So… Bel Canto is a book that intrigues me although I have never read it. I like the thought of the book the possibility of the book makes me feel as though all could be right in the world and oh that makes me happy….
In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. His hosts hope that Mr. Hosokawa can be persuaded to build a factory in their Third World backwater. Alas, in the opening sequence, just as the accompanist kisses the soprano, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry.
Among the hostages are not only Hosokawa and Roxane Coss, the American soprano, but an assortment of Russian, Italian, and French diplomatic types. Reuben Iglesias, the diminutive and gracious vice president, quickly gets sideways of the kidnappers, who have no interest in him whatsoever. Meanwhile, a Swiss Red Cross negotiator named Joachim Messner is roped into service while vacationing. He comes and goes, wrangling over terms and demands, and the days stretch into weeks, the weeks into months.
With the omniscience of magic realism, Ann Patchett flits in and out of the hearts and psyches of hostage and terrorist alike, and in doing so reveals a profound, shared humanity. Her voice is suitably lyrical, melodic, full of warmth and compassion. Hearing opera sung live for the first time, a young priest reflects:
Never had he thought, never once, that such a woman existed, one who stood 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. ~Amazon
I actually own three copies of the book and yes, like I mentioned before…I have never read it. Yet I own three copies because every time I see it at a sale, I am reminded that I want to read this… and I think, it is going to speak to me and therefore I am ready with additional copies to gush to my friends that it is a must read and hey don’t sweat finding it because I have a copy right here…. or, something like that. 😛
Now I am inviting you to experience Bel Canto with me. It is a different read a long for me because while loved by some, others have found it to be unreal and impossible. And yet, here I am asking you to take the Bel Canto leap with me.
All participants are invited back here on September 13th for an all day discussion/party/ giveaway. To participate fill out the form below, grab the button above and write your Bel Canto participation post and invite others to join us as well.
22 thoughts on “The Bel Canto Read – A Long Party!”
I absolutely love this novel! I may join you for a reread if I have time. 🙂
I am excited to finally read it! 😀
I loved this book! I hope you will too 😀
Thanks – I hope I do too 🙂
I read Bel Canto a couple of years ago and really liked it! It has been my favorite Ann Patchett book that I have read and introduced me to the world of opera. I recently finished Ellen Cooney’s Lambrusco whose lead character is an opera singer as well so I have found myself switching up my Pandora stations to listen to more opera music.
I hope you enjoy it!
Rebecca @ The Key to the Gate
Thank you Rebecca! I am really looking forward to it! 😀
I read this a couple of years ago an enjoyed it – so I think I might try the audiobook this time. I have it reserved at the library, but there are a few people ahead of me for it – so hopefully I’ll get it in time
Nice Dee, I like to re-read books i love on audio 😀 I hope you get it on time too!
I love this idea!!! SInce I’ve been wanting to read Bel Canto, and anything written by Ann Patchett for that matter, since reading State of Wonder, I definitely want to join in! Thanks Sheila!!
YAY!!!! Glad to have you on board Shirley – we can bot h get this book off our book bucket list 😀
You choose another book that I haven’t read yet… and want to read. I’ve requested the audiobook at the library and hopefully it comes in soon.
YAY! Thats what I am trying to do Leslie, get the books off the shelf that I have been waning to read but need that extra push 😀
okay Sheila, I signed up….did my Bel Canto post just now. I can’t wait. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while. :~)
Have a nice day~
oh…here is the post I did.
Its been on my shelf too Debbie… taunting me…. 😀
I am a loser!!! I am not going to be able to put up a post about Bel Canto. Tomorrow is the day and —sadly I have not finished the book, nor will I be able to put a post up. Crazy things happenin in my life… crazy good, but still I have not been able to blog at all for the past couple of weeks. I hope it goes well for you. I will be reading all about it tho!
I wrote my intent/invite post several days ago and forgot to come back and sign up! This one is not a re-read for me and I’ve also been wanting to read it for quite awhile. I love Patron Saint of Liars. And Magic Realism is one of my favorite literary genres.
Nice! Glad to have you with us Joy! 😀
I finally wrote my Bel Canto read-a-long post and picked up my audio copy at the library. http://undermyappletree.net/2012/08/14/bel-canto-read-a-long-and-party/