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The Cellist of Sarajevo (2008)

por Steven Galloway

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2,7572475,199 (4.06)491
While a cellist plays at the site of a mortar attack to commemorate the deaths of twenty-two friends and neighbors, two other men set out in search of bread and water to keep themselves alive, and a woman sniper secretly protects the life of the cellist as her army becomes increasingly threatening.
  1. 110
    Bel Canto por Ann Patchett (atimco)
    atimco: In both books, music is a character in its own right, set against a backdrop of human violence and tragedy.
  2. 111
    The Kite Runner por Khaled Hosseini (Alliebadger)
    Alliebadger: Both beautifully written accounts of atrocities we never really think about. Each one is a fast and amazing read.
  3. 30
    Pretty Birds por Scott Simon (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Many parallels between The Cellist of Sarajevo and Pretty Birds; the information on the Bosnian civil war in Pretty Birds is more complete and the writing is very good.
  4. 30
    Girl at War por Sara Novic (Iudita)
  5. 30
    The Siege por Helen Dunmore (gennyt)
    gennyt: Both are stories of cities under siege, and the struggles of ordinary people for survival in dangerous and extreme conditions.
  6. 20
    The Bridge on the Drina por Ivo Andrić (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Get a more full history of the conflict from this book.
  7. 00
    Ritournelle de la faim por Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (Cecilturtle)
  8. 11
    The Archivist's Story por Travis Holland (Eat_Read_Knit)
    Eat_Read_Knit: Two gripping portrayals of human reaction to living in a permanent state of tension and danger.
  9. 00
    Det dobbelte land : roman por Birgithe Kosović (2810michael)
    2810michael: På dansk: Cellisten fra Sarajevo
  10. 00
    Floating in My Mother's Palm por Ursula Hegi (VivienneR)
  11. 00
    Flights of Passage: Reflections of a World War II Aviator por Samuel Hynes (napgeorge)
    napgeorge: Two books which show the boredom and horror of war. The only two books I have read which reflect what war felt like for me.
  12. 00
    Between Mountains por Maggie Helwig (yagoder)
  13. 00
    The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return por Kenan Trebincevic (catzkc)
  14. 00
    Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood por Barbara Demick (catzkc)
  15. 00
    Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War por Peter Maass (catzkc)
  16. 00
    Black Butterflies por Priscilla Morris (vancouverdeb)
    vancouverdeb: Both books are historical fiction that take place during the war in Sarajevo.
  17. 01
    The Sandcastle Girls por Chris Bohjalian (Iudita)
    Iudita: Another intense,personal story within the chaos of a war zone.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 248 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I flagged a lot of prose in this book mostly for its precise, dense, crushing hopelessness. Then again, it is a Slavic story. This Slavic story, however, is written by an Irishman, and so I think feigns hopelessness in some degree. Artfully. Many survive. Many times the veil of death and the greyness of war are lifted—a joke about plenty is told and retold between husband and wife, a man mentally repaints his surroundings as they were and how they may be, another hauls water for an empty old woman because it is the right thing to do, and to her peril, a sniper draws a moral line in the sand.

Why does the author sketch any hope into this story? The Irish are a race that survived 500 years of war; their survival instinct is grounded in a tolerance for calamity, for irony and a desire to drink heavily from the tonic of denial and the relief of humor. An Irish author cannot sustain nor end a story in total despair; thus, he ultimately offers civility as war’s cure, even if fleeting as with the Cellist’s hymn. The hymn is the deliberate act that unites the central characters of the story and boosts the limp heart of the city. How he makes the cellist the center is proof to me that the Irish truly can’t tell a story the way it is, they have to make it brighter than that.

Ultimately, war has limits. Arrow, a female sniper, feels war is a job. And a liability. Eventually she will be asked to do something she does not want to do, foreshadowing her demise. (p. 57) The line is not between a just and an unjust death, but a death that doesn’t matter. In choosing her line, her time of death, she reserves a dignity where “She would not let the men on the hills decide when she went below ground. P 124

A public wake. Well, the author is indeed Irish. In playing for days on end the cellist provides this venue for public grief, he reminds people of their humanness. The purpose is not to forget. “Once we forget we become a ghost.” Like Mrs. Ristovski. Does he play ‘to stop something from happening or to prevent a worsening? “Death is not just a disappearance of the flesh. When they’re content to live with death, then Sarajevo will die.” Small civilities are worth living for.

But Arrow alone prepares to pay the ultimate price in saying no to war. In confronting death, she reclaims her name, her self and Sarajevo’s identity.
( )
  NeelieOB | Jan 20, 2024 |
I flagged a lot of prose in this book mostly for its precise, dense, crushing hopelessness. Then again, it is a Slavic story. This Slavic story, however, is written by an Irishman, and so I think feigns hopelessness in some degree. Artfully. Many survive. Many times the veil of death and the greyness of war are lifted—a joke about plenty is told and retold between husband and wife, a man mentally repaints his surroundings as they were and how they may be, another hauls water for an empty old woman because it is the right thing to do, and to her peril, a sniper draws a moral line in the sand.

Why does the author sketch any hope into this story? The Irish are a race that survived 500 years of war; their survival instinct is grounded in a tolerance for calamity, for irony and a desire to drink heavily from the tonic of denial and the relief of humor. An Irish author cannot sustain nor end a story in total despair; thus, he ultimately offers civility as war’s cure, even if fleeting as with the Cellist’s hymn. The hymn is the deliberate act that unites the central characters of the story and boosts the limp heart of the city. How he makes the cellist the center is proof to me that the Irish truly can’t tell a story the way it is, they have to make it brighter than that.

Ultimately, war has limits. Arrow, a female sniper, feels war is a job. And a liability. Eventually she will be asked to do something she does not want to do, foreshadowing her demise. (p. 57) The line is not between a just and an unjust death, but a death that doesn’t matter. In choosing her line, her time of death, she reserves a dignity where “She would not let the men on the hills decide when she went below ground. P 124

A public wake. Well, the author is indeed Irish. In playing for days on end the cellist provides this venue for public grief, he reminds people of their humanness. The purpose is not to forget. “Once we forget we become a ghost.” Like Mrs. Ristovski. Does he play ‘to stop something from happening or to prevent a worsening? “Death is not just a disappearance of the flesh. When they’re content to live with death, then Sarajevo will die.” Small civilities are worth living for.

But Arrow alone prepares to pay the ultimate price in saying no to war. In confronting death, she reclaims her name, her self and Sarajevo’s identity.



( )
  NeelieOB | Jan 20, 2024 |
I was initially planning to give this book a lower score since it was so painful to read. I realized that just because it traumatized me was not a good reason to lower it. It is war and war is all around: Ukraine, Gaza/Israel and other places. This is a look back at a real event in the mind of the author when Sarajevo was under siege and a cellist decided he would play in the street for a number of days: 1 for every person killed after a massive attack on the city in that specific spot. The people whose lives are affected by the war are many: the snipers hiding in the hills to shoot anyone they can see, the counter snipers who try to kill them, including one who can no longer use her real name because she doesn't consider who she is as really her. There is the man who must walk miles every 4 days to find clean water for his family knowing at each crossing and bridge he too could be a victim of snipers. Then there is the military supposedly on their side. And through it all, the cellist comes and plays the same tune every day, beautiful and passionate. ( )
  krazy4katz | Dec 26, 2023 |
Here's what I wrote in 2009 about this read: "Four lives in the hell of Sarajevo under sieze in the mid 1990's; humanity survives. Educational and ultimately inspirational." ( )
  MGADMJK | Aug 12, 2023 |
Sad, somber, and ultimately uplifting novella that vividly shows what life was like for ordinary citizens living under the siege of Sarjevo in the early 1990's. Based on a true incident, a cellist exits his apartment at the same time each day for 22 days and plays in the street, braving the evil forces that grip the city. Twenty-two days, one for each of the victims killed in a bomb blast while waiting in line to buy bread. This small act, and how it gives back some semblance of their humanity to the embattled and shell-shocked Sarajevans frames the story beautifully. Cannot help but bring to mind today's war in Ukraine and how the fight and the resistance continue on. ( )
  Octavia78 | Jul 26, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 248 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Canadian Galloway (Ascension) delivers a tense and haunting novel following four people trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo. .... With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict.
adicionada por SimoneA | editarPublishers Weekly (Feb 6, 2008)
 
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While a cellist plays at the site of a mortar attack to commemorate the deaths of twenty-two friends and neighbors, two other men set out in search of bread and water to keep themselves alive, and a woman sniper secretly protects the life of the cellist as her army becomes increasingly threatening.

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