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Bel canto (2001)
por Ann Patchett
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While there were many beautiful passages throughout Bel Canto, it did drag too long - I suppose in a way, like the hostages' captivity, but I don't think that was intentionally reflecting their ordeal. The ending, while making sense in a way, seemed too forced. Still, I can understand why many love this book. ( )
I read this book on recommendation from a friend in my book club. It reminded me somewhat of A Gentleman in Moscow as it pertains to people who are confined to one space and how they adapt. I was very drawn in by the characters in Bel Canto and couldn’t wait to see how it ended. The Audible version was enhanced by the narrator’s ease of Italian and other foreign languages.
For me this was a 4 star book. It was wonderful on so many levels. First, it does a wonderful job of showing love in a way that is not trite, sexual, but not graphic, passionate - - I'm not sure I've read many books that do love justice in the way Bel Canto did.
Second, Patchett sets up a very interesting premise and backdrop for love to blossom. Gale describes that premise well so I won't reiterate it here, but the story of a terrorist organization capturing all these weathy successful people and the relationship between the two groups is one that drives suspense in what is otherwise a slower paced tale.
Finally, there is a whole underlying theme about music, the power of music, and the humanity of music, that I - - as someone who isn't really passionate about it - - found revealing and beautifully written.
The only thing I really didn't like about the book was the fact that the terrorists really were never made to seem very scary. I think it was the weakest part of the book. I never felt as though the hostages were really worried or really scared or even just in shock. I believe Patchett tried to show that element, but I don't think she did it nearly as well as she evoked other emotions (especially love and passion). I think a stronger contrast between the beginning of the ordeal, the middle, and then the end, would have made me love the book even more.
Nonetheless, I thank all of those who recommended Bel Canto because it was definitely well worth the read. It's also worth of note that Patchett uses some interesting writing technique in the book where she switches points of view very often, and I think it is amazing how she does that so smoothly and seamlessly. Clearly she's an outstanding writer.
I loved this book. Just as good as Commonwealth and The Dutch House, it has an air of mystery (in the religious sense, not the Agatha Christie sense) that gives it depth far beyond the average novel. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Here's what I wrote in 2008 about this read: "OK. Famous opera stars is caught up in South American polical heist. Redeeming message . . . The ability of art and beauty to transcend cultures, language, etc. differences"
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''Bel Canto'' often shows Patchett doing what she does best -- offering fine insights into the various ways in which human connections can be forged, whatever pressures the world may place upon them.
Although this novel is entirely housebound, at the vice presidential mansion, Ms. Patchett works wonders to avoid any sense of claustrophobia and keeps the place fresh at every turn.
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Harper Perennial Olive Editions (2010 Olive)
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Wikipedia en inglés (3)
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-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
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Sistema Decimal Melvil (DDC)813Literature English (North America) American fiction
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