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Bel Canto
Bel Canto
Author: Ann Patchett
Somewhere in South America, at home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of a powerful Japanese businessman. A famous American opera diva entertains the international guests. It is a night out of a fairytale -- until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and take...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780060838720
ISBN-10: 0060838728
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 318
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 280 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed Bel Canto on + 377 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 + 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.
lectio avatar 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.
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knut avatar reviewed Bel Canto on + 41 more book reviews
This story line can be all too familiar, hostages, dictator, armed rebels, innocent civilians. I have read this twice for my own enjoyment and convinced my book club to read it years ago. The story line and character development lead to some interesting discussion.
I like the author's development of the plot and unfolding to interactions and relationships as the tension grows.
animlgrl avatar reviewed Bel Canto on + 84 more book reviews
I quite enjoyed this book. Some do not like the ending, but I'm not sure there could have been a different one. As most books, the end came very quickly, abruptly, and I was sad that I was done reading it. What a great story. This is my first Ann Patchett book, and I look forward to reading more.
reviewed Bel Canto on + 77 more book reviews
This book pulled me in. Suspenseful. Believable. Even now, months/a year after reading it, I remember the story almost perfectly. You won't forget it either. A good read.

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