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The Cellist of Sarajevo

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The Cellist of Sarajevo Cover

ISBN13: 9781594489860
ISBN10: 1594489866
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A spare and haunting, wise and beautiful novel about the endurance of the human spirit and the subtle ways individuals reclaim their humanity in a city ravaged by war.

In a city under siege, four people whose lives have been upended are ultimately reminded of what it is to be human. From his window, a musician sees twenty-two of his friends and neighbors waiting in a breadline. Then, in a flash, they are killed by a mortar attack. In an act of defiance, the man picks up his cello and decides to play at the site of the shelling for twenty-two days, honoring their memory. Elsewhere, a young man leaves home to collect drinking water for his family and, in the face of danger, must weigh the value of generosity against selfish survivalism. A third man, older, sets off in search of bread and distraction and instead runs into a long-ago friend who reminds him of the city he thought he had lost, and the man he once was. As both men are drawn into the orbit of cello music, a fourth character — a young woman, a sniper — holds the fate of the cellist in her hands. As she protects him with her life, her own army prepares to challenge the kind of person she has become.

A novel of great intensity and power, and inspired by a true story, The Cellist of Sarajevo poignantly explores how war can change one's definition of humanity, the effect of music on our emotional endurance, and how a romance with the rituals of daily life can itself be a form of resistance.

Review:

"Canadian Galloway (Ascension) delivers a tense and haunting novel following four people trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo. After a mortar attack kills 22 people waiting in line to buy bread, an unnamed cellist vows to play at the point of impact for 22 days. Meanwhile, Arrow, a young woman sniper, picks off soldiers; Kenan makes a dangerous trek to get water for his family; and Dragan, who sent his wife and son out of the city at the start of the war, works at a bakery and trades bread in exchange for shelter. Arrow's assigned to protect the cellist, but when she's eventually ordered to commit a different kind of killing, she must decide who she is and why she kills. Dragan believes he can protect himself through isolation, but that changes when he runs into a friend of his wife's attempting to cross a street targeted by snipers. Kenan is repeatedly challenged by his fear and a cantankerous neighbor. All the while, the cellist continues to play. With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo is a wonderful story, a tribute to the human spirit in the face of insanity." Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland and Paradise Alley

Review:

"Through the perilous journeys that Kenan and Dragan undertake across the strife-torn city, Galloway gifts us valuable insights into how compassion can blossom, unexpectedly, during mindless atrocities....[An] accomplished, important work." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"I cannot imagine a lovelier, more beautifully wrought book about the depravity of war as The Cellist of Sarajevo. Each chapter is a brief glimpse at yet another aspect of the mind, the heart, the soul — altogether Galloway gives us fine, deep notes of human music which will remain long after the final page." Z. Z. Packer, author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

Review:

"A grand and powerful novel about how people retain or reclaim their humanity when they are under extreme duress." Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi

Review:

"A gripping story of Sarajevo under siege." J. M. Coetzee, author of Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year

Review:

"Indelible imagery and heartbreaking characters give authority to this chilling story and make human a crisis typically overlooked in literature." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Although Galloway's characters weigh the value of their lives against the choices they must make, he effectively creates a fifth character in the city itself, capturing the details among the rubble and destruction that give added weight to his memorable novel." Booklist

Synopsis:

From the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, an exciting new novel that uses the life and sudden death of Harry Houdini to weave a tale of magic, intrigue, and illusion.

What is real and what is an illusion? Can you trust your memory to provide an accurate record of what has happened in your life?

The Confabulist is a clever , entertaining, and suspenseful narrative that weaves together the rise and fall of world-famous Harry Houdini with the surprising story  of Martin Strauss, an unknown man whose fate seems forever tied to the magicians in a way that will ultimately  startle and amaze. It is at once a vivid portrait of an alluring, late-nineteenth/early-twentieth-century world; a front-row seat to a world-class magic show; and an unexpected love story. In the end, the book is a kind of magic trick in itself: there is much more to Martin than meets the eye.

Historically rich and ingeniously told, this is a novel about magic and memory, truth and illusion, and the ways that love, hope, grief, and imagination can—for better or for worse—alter what we perceive and believe.

Synopsis:

The acclaimed and inspiring international bestseller that is a tribute to the human spirit.

In a city ravaged by war, a musician plays his cello for twenty-two days at the site of a mortar attack, in memory of the fallen. Among the strangers drawn into the orbit of his music are a young father in search of water for his family, an older man in search of the humanity he once knew, and a young woman, a sniper, who will decide the fate of the cellist?and the kind of person she wants to be.

About the Author

Steven Galloway teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Kari Strong, July 4, 2011 (view all comments by Kari Strong)
This is not a book I would have picked up on the scores of shelves at Powell's. The Cellist of Sarajevo was lent to my finance' who never read it, and having just finished a book with nothing to read I picked it up. I am glad I did. This was a well written little novel and a very easy read. I truly was heartfelt for the characters and felt connected to their lives. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy read, one which also makes you think. You can't help but feel compassion for others and have a greater appreciation for your own life.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
lindsey beadle, April 11, 2009 (view all comments by lindsey beadle)
The other reviewers had more to say about this. It's a cool story. Especially if you play a stringed instrument (or are a sniper, but that seems less likely). Consider it. Teaches you some history too.
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(5 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
Sylvie, July 26, 2008 (view all comments by Sylvie)
This book is very good. To enjoy the experience more download or buy yourself a copy of Albioni's adagio. I read the entire book with this adagio playing over and over in the background.

It was the most satisfying, heartwarming read that I have had in years. I cried, I laughed and I pondered at us humans and what we can do.

The story seems simple but it puts you a the center of the lives of people at a very tough time in history during the siege of Sarajevo. At that time atrocities were committed while people on a daily basis also cared for one another. It shows you the humanity and the loss of humanity that occurs during war.
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781594489860
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
Literary
Author:
Galloway, Steven
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Subject:
Violoncellists
Subject:
Sarajevo (Bosnia and Hercegovina)
Subject:
War stories
Subject:
Snipers.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080515
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.28x5.38x.89 in. .63 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Cellist of Sarajevo
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 256 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594489860 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Canadian Galloway (Ascension) delivers a tense and haunting novel following four people trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo. After a mortar attack kills 22 people waiting in line to buy bread, an unnamed cellist vows to play at the point of impact for 22 days. Meanwhile, Arrow, a young woman sniper, picks off soldiers; Kenan makes a dangerous trek to get water for his family; and Dragan, who sent his wife and son out of the city at the start of the war, works at a bakery and trades bread in exchange for shelter. Arrow's assigned to protect the cellist, but when she's eventually ordered to commit a different kind of killing, she must decide who she is and why she kills. Dragan believes he can protect himself through isolation, but that changes when he runs into a friend of his wife's attempting to cross a street targeted by snipers. Kenan is repeatedly challenged by his fear and a cantankerous neighbor. All the while, the cellist continues to play. With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Steven Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo is a wonderful story, a tribute to the human spirit in the face of insanity."
"Review" by , "Through the perilous journeys that Kenan and Dragan undertake across the strife-torn city, Galloway gifts us valuable insights into how compassion can blossom, unexpectedly, during mindless atrocities....[An] accomplished, important work."
"Review" by , "I cannot imagine a lovelier, more beautifully wrought book about the depravity of war as The Cellist of Sarajevo. Each chapter is a brief glimpse at yet another aspect of the mind, the heart, the soul — altogether Galloway gives us fine, deep notes of human music which will remain long after the final page."
"Review" by , "A grand and powerful novel about how people retain or reclaim their humanity when they are under extreme duress."
"Review" by , "A gripping story of Sarajevo under siege."
"Review" by , "Indelible imagery and heartbreaking characters give authority to this chilling story and make human a crisis typically overlooked in literature."
"Review" by , "Although Galloway's characters weigh the value of their lives against the choices they must make, he effectively creates a fifth character in the city itself, capturing the details among the rubble and destruction that give added weight to his memorable novel."
"Synopsis" by ,

From the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, an exciting new novel that uses the life and sudden death of Harry Houdini to weave a tale of magic, intrigue, and illusion.

What is real and what is an illusion? Can you trust your memory to provide an accurate record of what has happened in your life?

The Confabulist is a clever , entertaining, and suspenseful narrative that weaves together the rise and fall of world-famous Harry Houdini with the surprising story  of Martin Strauss, an unknown man whose fate seems forever tied to the magicians in a way that will ultimately  startle and amaze. It is at once a vivid portrait of an alluring, late-nineteenth/early-twentieth-century world; a front-row seat to a world-class magic show; and an unexpected love story. In the end, the book is a kind of magic trick in itself: there is much more to Martin than meets the eye.

Historically rich and ingeniously told, this is a novel about magic and memory, truth and illusion, and the ways that love, hope, grief, and imagination can—for better or for worse—alter what we perceive and believe.

"Synopsis" by ,
The acclaimed and inspiring international bestseller that is a tribute to the human spirit.

In a city ravaged by war, a musician plays his cello for twenty-two days at the site of a mortar attack, in memory of the fallen. Among the strangers drawn into the orbit of his music are a young father in search of water for his family, an older man in search of the humanity he once knew, and a young woman, a sniper, who will decide the fate of the cellist?and the kind of person she wants to be.

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