of beauty and love. --Victoria Jenkins --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Just a well-done story.Published 2 days ago by M.Williams
This book was very easy to read and it was enjoyable. I recommend reading it all the way to the end -- that is when it gets brilliant.Published 2 days ago by Stephanie Stetson
A book club read, I thought this book was about music. My husband is a professional musician, so I was actually expecting some cliché and romanticism, but give me a break:... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Kathleen S. Martin
It is one of the most charming and provocative books that I have read recently.Published 3 days ago by Barbara Lasker
My daughter found this book to be a complate and utter "chore/bore"Published 9 days ago by advocacy mom
Had to get this on my kindle after almost finishing it in the car on tape. I couldn't go the night without finishing it. It was a little hard to make the end work in my mind.Published 11 days ago by Susan Schirber
In the frightful unfolding tale of rich business titans, political leaders and wealthy women of position being taken hostage over a period of months, the reader is caught up in the... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Carol A. Siefker, MA; MRP
NO ONE IN OUR BOOK CLUB LIKED THIS BOOK! IN FACT ONLY ONE ACTUALLY FINISHED IT, IT WAS SO AWFUL...Published 18 days ago by hannah menzing
Beautiful book with wonderful characters, interesting story line, and engaging prose. I loved it. Perfect novel right down to the last page.Published 24 days ago by LadyDunn