Bel Canto (Paperback)Ann Patchett (author)
Utilising a hostage siege in a Latin American embassy to interrogate ideas of loyalty, belonging and love, Patchett’s Orange Prize-winning masterpiece is a triumph of nuanced characterisation and storytelling craft.
Winner of the Orange Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
Latin terrorists storm an international gathering hosted by an underprivileged country to promote foreign interest and trade, only to find that their intended target, the President, has stayed home to watch his favourite soap opera on TV. Among the hostages are a world class opera singer and her biggest fan, a Japanese tycoon who has been persuaded to attend the party on the understanding that she will perform half a dozen arias after dinner.
The tycoon's engaging and sympathetic translator plays a vital role in the subsequent relationships between so many different nationalities closeted together, interpreting not only the terrorists' negotiations but also the language of love between lovers who cannot understand what the other is saying. Ultimately, it is the terrorist strike that does more to promote foreign relations than anyone could have hoped to achieve with the party.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 250 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 21 mm
'A beguiling mix of thriller, romantic comedy, and novel of ideas...Crisply written, immaculately plotted, and often very funny, it is that rarity - a literary novel you simply can't put down.' - The Times
'Like the blueprint of operatic performance that she has imported, Patchett slides from strutting camp to high tragedy, minute social comedy to sublime romanticism.' - Alex Clark, The Guardian
'Expect miracles when you read Ann Patchett's fiction. Comparisons are tempting to the unabashed romanticism of Laurie Colwin, the eccentric characters of Anne Tyler, the enchantments of Alice Hoffman. But Patchett is unique; a generous, fearless and startlingly wise young writer.' - The New York Times Review of Books
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“A great read”
I was lent this book by a friend who dropped it on my desk with the muttering that 'thought you might like to try this .... seemed your kind of thing'
Well I read the synopsis and raised an eyebrow - not my... More
I am so glad I found Ann Patchett. She is such a reliable pleasure.
'Bel Canto' is a surprise from start to finish. Try and avoid reading too many reviews if you can. It's better if the surprises and... More
“One of my favourite books”
This is one of my favourite books of all time. It manages to combine a tense fast-paced storyline with beautiful prose and intriguing well-rounded characters.
It is exquisitely written, both heart-breaking and... More
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