The Cellist of SarajevoeBook - 2009
The Top 10 International Bestseller
Snipers in the hills overlook the shattered streets of Sarajevo. Knowing that the next bullet could strike at any moment, the ordinary men and women below strive to go about their daily lives as best they can. Kenan faces the agonizing dilemma of crossing the city to get water for his family. Dragan, gripped by fear, does not know who among his friends he can trust. And Arrow, a young woman counter-sniper must push herself to the limits - of body and soul, fear and humanity.
Told with immediacy, grace and harrowing emotional accuracy, The Cellist of Sarajevo shows how, when the everyday act of crossing the street can risk lives, the human spirit is revealed in all its fortitude - and frailty.
From Library Staff
Following a brutal mortar attack in Sarajevo which kills 22 people, an unnamed cellist vows to play Albinoni’s Adagio in the bombed street once a day for the next 22 days as a memorial to the victims. Galloway’s book is a testament to love, hope and the role creative expression plays in situation... Read More »
vpl_informationservice Dec 13, 2014
BC-born novelist Steven Galloway received universal praise for this 2008 Dublin Literary Award nominee. As the genocidal war in the former Yugoslavia rage on, four people are drawn together amidst the savagery. Galloway's third novel is a haunting and suspenseful read. Fans will have to check out... Read More »
Following a brutal mortar attack in Sarajevo which kills 22 people, an unnamed cellist vows to play Albinoni’s Adagio in the bombed street once a day for the next 22 days as a memorial to the victims. Galloway’s book is a testament to love and hope.
From the critics
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"There are no heroes, no villains, no cowards. There's what he can do, and what he can't. There's right and wrong and nothing else. The world is binary. Shading will come later.”
"But I think he believed that what he and others suffered there meant something, that people had learned from it. But they haven't" (Galloway 87).
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SummaryAdd a Summary
Canadian Galloway (Ascension) delivers a tense and haunting novel following four people trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo. After a mortar attack kills 22 people waiting in line to buy bread, an unnamed cellist vows to play at the point of impact for 22 days. Meanwhile, Arrow, a young woman sniper, picks off soldiers; Kenan makes a dangerous trek to get water for his family; and Dragan, who sent his wife and son out of the city at the start of the war, works at a bakery and trades bread in exchange for shelter. Arrow's assigned to protect the cellist, but when she's eventually ordered to commit a different kind of killing, she must decide who she is and why she kills. Dragan believes he can protect himself through isolation, but that changes when he runs into a friend of his wife's attempting to cross a street targeted by snipers. Kenan is repeatedly challenged by his fear and a cantankerous neighbor. All the while, the cellist continues to play. With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict.
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