The Cellist of Sarajevo

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Knopf Canada, Feb 24, 2009 - Fiction - 272 pages
147 Reviews
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This brilliant novel with universal resonance tells the story of three people trying to survive in a city rife with the extreme fear of desperate times, and of the sorrowing cellist who plays undaunted in their midst.

One day a shell lands in a bread line and kills twenty-two people as the cellist watches from a window in his flat. He vows to sit in the hollow where the mortar fell and play Albinoni’s Adagio once a day for each of the twenty-two victims. The Adagio had been re-created from a fragment after the only extant score was firebombed in the Dresden Music Library, but the fact that it had been rebuilt by a different composer into something new and worthwhile gives the cellist hope.

Meanwhile, Kenan steels himself for his weekly walk through the dangerous streets to collect water for his family on the other side of town, and Dragan, a man Kenan doesn’t know, tries to make his way towards the source of the free meal he knows is waiting. Both men are almost paralyzed with fear, uncertain when the next shot will land on the bridges or streets they must cross, unwilling to talk to their old friends of what life was once like before divisions were unleashed on their city. Then there is “Arrow,” the pseudonymous name of a gifted female sniper, who is asked to protect the cellist from a hidden shooter who is out to kill him as he plays his memorial to the victims.

In this beautiful and unforgettable novel, Steven Galloway has taken an extraordinary, imaginative leap to create a story that speaks powerfully to the dignity and generosity of the human spirit under extraordinary duress.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - moukayedr - LibraryThing

This brings home the reality of war and how difficult it is to retain hope in a crumbling city, while struggling daily to survive random death. Death comes to you in a shell while buying bread or in a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ken-Me-Old-Mate - LibraryThing

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway I should have liked this book but I didn't. I found it hard to work out why that was. It was well written, the story line was interesting but I found the ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
9
Section 3
21
Section 4
33
Section 5
47
Section 6
67
Section 7
77
Section 8
93
Section 12
155
Section 13
175
Section 14
187
Section 15
203
Section 16
217
Section 17
228
Section 18
241
Section 19
246

Section 9
111
Section 10
123
Section 11
137
Section 20
253
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Steven Galloway is the author of Finnie Walsh, Ascension and The Cellist of Sarajevo.

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