DOWNLOAD Ó MONEYEXPRESSCARD.CO.UK ¼ Ann Patchett In an unnamed South American country a world renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan Alas in the opening seuence a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts Their uarry is the president who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera And thus from the beginning things go awryAmong the hostages are Russian Italian and French diplomatic types Sw. This book came highly recommended and once I started reading I kept thinking I had already but couldn't for the life of me remember how it ended Turns out it only seemed familiar to me because it is based on a real life experience In 1995 the president of Peru and many of his guests were taken hostage and held for months Bel Canto is a fictitious story based loosely on those eventsI only liked Bel Canto I understand its appeal the coming together of hostages and terrorists alike but the writing was a bit too ethereal and romantic for me SO much emphasis placed on opera as if it's the universal band aid I know a lot of people that don't enjoy opera at all In fact a music lover myself I'd have to admit that most of opera is an acuired taste The hugeness of the voice the strong vibrato and foreign languages take some getting used to However according to the author there is no politician businessman servant or gunman that doesn't fall into a deep state of hypnosis when a soprano begins her song I tend to think that perhaps the terrorist from a South American country where musical tastes are a bit different might not have been so cast under her spell but I could be wrong I've never thought of it as the only offered solace to a terrifying situationWhich leads me to the other thing that I find a hard time believing Terroristswith gunscoming through air vents into a vice presidential palace and no one seems particularly petrified throughout it all Again I think this was the author's way of romanticizing the event by leaving out the crapping of pants and desperate pleas for loved ones but everyone was annoyingly contrite and calm even the terrorists themselves who seemed awfully nice and understanding The end was appropriately tragic I read a few reviews that described this as an example of magical realism a genre I try and avoid so this labeling surprised me Maybe all the lack of fear suspended time and happy hostage household was part of it The ending while sad and tragic satisfied my need for logic and realism This event seemed to have a larger psychological effect on the survivors then the original hostage takeover Whether or not that is realistic or not I have no ideaI wish she hadn't written her epilogue It was unnecessary and unbelievable Sort of like how all doctors on a hospital television show end up as couples as if there were no one else in the world to date or socialize with view spoilerI did not believe or think that Gen and Roxane belonged togethereven with their personal losses hide spoiler

REVIEW Bel Canto

CHARACTERS ´ Bel Canto · In an unnamed South American country a world renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan Alas in the opening seuence a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts Their uarry is the president who has unfortunately stayed home to w Iss Red Cross negotiator Joachim Messner comes and goes wrangling over terms and demands Days stretch into weeks the weeks into months Joined by no common language except music the 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds Time stands still priorities rearrange themselves Ultimately of course something has to giveHearing opera sung live for the first time a young priest reflects Never had he thought never once that such a woman existed one who. 15 overwrought stereotypical ridiculous stars 2015 Most Disappointing Read Award tie Of all the books on my reading list Bel Canto was one that I was most looking forward to You see after my faith and my loved ones the thing I most adore is Opera Opera has been my passion my solace my escape and the most direct connection to my emotional life I have found Opera beautiful profound wise and affirming I was introduced to Opera at the age of 10 and since then there has not been a day where I have not listened to it I remember traveling through Colombian jungle with some friends at the age of twenty four and ran out of batteries for my discman I was working through some obscure Russian opera at the time My mood plummeted so severely that one of my friends took out her AA batteries from her mini flashlight now that's a good friendso that I could listen at night until we reached the next villageI read The Patron Saint of Liars by Patchett in 2013 and thought it was a very good book 35 stars full of psychological insight and an understanding of what disconnection does to family relationships I was expecting this book to be even better as it won awards was a later novel and for God's sake was about OperaFrom the get go I felt my heart sink and chapter after chapter I read in disbelief that this was the same book that others gave such accolades The book rang so false to my ear The melodrama and overly disgustingly sweet sentimentality was jarring discomforting and infuriatingI somehow suspected that Ann Patchett had subcontracted a junior writer from Disney Animation and another burned out writer from Harleuin Romance to come together and churn this out while she joined their ideas and linked them with a very few gorgeous passages The characters were absolute caricatures with extreme gender and ethnic stereotypes The emotions and story line were completely illogical and the whole experience left me both angry and depletedThe only thing that will act as salve to cure my disappointment is to go and listen to Diana Damrau sing some heavy Richard Strauss songs with orchestra Thank goodness for thatAddendum My partner just noted that I rated Veronica Wants to Die by Paulo Coelho higher than this This is getting scary

Ann Patchett ¼ 1 CHARACTERS

Bel CantoStood so close to God that God's own voice poured from her How far she must have gone inside herself to call up that voice It was as if the voice came from the center part of the earth and by the sheer effort and diligence of her will she had pulled it up through the dirt and rock and through the floorboards of the house up into her feet where it pulled through her reaching lifting warmed by her and then out of the white lily of her throat and straight to God in heaven. To me this book is luminous Glorious Magnificent Perfect Well almost perfect I'll explain in a momentI first read Bel Canto in 2005 and I was so absorbed in the story that I would sneak away from my desk at work just to have a few precious moments with it The story opens with a renowned opera singer Roxanne Coss giving a private performance at the home of a vice president of an unnamed South American country Several people in the room are already in love with her and others will fall in love with the sound of her voiceThe moment she's done singing the room is stormed by guerrilla fighters and everyone in the home is taken hostage What follows is a fascinating look at what happens when a group of strangers are forced to live together for weeks The fighters make demands a poor Red Cross volunteer acts as intermediary with officers outside and meanwhile everyone inside the house tries to get along despite numerous language barriers Which brings me to one of my favorite characters the translator Gen Without Gen the entire story could not have happened because he was the one who helped people communicate Gen is constantly in demand translating from English to Spanish to Russian to Japanese and back to English againThere are some surprising and emotional attachments that form even Gen falls in love and by the end of the book I was in tears My only complaint is with the ending which I won't spoil but to say I was devastated is an understatement But given the scenario you can't really expect a happy ending can youThe characters are beautifully drawn Ann Patchett's writing is gorgeous and some of the scenes are so vivid that it would make a wonderful film I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who loves literary fiction Brava