Susie's Reviews > Bel Canto

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
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's review
Jun 12, 2007

liked it
Recommended for: Maybe
Read in June, 2007

I did enjoy Bel Canto. I found it to be a very pretty book in writing and plot. The characters each had something about them that appealed to me as a reader and made me associate with them. I enjoyed the idea that music (more specifcally opera) was the one thing that they all understood no matter what country they were from nor which side they were on. Though I do not know opera, it was easy to associate the devotion these people had to music to other things in my life which made relating to the expressive style of writing a tad easier.

Understandably everyone knew how the story would end (minus one or two minor suprises) and I'm not sure if that made it better or worse. I like to think that a happy ending for everyone would have been possible, but then, like so many other stories that end with tragedy, I am not certain the book would have had the same force had things ended in a fairy tale type sense.

The most interesting thing perhaps about Bel Canto, for me, is the fact that although I don't really have anything negative to say about it, I don't have anything overly positive either. I like it, but I certianly didn't love it. I am happy I read it (as I don't feel that it was a waste of my time) but I would not have ever felt that this was a book I just had* to read. The one thing that I truly remember from it was Gen and I found him to be a very interesting character and one of the better flushed out one. Perhaps, in the end, that is the problem: though each character is given their moment and has their uniqueness about them, none of them ever truly came alive to me. More than anything the idea of opera and music did. Maybe that is what was sought after, or maybe not.

All in all, in my order of books, this would be a middle of the road one I feel.
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langa your review sums up my feelings exactly about Bel Canto. very middle of the road. i didn't love it, i didn't hate it, but something seemed missing.

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