Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett~★★★

Author: Ann Patchett
Title: Bel Canto
Release Date: 2001
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Fiction

Book Jacket: "Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss (which is spelled 'Roxane' throughout the book...there's some bad proof-reading), opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening-until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots..."

Taryn's Review: Three stars is all I can give Bel Canto. Not because it isn't a good book, but because Patchett had way too much going on in this novel. She shifted the book from different character perspectives too often, and as a reader it was hard to grasp any type of relationship with the characters since I didn't truly get to know anyone. Once you think you might have gotten to the core of someone's background and thoughts, Patchett moved on to someone new and left some people alone for so long I forgot about them! It was very difficult to have sympathy for people I was barely introduced to, which seemed to be the demise of the book for me.

My other rant regarding this book was how just about every man in the novel was in love with the soprano singer, Roxane Coss. Only one man in the book was faithful to his wife as married men, single men, terrorist men, and even the priests seemed to desire Roxane simply because of her voice. It was a huge turnoff for me, although I understand that it was a major part of the book. 

The writing was strong, but at times I was able to skip entire paragraphs in the book and still fully understand what was going on. Sometimes Patchett described mundane things for too long causing a reader like me to skip ahead or, in other cases, might cause some readers to simply skip the book.

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