I wish I could say that I enjoyed Bel Canto but I did not. In fact I finished it via skimming, a technique that only use when the book is too long but I have to know what happens at the end, and I refuse to be one of those people who reads the last chapter just to find out.
I believe that the book had potential, it started out interestingly enough with an opera singer, a party in honor of a Japanese business man's birthday in a third world country, and a terrorist invasion, but then it just dragged on. If perhaps half of the middle were cut out, if the love stories had developed sooner, if it hadn't ended so tragically and unsatisfactorily, maybe then it would have been worthwhile. But all in all, I feel as though I wasted valuable reading time, a commodity I have much too little of these days, on a book that should have been half the size it was.
Normally I would have jettisoned it and moved on to the next book, but it was recommended to me by a friend and by the time I decided it wasn't going to get any better, I was already halfway through so I figured I might as well finish it.
Hopefully the next book my friend recommended is better than this one, but I am happy that I am done with Bel Canto, and unfortunately I now have no desire what-so-ever to read anything else by Ann Patchett.