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Bel Canto
Bel Canto
Author: Ann Patchett
ISBN-13: 9781841155838
ISBN-10: 1841155837
Publication Date: 4/30/2002
Pages: 336
Edition: New Ed
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 13

3.8 stars, based on 13 ratings
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Bel Canto on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
The writing and plot certainly kept me going and made me want to finish, but as others have stated, the ending fell flat. Just as the ending can ruin the most beautiful piece of music, this did. It put me off of Patchett for a while, as I felt the end and epilogue were tacked on ... but for no reason I could possibly think of. Made me consider the rest of the story "unreal" in retrospect.
reviewed Bel Canto on + 337 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Unusual and facinating study of fear, accommodation and communication. There is nothing ordinary about Bel Canto.

The story opens at a diplomatic event in a third world country - a birthday party for the head of a Japanese electronics giant, featuring a world-renowned soprano and attended by a Who's Who of local politicians and international financiers and businessmen. When terrorists take the gathering hostage but can't find the president of the country (who is home watching his favorite soap opera), they are nonplussed.

The weeks-long hostage situation forms the basis for Patchett's story, and it's worth the time.
reviewed Bel Canto on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Delightful story of a hostage crisis in which South American, American and Japanese visitors all learn to survive together, and the surprising relationaships that form in this vacuum without normal cultural barriers. Very suspenseful and emotional. Different from anything else you will read.
reviewed Bel Canto on + 88 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
A warm and poignant story despite it's unlikely plot -- a group of diplomats and distinguished guests of the president of a south american country are taken hostage by a group of terrorists. In the course of the novel we come to understand what motivates people's deepest yearnings and desires, and to care very much about the characters we are meeting.
reviewed Bel Canto on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Outstanding. Based on true story of an abduction in South America, this gripping novel opens the doors to the worlds of opera, a rich industrialist, a working class translator, and a crew of desparate rebels.
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reviewed Bel Canto on + 43 more book reviews
Opera and terrorism make strange bedfellows, yet in this novel they complement each other nicely. At a birthday party for Japanese industrialist Mr. Hosokawa somewhere in South America, famous American soprano Roxanne Coss is just finishing her recital in the Vice President's home when armed terrorists appear, intending to take the President hostage. However, he is not there, so instead they hold the international businesspeople and diplomats at the party, releasing all the women except Roxanne. Captors and their prisoners settle into a strange domesticity, with the opera diva captivating them all as she does her daily practicing. Soon romantic liaisons develop with the hopeless intensity found in many opera plots. Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars) balances terrorism, love, and music nicely here.


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