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 guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening — until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage.
But what begins as a l...more
I only liked Bel Canto. I understand its appeal - the coming together of hostages and terrorists alike, bu...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
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
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
I read "Bel Canto" in 2005, and I was so absorbed in the story that I would sneak away from my desk 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 president of an unnamed South American country. Several people in the room are already in love with her, and others will fall in love with...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.
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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.
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