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Bel Canto

Bel Canto

Escrito por Ann Patchett

Narrado por Anna Fields


Bel Canto

Escrito por Ann Patchett

Narrado por Anna Fields

avaliações:
4/5 (386 avaliações)
Comprimento:
11 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Aug 3, 2004
ISBN:
9780060783280
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Nota do editor

Lyrical & layered...

When a gala for the international elite devolves into a long-term hostage situation, unexpected intimacies flourish. This lyrical & layered novel is an astonishing study of human compassion.

Descrição

“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 Pratchett’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 Pratchett’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.

Editora:
Lançado em:
Aug 3, 2004
ISBN:
9780060783280
Formato:
Audiolivro

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Sobre o autor

ANN PATCHETT is the author of seven novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays.

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386 avaliações / 256 Análises
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Avaliações de leitores

  • (3/5)
    A fascinating read. I struggled at times with what I thought were shallow characters, but I revelled in the book's interest in collective experience (as opposed to individual experience). It feels that the book doesn't rely too much on plot, but rather explores the barriers of language and the transcendent (and translingual) experience of music. At the best of times I felt like I was reading a hybrid of Proust and "The Magic Mountain," but at other times I felt that the collective appreciation of music and the inability to communicate otherwise stretched the bounds of credulity. Still, very enjoyable and interesting.
  • (4/5)
    Perfectly lovely tale, patiently told, even if the ending was a little rushed. It takes place in some undefined country, but it seems undefined in other ways too.

    It went on perhaps 50 pages longer than it needed, but there was enough magic to justify the raves I have read about this book over the past decade or more.
  • (4/5)
    Slow moving; great character development. Interesting concept. Seemed to be realistic, but some parts were not so believable. Too serious for me to actually appreciate any intended comic aspects.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 starsIn South America (Peru?), there is a birthday party with lots of rich people. The president of the country was supposed to have been there. An American opera singer is there. The party is stormed by guerrillas, and all the people are taken hostage. They were really looking for the president, but he backed out at the last minute and wasn’t there, so they made do with the rest of the people. The hostage situation went on for months… It was pretty slow-moving, but the story was good. Unfortunately, I found I (mostly) didn’t care about the characters. I guess by the end, I did a little bit, but still not as much as I would have hoped. The epilogue was unexpected – I’m not sure I liked it. My edition had an interview with the author at the end, so I found it interesting to discover that the book was based on a real-life hostage situation at the Japanese embassy in Peru that did last months.
  • (4/5)
    This novel is as lyrical, engaging, and wonderfully charactered as you've heard. The epilogue is also as terrible as you've heard. (You have my permission to skip it.)I have nothing to add, other than I would've loved to have seen more internal strife within the group and within the characters than we were provided after the initial set up. Some complacency is expected, but I thought this was a bit too relaxed.
  • (4/5)
    This was the coziest hostage taking story ever. It was odd, but was charming in its exploration of music and love in a desperate situation.
  • (3/5)
    An intriguing pairing - the world-class soprano, and the world-class industrialist. These two unique individuals are held hostage along with dozens of others, in Peru. I'm not sure what to make of the death of the brilliant Japanese executive, Mr. Hasokawa and the shifting of Roxane's attentions to Gen, Hasokawa's employee. Other characterizations are true-to-life, but I don't quite join other readers who praised "Bel Canto" to the skies. I can praise it, but not that highly.
  • (5/5)
    Loosely based on the 1996 attacks on the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru by the MRTA, Bel Canto bewitched me. Essentially set in 1 room - like an opera set - this "hostage taking gone wrong" effortlessly manages to keep your interest piqued through all if its 300-some pages.
  • (2/5)
    I did not love this book. I kept wanting to read it, but it left me disappointed in what I think could have been a great story.A load of distinguished party guests are taken hostage after the man they wanted to kidnap was found absent from the party he was supposed to be attending. We meet a handful of the guests, hear about their circumstances, their relationships and histories. We meet some of the hostage takers (terrorists), who get the same lightweight treatment as far as personal histories go. The large group are holed up in the vice-presidents mansion for months on end.The main, and only female, hostage is a famous opera singer who somehow manages to get her own bedroom and personal attendant for the duration of the "situation". She also has an array of drooling fans who have managed to fall in love with her. I didn't buy her allure.There seemed too many characters and not enough depth to any of them. The Generals seemed to have no power over anybody and were as confused as I became about why they were even there, and what they hoped to achieve
  • (5/5)
    “‘Who knew that being kidnapped was so much like attending university?’ Gen said.” — Ann Patchett, “Bel Canto”In Ann Patchett’s magical 2001 novel, a prolonged hostage situation in an unnamed Latin America country turns into an educational opportunity for both hostages and terrorists. A tiny ragtag liberation army composed mostly of teenagers, including two girls, crashes a birthday party for a prominent Japanese businessman, Katsumi Hosokawa, held at the vice president’s home. The featured guest is the celebrated American opera singer Roxane Coss, because Hosokawa loves opera. The terrorists had planned to kidnap the country’s president and trade him for the release of political prisoners, but the president has stayed home to watch his favorite soap opera. So Roxane becomes the big prize, along with all of the male party guests, who come from a variety of countries and speak a variety of languages.The negotiations drag on for months, during which time the situation becomes not just the normal but the ideal. Roxane falls in love with Hosokawa, even though they cannot speak the same language. Gen, the translator and thus the most valuable person in the house, falls in love with Carmen, a pretty soldier whom he teaches to read and write. Another young soldier learns to play chess, while another, with Roxane’s instruction, learns to sing opera. The vice president, who has never done manual labor in his life, develops skills at both housekeeping and gardening. And so on.As one of the generals says near the end of the novel, “It makes you wonder. All the brilliant things we might have done with our lives if only we suspected we knew how.”Yet as prevalent as this education theme may be in the novel, it is not the dominant one. That has to do with service, grace, second chances and the power of music. The vice president becomes a humble servant after his servants are released. Gen, the translator everyone depends on, becomes everyone’s servant, as well. Beatriz, the other female soldier, confesses to a priest for the first time in her life, discovering the freedom in forgiveness.Then there is Roxane. Again and again we find lines like these when she sings, something that becomes the highlight of everyone’s day: “God’s own voice poured from her,” “such a voice must come from God” and “she sang as if she was saving the life of every person in the room.”If captivity can become a paradise, then rescue paradoxically becomes paradise lost. Patchett’s ending brings the harsh real world back and disappoints for that reason. Readers, like both the captors and the captives, much prefer the captivity of the book’s first nine chapters.
  • (5/5)
    A group of dignitaries are brought together in an unnamed South American country for a special occasion: a party at the Vice-President's mansion. Just at the end of the performance by world-renowned opera singer Roxane Coss, the lights go out, and a group of terrorists swarm through the building. They came to capture the President, but he is not at the party -- he stayed home to watch a special episode of his favorite soap opera. Instead, they take hostages -- first, all of the building's occupants, but eventually they let the workers and some of the guests go. The group of hostages that remains consists of 39 men and one woman: Roxane Coss. As negotiations drag on, the hostages and terrorists form an unexpected community. There are games of chess, fine French cooking, and opera -- sublime, intimate performances by the world's foremost lyric soprano. Despite the fear and discomfort, for some in the building, this is the best time of their lives. But it can't last forever...I loved everything about this book, right up until the epilogue, which I hated. I think that, if there had been a second book in between the last chapter and the epilogue, if I had been able to see how things developed, I could have appreciated it, but as it was, it just felt jarring and abrupt. However, the rest of the book is so good that I highly recommend it. I listened to the audiobook, and I highly recommend that format, as well: there are many hard-to-pronounce names, a sprinkling of Spanish words, and the narrator does an excellent job with all of the different voices and accents. I could hardly put it down, and found myself listening whenever I had a snippet of time.
  • (4/5)
    So this was really, really good. Highly recommended and makes me want to read more Ann Patchett. Also, wherever I went, people seemed to comment on the book, mostly to tell me how much they loved it, but sometimes just to ask what I was reading (which I think means it must have an intriguing cover).

    I loved the characters and the uniqueness of the plot -- a long-term hostage situation with undercurrents of Stockholm Syndrome. I really felt like the world she created was easy for me to immerse myself in, and it was a very pleasant world; I enjoyed the time I spent there.

    The ending was abrupt, and while I fully understand the reasons for it being that way, it was a little unpleasant to be so suddenly and forcefully jolted out of the pleasant little world I'd been enjoying.
  • (5/5)
    This was a beautiful book. Not sure why it took me so long to get around to reading it.
  • (4/5)
    This is worth reading solely for its presentation of how passionate people can be about music and opera. The Stockholm aspects are decently done but not as interesting, at least to me. The first pages tho are memorable.
  • (4/5)
    Terrorism turns into a story of relationships with sympathetic characters on both sides. Outcome is sad but realistic.
  • (5/5)
    I am becoming more of an Ann Patchett can. A clever story based on the taking hostage of the Japanese embassy in Peru and offering her the opportunity to do detail character development studies which left me caring about all of them and wishing I could learn more. In the discussion at the end of the book she described it as an opera about opera. Glad I finally got around to reading it. A surprise ending.
  • (5/5)
    Incredibly lyrical - fitting the title
  • (1/5)
    Disappointing!
  • (3/5)
    After hearing so much about this book, I think my expectations may have been a little high. The president of this unnamed South American country wants to lure a Japanese business to his country to help a failing economy. He devises a plan to throw a birthday party for the president of a Japanese company. Knowing that this man is a lover of opera he secures the talents of one of the world's best singers. Rebels get wind of the party and plan to kidnap the president of the country but he decided to stay home and watch soap operas rather than attend this very important event. With their plan foiled they decide to hold all the people at the party as hostages until their demands are met. Eventually the release the women and staff. The opera singer, however is not released. She is treated like a queen and many of the men fall in love with her. Over the many weeks of captivity relationships form and the lines between captive and captors is frequently blurred.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. Four and a half months in a politician's mansion and the roles of the hostage and the terrorist began to disappear, relationships and friendships developed and their lives would never be the same.
  • (5/5)
    Okay, I had put off reading this novel for years, partly based on the unlikely and odd premise: a Japanese businessman visiting an unnamed South(?) American country is invited to celebrate his 53rd birthday at the home of the vice president; as a gift, a famous American soprano is booked to sing half a dozen arias for the guest of honor. In the midst of the evening, a group of terrorists break their way into the VP's home, taking the entire party hostage. The novel takes place in the confines of this luxurious home as the hostages and police negotiators reach and languish at a stalemate. And so the terrorists and hostages settle in for what turns out to be a months-long opportunity to get to know one another, for relationships to develop, dreams to consolidate, and identities to shift ever so slightly. I loved this novel. At once a celebration of art and an affirmation of the human striving for both beauty and connection, it is a moving and funny and deeply satisfying read.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorites. My first Nook book too
  • (3/5)
    This novel is set in an unnamed Latin American nation that lures a powerful Japanese business man to a birthday party in his honor with an intimate performance by his favorite operatic soprano. A group of revolutionaries attacks the mansion and takes everyone hostage and settle into a hostage situation that carries on for months. Patchet is great at narrating the interior lives of various characters - hostages and captors alike - and the relationships that grow among them until rather surreally they settle into patterns where the lines between the two groups are blurred and daily life becomes something of a prosperous summer camp. Patchet is great with the character work - the Japanese businessman and the opera singer are joined by the gracious host of the Vice President, a shy girl among the terrorists, the indispensable translator, and the Swiss Red Cross negotiator among others. The plot grows increasingly absurd and stretching credulity in the latter parts of the novel, but nevertheless an entertaining with even doses humor and underlying tension.
  • (5/5)
    In an obscure South American country, a great party is underway to try to lure foreign money into the country to help bolster the economy. A world-renowned American opera singer has been invited to perform, as an inducement for some of those invited to attend. Before the night is over, the entire party is taken hostage by insurgents. Patchett's novel does not rely on suspense about the inevitable outcome, but rather on the gentle unfolding of human interaction, of love in all its forms, and of of the caprice of human attachment. Beautifully written by someone who has a profound understanding of humanity and a skill with the language that makes it possible to lose oneself in the story, this book is highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Oh my! What a wonderful story -- I wish I wouldn't have put off reading it for so long!It is the story of terrorists taking over at a state dinner in an unnamed South American country, the taking of hostages in hopes of getting their demands met, and how the terrorists and hostages come to know each other and get along after living for several months together -- oh, and there's lots of opera music involved! Doesn't that sound like the strangest concept? Well, it isn't. It is a beautiful story, beautifully written, and very believable. I highly recommend this book, and I'm going out to find more Ann Patchett books right away!
  • (5/5)
    Chronicle of a multinational group of the rich and powerful held hostage for months.
  • (4/5)
    A not entirely orginial premise - terrorists take hostages and hostages become fond of terrorists. I'm sure it's been done before but nevertheless I enjoyed this book.
    It reminded me of both Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Louis de Bernieres.
    I enjoyed the different characters and the changes they went through - both personally and in their relationships.
    Wasn't sure about the epilogue but it didn't marr the overall experience.
  • (2/5)
    BEL CANTO by Ann Patchett sounds promising at first. Patchett writes beautifully, leading her reader to believe that her description of a large, formal birthday party held at the home of the vice president of some South American country is the beginning of an engrossing story. When terrorists interrupt the party, though, fantasy begins. It's not so bad being a hostage in Patchett's story. Over the several weeks that the terrorists keep their hostages in the vice president's home, some of them, both terrorists and hostages, even feel they were never happier. What follows, then, are monotonous, unrealistic, even ridiculous descriptions of hostages' friendly relations with terrorists. Patchett's terrorists are sympathetic. They are poor, deprived people who don't want to hurt anyone. Patchett may have been trying to describe a real psychological phenomenon, hostages who end up caring for their captors, a type of Stockholm syndrome (capture-bonding). These feelings are understood to be irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. There IS risk for these victims; their captors walk around all day with guns. But it's easy to forget with all the soap-opera-like daily life going on in this house. Maybe Patchett wants the reader, as well as the hostages, to mistake a lack of abuse from the captors for an act of kindness. It is hard to tell whether this is Patchett's intention. BEL CANTO was published in 2001. It won many awards. Because I was not impressed with this book, I'm suspicious of how this came to be. I won BEL CANTO from the publisher on World Book Night, an annual happening (every April 23) when a million books, 30 titles donated by publishers and booksellers, are given away.
  • (5/5)
    Exceptional storytelling.
  • (4/5)
    An interesting and well written portrayal of human nature under trying and unnatural conditions. The book describes the interactions of some 50 people, hostages and captors over a 6 month period.