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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.
The story opens in a South American country with a birthday party for Mr. Hosakawa, a Japanese electronics tycoon.
In the novel Bel Canto, Ann Patchett has spun a story that will captivate most readers, not just those interested in music.
As much as I really liked the ending, I don't know that I liked it because it was good or that something finally happened.
I could not get into this book. I forced myself to finish it. liked the last 1/10 of it. But had to work hard to get there. Do not get why this book was popular.Published 4 days ago by alicia shepard
What an interesting book on love. I really enjoyed and bought it as a gift and recommended it to others as it had been recommended to me.Published 8 days ago by B. J. Morris
I thought the book was well written but it seemed to go on for too long. A good story but could have been much shorter. The ending, though predictable, did not seem realistic.Published 11 days ago by Aryeh Weiss