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Preview — Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening - until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditionin...more
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By tieing their lives together, they are in a way honoring the loves they lost and keeping their…more I think the short answer is 'shared suffering'.
By tieing their lives together, they are in a way honoring the loves they lost and keeping their memories alive.
By marrying, they make the relationships they had while being held hostage a part of their own relationship, in a way not letting go of that part of their past.(less) (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
I only liked Bel Canto. I understand its appeal - the coming together of hostages and terrorists alike, bu ...more
I first read "Bel Canto" in 2005, and I was so absorbed in the story that I would sneak away from my desk at work just to have a few precious moments with it. The story opens with a renowned opera singer, Roxanne Coss, giving a private performance at the home of a vice president of an unnamed South American country. Several people in the room are already in love with her, and others wil ...more
In 1996, the home of the Japanese ambassador to Peru was taken hostage by guerillas during a party and held for 126 days until the home was raided by military force killing all the insurgents, many executed after they surrendered. At a time when Peru suffered an undercurrent of terrorist activity, president Fujimori was praised for his handling of t ...more
So, what does that have to do with this? Well, I guess you ...more
Bel Canto is one of those novels that is good on so many levels, it's taken me days after finishing it to put my thoughts about the story and the characters into words. This work is as lyrical and dramatic as any opera, and the word "brilliant" isn't excessive to describe the talent of author, Ann Patchett. I wondered how she came up with such a remarkable and unique story, but then learned she'd been influenced by actual events involving a hostage situation in ...more
Anyway, I thought it was good. The characters were all likable and the story was engaging, if wholly improbable (Bel Canto could just as easily have been titled The Lighter Side of Stockholm Syndrome). My main problem with it was the w ...more
I have spent quite a while mulling this over, and have finally come to the conclusion that, patterned after Greek tragic opera or not, I can't forgive Ann Patchett for the climax of this novel. Much of that has to do with the beginning of the novel; I'd have been inclined to be more forgiving had the first hundred pages not moved at a snail's pace. But the book finally picked up, everything was going along swimmingly, and then, suddenly, bam-the most predict ...more
Instead, I will veil my head, lament the deaths of each person loved since the beginning of time, and cry tears of unsurpassed desolation in the hopes that tomorrow, the sun will shine on my face and god will see me standing there.
it isn't a good book for all the reasons everyone who gave it one star brings up. what is powerful about it is that the whole book is a tribute to womanhood. someone told me yesterday that everyone loves ...more
p.s. the book definitely takes place in peru.
But the writing was decent and I decided about a quarter of the way through I shouldn’t be too hard-hearted (and the book aim ...more
1. When an author loves her characters too much, the reader can often tell. Situations and descriptions seem contrived, and there is a veneer of (usually unintentional) dishonesty. But in Bel Canto, it's clear that Patchett is in love with her characters, yet she is able to remain objective and in control. Her role as the omniscient narrator allows her to ...more
The characters seem uniform (except for the Mr. Hosokowa). Somehow, they became flat. It feels like there's no distinction between gender eventually, and the small quirks that separate each person start to fade out under all the jabbering about the opera singer. Exhau ...more
Sometimes, when I finish a book, if I didn’t like it, I will usually have very concrete reasons why I did not. And sometimes I will have very concrete reasons why I did like a book. But often, as is the case ...more
The opening sequence is captivating, but from then on, the plot becomes scarce and progresses forward at a speed of a glacier. The usual character build-up gets nowhere. As a result, charac ...more
You grow weary along with the hostages when you read about some munda ...more
In an unnamed South American country, a birthday party is being celebrated for a Mr. Hosokawa, one of the most wealthy men in the world. He's a workaholic and only agreed to attend after hearing his favourite opera singer, Roxanne Coss, would be there. The party is going well until interrupted by a group of terrorists. Their plan, to hold the President hostage and make demands upon the government. When they discover the leaders absence, the terrorists are forced to rethink their plan.
This is one of those books you instantly like or dislike, I think. I couldn't give this one less than a 4 because the descriptive prose here was floating on so much lyricism, a savoring read. Some books you read to get to another scene, plot, turning point, pivotal moment, etc...some books you read to savor. This was such a boo ...more
Pada suatu pesta makan malam para diplomat dan usahawan di sebuah negara miskin di Amerika Selatan, sekelompok tentara gerilya menyerbu. Mereka menyandera lebih dari 200 tamu karena tidak menemukan presiden negara itu - sasaran utama untuk diculik - di antara h ...more
Bel Canto is a simple enough story (and those are always the ...more
Patchett handles some of these themes convincingly, for example, the beautiful voice of the soprano reaching into the souls of the other characters and awakening feelings previously unsuspec ...more
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She moved to Nashville, Tennessee when she was six, where she continues to live. Patchett said she loves her home in Nashville with her doctor husband and dog. If asked if she could go any place, that place would always be home. "Home is ...the stable window that opens out into the imagination."
Patchett attended hi ...more