Monday, April 13, 2009

By the Chapter, Day 1 - The Cellist of Sarajavo by Steven Galloway

Once again, I'm happy to be co-hosting By the Chapter with Marcia. She hosts this event on her blog, The Printed Page. We will be reading and discussing The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. It's always fun reading a book with friends - you are certainly welcome to join us!

Synopsis from publisher:

This brilliant novel with universal resonance tells the story of three people trying to survive in a city rife with the extreme fear of desperate times, and of the sorrowing cellist who plays undaunted in their midst.

One day a shell lands in a bread line and kills twenty-two people as the cellist watches from a window in his flat. He vows to sit in the hollow where the mortar fell and play Albinoni’s Adagio once a day for each of the twenty-two victims. The Adagio had been re-created from a fragment after the only extant score was firebombed in the Dresden Music Library, but the fact that it had been rebuilt by a different composer into something new and worthwhile gives the cellist hope.

Meanwhile, Kenan steels himself for his weekly walk through the dangerous streets to collect water for his family on the other side of town, and Dragan, a man Kenan doesn’t know, tries to make his way towards the source of the free meal he knows is waiting. Both men are almost paralyzed with fear, uncertain when the next shot will land on the bridges or streets they must cross, unwilling to talk to their old friends of what life was once like before divisions were unleashed on their city. Then there is “Arrow,” the pseudonymous name of a gifted female sniper, who is asked to protect the cellist from a hidden shooter who is out to kill him as he plays his memorial to the victims.

In this beautiful and unforgettable novel, Steven Galloway has taken an extraordinary, imaginative leap to create a story that speaks powerfully to the dignity and generosity of the human spirit under extraordinary duress.

This week's reading schedule:

Monday - Marcia, over at The Printed Page
Tuesday - Me! I will be posting my thoughts about what I've read so far.
Wednesday - Marcia again, at The Printed Page
Thursday - Me again!
Friday - Marcia at The Printed Page, and Me! We'll both be posting our final thoughts, and how we ultimately felt about the novel.

The last time we did this, we mostly agreed - stay tuned to see if we are in sync again this time around, or if we have a fun flame war. =) Stop by The Printed Page today to read the beginning of the discussion, and if you've already read the book, or want to read along with us, we'd love to hear your thoughts!


bermudaonion said...

Between you and Marcia, I really want to read this one!

Molly said...

Oh - what a great idea. I will definitely stay tuned all week.

I have seen this book and have wondered if I might enjoy it. I should have a pretty good idea by the end of the week :)

Literary Feline said...

I look forward to reading yours and Marcia's posts about this one. I read it last year and am eager to read your thoughts.