I barely finished this book, it was just too boring. I read the raving reviews about it and thought maybe the good part will come soon but it never did. It's just very slow motion boring book. I read State of Wonder by the same author and it was wonderful, exciting and different. So, I guess she is not very consistent in her style.
This book is very surprising. I read it to prepare for the CPE because it was recommended. The story for language learners is easy to follow even there are lots of difficults words. It is not written in everyday English. The story starts with an attack on the Vice Presidents home during a concert. Lots of people are hostages and they learn more about each other. In my opinion the book is easy to read and sometimes it has unexpected actions. The 4 stars are only because of the necessary vocabulary. Otherwise I enjoyed the book very much. Have lots of fun with it.
One of my favourite reads of all times! The language is exquisite, the plot unusal yet fascinating and most impressive is the fact that the novel has a rhythm of its own, a bit like a dance which mirrors the plot. The characters are credible and likeable. Moments of great tension are interspersed with languour, nearly ennui and hilarity. An accessible and most satisfying read. I found it impossible to put this book down.
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4,1 von 5 Sternen
5,0 von 5 Sternen"She sang as if she was saving the life of every person in the room."
9. Januar 2017 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
'Bel Canto', the title of this novel, means 'beautiful singing' and this book truly sings. It is a lovely story packed with magical realism and focuses on a botched kidnapping in a third world country. The kidnappers are amateur guerrillas who had hoped to capture the president of the nation as a prisoner, only to find that he was not present at the party they crashed by coming out of the air vents. The party was a birthday celebration for a renown Japanese businessman named Katsumi Hosokawa, and present was the vice president of the country, only a figurehead, and an internationally famous soprano named Roxanne Coss. What starts off as a horrific situation of prisoners versus captors turns into something entirely different.
Roxanne has the voice of an angel, one that turns men and women's hearts and souls toward her. She is beloved by many. "Even those who saw her for the first time, before she had opened her mouth to sing, found her radiant." She had been brought to what she calls "this dismal jungle" to sing for Mr. Hosakawa in celebration of his 53rd birthday. Mr. Hosakawa has loved opera since his youth and is in awe of Roxanne. Her singing brings forth emotions from inside him that he was never aware he even had. A new world opens up for him.
The guerrillas release all the women except Roxanne, while the men remain prisoners. The captors are a bunch of amateurs, mostly young, but all holding rifles. As the captives and captors begin to interact during the hostage situation, the real beauty of this novel comes into play. People befriend one another, others fall in love,a routine develops and music fills the atmosphere. Captors and captives alike are sympathetic characters and I was only fearful of the tragedy that I felt would ensue at some point. How, I thought, could this end well?
The country where this situation occurs is never named in the novel but it is reminiscent of the Japanese Embassy Hostage Crisis that occurred in Lima, Peru in 1996. This book has been adapted into an opera and the movie rights were recently sold and the stars will be Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe.
If you love literary fiction with eccentric and well-developed characters, this is a must-read. If you love music, you are in for a treat that will knock you socks off.
I was looking at books in a library when I came across this book. I read the description on the cover and decided to give it a try. When I started on it, it was so good I could not put it down. I don't know much about operas nor have I ever attended one but since the main heroine in the story is a soprano and there are talks about parts of operas, I listened and watched the mentioned operas on YouTube and fell in love with operas. Although the story happens in a single house, it is filled with descriptions of personalities that are amazing. The book was so great that I ordered two copies for my children. I also bought "Opera 101" book by "Fred Plotkin" next to learn more about operas.
5,0 von 5 SternenI was told to read this book about ten times before I finally did, and I was glad I finally did.
14. November 2017 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Ann Patchett's Bel Canto is one her most famous and touted works. It is the story about a Birthday party for a South American Diplomat that brings together many close friends, family members and professional colleagues to enjoy a seated dinner and the luxury of a professional opera singer to provide entertainment. The drama unfolds in a hotel ballroom in Buenos Aries, when the party has scarcely even started and a local guerrilla terrorist group who are politically against the host of the Birthday party invade the ballroom when the lights go down and the opera singer is getting warmed up. I can't say for sure if it is has a happy ending, but one gets the feeling that Ann Patchett knows what she is doing while the tale of the hostage situation gains momentum and personal relationships amongst the hostages develop and become personal. It's a very different type of story and belongs to the literature genre. The tense is third person omniscient and as the point of view shifts from character to character, reader builds trust with narrator.
I love Ann Patchett! I am amazed that she can write about so many different topics and genres and yet it feels all so organic for her. I enjoyed the interview with her about the writing of Bel Canto at the end of my kindle version. It gave me more insight into her thoughts about it. The reason I'm not giving five stars is because, after investing so much time in these characters, the ending is just too abrupt for my taste. I knew it would be difficult to end this story and I was wondering how she was going to do it but.. it was disappointing. The epilogue helped a little but not much...
5,0 von 5 SternenThis Book Is Pure Genius—A Real Treasure!
15. Januar 2019 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
If all you do is read the plot summary of this book—in an unnamed South American country, terrorists storm the birthday party of a Japanese electronics executive in a botched attempt to kidnapped that country's president—you would never know that this exceptional book by Ann Patchett is actually about friendship and love.
Katsumi Hosokawa is turning 53, not a particularly notable birthday, and in a bald faced attempt to entice him to build a factory in this backwater country, the government throws him a lavish birthday party at the opulent home of the vice president. The only reason Hosokawa agrees to attend is that the evening's entertainment is his favorite opera singer, the world-renowned Roxane Coss. But terror and fear reign when armed gunmen storm the house and take hostage well over 100 people from a myriad of countries, who speak a myriad of languages. The standoff lasts for months, and during that time the hostages and their captors eventually form what could be described as a near utopia.
Magnificently written with vividly drawn characters, this book is pure genius. The prose is so breathtaking in spots that it is almost poetic, while the storytelling—told individually from many characters' point of view—is absolutely superb. This book is a real treasure.
Bonus: The epilogue qualifies as a surprise ending—but one that also makes total sense.