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The Cellist of Sarajevo
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on March 29, 2017
Good story, but I just found it too slow to finish
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on April 26, 2017
difficult to finish
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on May 23, 2009
"The Cellist of Sarajevo" is a brief but resonating novel that takes the reader to the heart of a city devastated by war. The story centers around a cellist who, after a deadly mortar attack that kills 22 people waiting in line for bread, vows to play his cello at the scene of the attack for 22 days in a row. He does so in spite of the grave danger of being killed: in this city, even a trip to get water for the family can prove fatal as snipers hide in the surrounding hills and mortars fall with regularity.

The cellist's music impacts, in some way, the other three characters in the novel: one a sniper, another a young father, and another in his 60s. The characters struggle to reconcile the Sarajevo of their pasts, with the hollowed out war zone of the present. The novel is ultimately a testament to the impact of war on ordinary citizens, and the presence of courage in unlikely places. It earned a 5 star rating from me because, like the songs of the cellist in the title, it was brief but profound.
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on September 17, 2016
A terrific story, written as if I were actually there in Sarajevo at the time of the civil war. I am left with a greater appreciation of those caught up in Sarajevo during the period of some of the most unspeakable atrocities in modern times. A must read.
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on June 12, 2017
Great read! It is not easy to digest because of the war theme, but important to understand what was going on.
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on July 19, 2017
It was a great read!
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on July 12, 2017
Chilling story about life in this war torn city. It is hard to imagine what these poor people suffered. The author does an excellent job portraying their struggle to survive.
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on October 30, 2013
This was a good look into what it is like to suffer because of war. Especially one that you don't agree with. The characters are very real. I especially loved Arrow. The cost of killing and being good at it changes one forever. The kindness of our neighbors and the bravery of strangers is amazing. How music can move us and give us hope and a respite is interesting. Worth reading. Heart breaking that for 4 years Sarajevo was under attack and the affect on it's citizens.
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on July 30, 2013
An excellent book, taking four characters and their reactions to war - this is the war that affected what used to be Yugoslavia, concentrating on Sarajevo. Most interesting is the cellilst, who simply observes, then plays the cello as a tribute to 22 people who died waiting on line for bread. He plays one piece every day for 22 days, I forget the name, and it affects each of the listeners in different ways. A marvelous depiction of war and how it affects civilians. I highly recommend it
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on February 20, 2017
A good book that was on my book club list - that's why I read it. It's an ok book - not one I'll read again as I do my favorites. It will make an interesting book club discussion.
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