But what begins as a life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
Ann Patchett has written a novel that is as lyrical and profound as it is unforgettable. Bel Canto is a virtuoso performance by one of our best and most important writers.
©2001 Ann Patchett; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers
"Patchett can be counted on to deliver novels rich in imaginative bravado and psychological nuance. This fluid and assured narrative...demonstrates her growing maturity and mastery of form." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mixing art and politics can have unexpected results, but rarely are they so poignant....[Anna Fields'] performance is the essence of Bel Canto, easy, pure of tone, with an agile, precise vocal technique." (AudioFile)
Engrossing and Tragic
I loved all the individual characters, but I think that Mr. Hosokawa sticks in my mind the most. A business man who had little time for his family, he was the most changed by these events.
Anna Fields did such an amazing narration of this book. She brought life to all the characters, male and female in many foreign languages. Amazing!
Gen was the most memorable for me. He brought guests and terrorists together in a way that would not have been possible without his interpretations.
Read/listen to this book. You won't be sorry. I listened to State of Wonder for my book club and I enjoyed it so much I wanted to read another Ann Patchett book. I chose this one for it's unusual premise. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Ann Patchett's style reminds me of an old master painting. She starts with the grounding, and then gradually adds the lights, the darks, and the mid-values. Ultimately, after many semi-transparent layers, an intricate and beautiful image emerges. You will fall in love with the characters and the story.
I've been a member for 3 years and over 280 titles. I listen during my commute to/from work. Mysteries around the world...Jo Nesbo, Larsson, Erin Hart, Tana French, Verghese, Stuart Neville others?
Different nationalities, extremely poor vs extremely rich and a lot of forbidden relationships. I've read State of Wonder and recommend them both.
Since I have read this book I have been on a fruitless search to find another one which captures me in the same way.
Yuck. This is my second Ann Patchett book, and I know that's not enough to make a sweeping generalization about her writing style. However, I will say that the two books I've read were of the same formula. An enticing begin, with a long, drawn out, and boring middle, followed by an abrupt and rushed ending where everything is neatly wrapped up in a great hurry. This book was unrealistic to the extreme, and I found reading it to be painful at times. Strong dislike. I have no idea how this book won any awards. Usually if I don't like an award winning book, I can atleast see some redeeming qualties. Not the case here.
Did not like being told how it was going to end and then waited a long long time for the 2nd shoe to fall.
It should have been a shorter book
Yes, she is great as usual.
I did love the characters, flawed and quirky.
If you like a book of characters and character interaction, as well as surprise and suspense, you will love this book.
Do not be fooled by the surface situational description of this book as I was. I had owned it for years and never read it because I was not so interested in a book about hostages. However this book only uses the situation as a vehicle to explore human relationships and it is wonderful, gripping, and impossible to stop listening.
This book took my breath away. I held on to every word. The narration was complex enough to make me concentrate and focus on the characters. The story was beautiful, I could hear the song, feel the heat, the fright, the love that unfolded during their ordeal. I did not cry in the end for those that died. Terrorists and hostages alike were given the rare opportunity to truly live in the moment, to experience all that really matters in life.
living in los angeles I drive a lot, so audio books save me from a lot of frustration!
I have been ruminating about this book for days. I was completely caught up in it, in love with it, swept away with it and then came the ending. It was so sudden that I felt betrayed and cast aside like a lover who is dropped with no phone call or explanation. Now, 3 days later, I have come to terms with the author. She wrote a book about a period of suspended time, outside of ordinary reality. When that time ended and reality hit, she wrapped it up quickly, in a shocking denouement that made this reader feel like the characters must have. I think I get it now... I am adding one more star.
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