Bel Canto

Bel Canto

A Novel

Book - 2001 | 1st ed.
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A major motion picture starring Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe.

"Blissfully Romantic....A strange, terrific, spellcasting story." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Bel Canto...should be on the list of every literate music lover. The story is riveting, the participants breathe and feel and are alive, and throughout this elegantly-told novel, music pours forth so splendidly that the reader hears it and is overwhelmed by its beauty." --Lloyd Moss, WXQR

"Glorious." --The New Yorker

Ann Patchett's award winning, New York Times bestselling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Patchett's other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician's Assistant, the author's lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2001.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060188733
Characteristics: 318 p. ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

When terrorists seize hostages at an embassy party,
an unlikely assortment of people are thrown together,
including American opera star Roxanne Coss and
Mr. Hosokawa ¬ a Japanese CEO and her biggest fan.

From the critics

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Barbarajean Apr 21, 2020

This novel was spellbinding: a literary masterpiece, a suspense-filled thriller, and a tender romance. I highly recommend it.

ArapahoeTina Oct 26, 2019

An absolutely gorgeous novel. The language alone makes this worth the read, but the intricate plot involving multiple cultures, music and relationships, all mixing in the forced setting of a hostage situation, is fascinating.

Oct 06, 2019

I checked this out for a writing group I'm in. Never finished it. I thought it was boring.

janicedlb Sep 09, 2019

Incredibly, a novel grounded in languages and opera, where one of the heroes is the translator. With the slow burn of the story line, Patchett reinforces how much our life expectancy is absolutely grounded in where and when we were born.

Jul 21, 2019

I recommend this book. When you finish it, you may be thinking about it for days (in a thoughtful musing sort of way) and will be in good company.

Jan 12, 2019

A wonderful book and well-crafted novel. Brilliant how Patchett uses how small singular events to build momentum toward the mutual discovery of the humanity beneath the circumstance. Highly recommended.

Nov 21, 2018

I really enjoyed reading this book many years ago. I also enjoyed seeing the film recently at the Bytowne Cinema.

Sep 27, 2018

I have read this book 3 times over the years and it has never ceased to captivate my attention. I think it has a special quality about it. It is a well crafted look at human nature and the things the separate us as well as the things that bind us. There is lots to read between the lines for the reader that cares to look. Otherwise it is simply a good story.

TechLibrarian Jul 25, 2018

What, there's a movie coming out!? I had no idea, but doubt it could do justice to this absolutely captivating book. I think what I like best about it is the writing itself--literary but clear--though the characters are also quite remarkable. It's not a light book but would still do for a summer read. I'd especially recommend this book to music lovers, though I think pretty much anyone would find it enjoyable! It maybe starts out a bit slow but the pace only builds until the conclusion, when it's a full-on "don't-talk-to-me-I'm-reading" page turner.

Jun 07, 2018

A beautiful book. Highly recommend to read now before the movie comes out!

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BostonPL_JordanD Aug 29, 2015

BostonPL_JordanD thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Nov 26, 2013

Based on the Lima Crisis, this book is about a group of terrorists who hold high executives and people of high political standing hostage. It explores how the terrorists and hostages cope with living in a house together for several months. Many of the characters form unbreakable bonds of friendship, while some fall in love.


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Sep 08, 2011

All of the love and the longing a body can contain was spun into not more than two and a half minutes of song, and when she came to the highest notes it seemed that all they had been given in their lives and all they had lost came together and made a weight that was almost impossible to bear.


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