Annalisa's Reviews > The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
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Aug 16, 10

bookshelves: historical-fiction, literary
Recommended to Annalisa by: Jeana
Read from August 07 to 12, 2010

My favorite part of this book was the discussion of Sarajevo's role in starting the first World War with an assassination. "When the world thought of Sarajevo, it was as a place of murder. It isn't clear to him how the world will think of the city now that thousands have been murdered. He suspects that what the world wants most is not to think of it all."

I was in high school when the siege on Sarajevo began. And honestly, I didn't know, or at least had forgotten, about Sarajevo's role in WWI, because when I think of Sarajevo, I do think of murder and a time the world didn't want to think about them as it collectively held its breath and waited for the shooting to be over. Just like with Warsaw, I want to think about the rich culture and beauty that was destroyed, but my mind automatically goes to the worst of it. Why is it that it's always the worst moments that defines us?

The Cellist of Sarajevo gives us a picture of four people stuck in Sarajevo during the siege. One stuck for hours at an intersection targeted by a sniper as he tries to head to the bakery where he works for a meal. Another risking his life to race through intersections and across bridges to get water for his family, both of them hoping they would not be the ones targeted by snipers. One is a fictional account of the cellist who played out in the open for twenty-two days in honor of twenty-two victims of one attack. And my favorite voice, a female sniper with a sixth sense, trying to understand her hatred and how it differed from the men on the hill killing them. The other voices were just glimpses, but hers we really get inside her head so I could feel for her and root for her. Other than the glimpses in the media of brutality in the streets, this was my first glimpse into the real Sarajevo and the fear of its citizens trapped inside. And it's told beautifully.
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Reading Progress

08/11/2010 page 88
37.0% "And probably in the middle of a sentence. I have got to find some more time to read."

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message 1: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana This looks very interesting


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