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The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo [Kindle Edition]

Steven Galloway
5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

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From Publishers Weekly

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. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“I cannot imagine a lovelier, more beautifully wrought book about the depravity of war as The Cellist of Sarajevo. Each chapter is a brief glimpse at yet another aspect of the mind, the heart, the soul—altogether Galloway gives us fine, deep notes of human music which will remain long after the final page.”
-ZZ Packer, author of Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

“A grand and powerful novel about how people retain or reclaim their humanity when they are under extreme duress.”
-Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi

“Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo is a wonderful story, a tribute to the human spirit in the face of insanity.”
-Kevin Baker, author of Dreamland and Paradise Alley

“A gripping story of Sarajevo under siege.”
-J. M. Coetzee, author of Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 422 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 274 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0307397041
  • Verlag: Atlantic Books (1. Mai 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B004TLNO9K
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #73.451 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen Steven Galloway: Der Cellist von Sarajevo 15. November 2011
Der Roman "Der Cellist von Sarajevo" basiert auf einer wahren Begebenheit. 1992 wurden während der Belagerung Sarajevos bei einem Mörserangriff 22 Menschen getötet und zahlreiche weitere verletzt. Sie hatten in einer Schlange vorm Bäcker auf Brot gewartet. Ein Cellist spielte darauf hin 22 Tage lang genau an der Stelle des Mörsereinschlags, um der Toten zu gedenken.

Diese Begebenheit nimmt der Kanadier Galloway zum Anlass, die Auswirkungen einer Belagerung auf die eingeschlossenen Bevölkerung literarisch nach zu zeichnen.

Der Autor schildert den Alltag dreier Figuren in der eingeschlossenen Stadt. Die junge Frau Strijela, eine Scharfschützin im Dienste der Stadtverteidiger, begleitet er auf ihren Feldzügen und zeigt ihre zunehmenden Zweifel an ihrer Tätigkeit. Der ältere Herr, Dragan, hat Frau und Kind rechtzeitig aus der Stadt gebracht und irrt nun allein durch die Stadt. Kenan hingegen muss seine drei Kinder und seine Frau versorgen. Seine schwierigste Aufgabe ist es, alle vier Tage Wasser von der einzig sauberen Quelle am anderen Ende der Stadt zu holen.

An jeder Straßenkreuzung können Scharfschützen lauern. So wird jeder Gang aus dem Haus zu einem Kampf auf Leben und Tod gegen einen unsichtbaren Feind. Und natürlich verändert diese permanente Bedrohung, der ewige Existenzkampf die Menschen. Das Gros der Bewohner denkt in erster Linie an sich, ist nur bedacht auf das eigene Überleben. Eine Minderheit entwickelt hingegen ungeahnte Kräfte.

Wie immer sich ein junger Kanadier in diese Menschen eindenken kann, Galloway ist hier ein außergewöhnliches Buch gelungen.
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War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  237 Rezensionen
105 von 111 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "Tense," "Haunting," "Elegiac" 21. Juni 2008
Von B. Evans - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This is a novel so well-written and thought-provoking that not only did I read it in one sitting, but the very next night I read it again. I would encourage everyone to read the excerpt available via the Search-Inside feature, for it introduces the 28-year-old female sniper who goes by the pseudonym Arrow "so that the person who fought and killed could someday be put away." So riveting is her thinking and so powerful the last sentence of the novel that her story will stay vividly with me for a lifetime.

Other reviews, including the excellent one from the Washington Post (click on "See all editorial reviews"), have rightly focused on the characters around which the novel is centered. But also compelling is the plight of the city itself. Although Sarajevo became familiar to me during the Olympic games, one does not need to have seen the pre-war city to shudder at what happened to it. As one of the characters takes circuitous routes to get to his work and food, he recalls its past as he's faced with its present: "Every day," he muses, "the Sarajevo he thinks he remembers slips away from him a little at a time, like water cupped in the palms of his hands, and when it's gone, he wonders what will be left. He isn't sure what it will be like to live without remembering how life used to be, what it was like to live in a beautiful city." Or, I thought, what it would be like to try to cope with the destruction of wherever one lives, whatever the cause. In more ways than one, the author of "The Kite Runner" was absolutely correct when he called "The Cellist of Sarajevo" a "universal story."

NOTE: When I went online to find out more about Vedran Smailovic, the man who did indeed play for 22 days at the site where 22 people had been killed in Sarajevo, I discovered a fascinating article in the London Times which details at length the cellist's extreme displeasure at finding his photograph on the original dust jacket of this book and his privacy thus invaded. The article, which also includes author Steven Galloway's reaction to Smailovic's dismay at being used as a character in a work of fiction, is most easily accessed by going to the external links under the entry for Smailovic in Wikipedia.

NOTE: For those who, after reading this novel, are interested in learning more about life during the siege of Sarajevo, see my note about Scott Simon's Pretty Birds: A Novel in comment #6. Additionally, Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo Revised Edition provides a 13-year-old girl's poignant non-fiction account. For those wondering about other books the author of "The Cellist..." has written, yet another memorable read awaits in his Ascension: A Novel.
39 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Haunting Novel 15. Mai 2008
Von Susan Tunis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Steven Galloway's spare novel The Cellist of Sarajevo will be haunting me for a long time. I honestly couldn't tell you when a work of fiction made me stop and think so hard about the world we live in.

As the novels opens, the siege of Sarajevo is underway, and 22 innocent civilians have just died from a shelling attack while they were waiting in line to buy bread. The eponymous cellist watched it all from his window. They were his friends and neighbors. For reasons never explained (and without need of explanation) the unnamed cellist decides he will play an adagio on the spot of the attack for the next 22 days.

This small gesture of beauty in the midst of senseless violence and horror makes the man a target. The attackers of the city, described only as "the men on the hill" will want to make a lesson of him--though exactly what that lesson is I'm not sure. The military men defending the city want the cellist protected. They assign that job to the second of four central characters the novel revolves around. She is a sniper, going only by the name Arrow. She was once a happy student at the University, but now she is a weapon in human form. Every day she struggles with her personal moral compass.

The third character is Kenan, a mild-mannered husband and father. The gauntlet he runs every few days is the long trek across town to collect fresh water for his family. No one is Sarajevo is safe. Every time they step outside, they are facing death (although staying inside is no safer with buildings being bombed daily). Kenan's terror at leaving home is echoed by the fourth character, Dagnan, a baker on the way to work who is literally paralyzed by the prospect of crossing the street. If he crosses the street, will he be shot? If he doesn't cross the street, how will he eat?

The characters in this novel are living in a world gone mad. And it wasn't decades ago. It wasn't a third world country. It was barely a 12 years ago in a major European city. I was a young adult at the time, largely ignoring the news. Reading this (mercifully) short, profoundly moving story sent me to the history books trying to understand what this conflict was about. I still don't understand. But this novel gave me a new comprehension of what war really means. Galloway brought war into a world very familiar to me. It kept me awake at night. This is a novel that should be read by all thinking people.
30 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen 16 years today 27. Mai 2008
Von vitamin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Today happens to be the 16th anniversary of the mortar attack and as I read a news article about commemorating the victims(26) in Sarajevo I felt an urge to write a review about this book. I finished it recently and I felt that the author was able to capture the spirit of the people and what they went through being under siege. Not extremely graphic but with enough left for anyone's imagination to experience the horrors of war in their own mind and empathize with people of Sarajevo or any other human being experiencing war in modern times. Another thing I liked about the book is that the author stayed away from identifying the aggressors, causes and politics of the war and concentrated on survival and humanness of innocent civilians who seem to parish by hundreds of thousands in times of war. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a perspective on how a human spirit struggles through a war that appears to have no end.
29 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Truly Great Read! 24. Mai 2008
Von Bruce - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I don't do many reviews - but felt compelled to offer one for this great book. It is a story that reminds us what makes us both good and evil - great and small - wise and insanely stupid - heroes and villians, all at the same time. Steven Galloway writes in a way that makes you feel that you not only know the people that he is writing about - but know them as friends or neighbors who you have known for a very long time.
It is the kind of page turner that will make short work of a weekend - and bring both a smile and a tear if there is any human in you...
51 von 60 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Could have been great... 26. Juli 2008
Von ilvbks - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I bought this book in an airport and read it in almost one sitting. The subject, historical facts, and excellent cover reviews from esteemed authors made it a must read for me.

Why 3 stars only? The story framework is laid out ingeniously, the characters well picked and presented, beautiful images, the telling goes well and tension builds up to a point... and then... then there's not much more unfolding. I got the same images and thoughts, repeated in elegiac tone and not bringing additional value to the story.

If you don't know much about the events in the 1990s in Bosnia then you can probably enjoy the story for its universal values. But if you've followed the events it's hard to get transposed into a poetic state of mind and keep it till the end of the story. I had a co-worker, in 1993-1995, who had recently fled Sarajevo with one daughter to Canada. The rest of their family had been killed. It was incredible to see the tension building in this educated, intelligent, and warm person in an unexpected contact with another co-worker, who happened to be from the "other side". I expected (I wished) the book to achieve a more forceful message.

As a coincidence, Radovan Karadzic, Bosnian Serb army leader and war criminal, was caught a few days ago,
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Because civilisation isnt a thing that you build and then there it is, you have it forever. It needs to be built constantly, recreated daily. It vanishes far more quickly than he ever would have thought possible. &quote;
Markiert von 5 Kindle-Nutzern
This is how she now believes life happens. One small thing at a time. A series of inconsequential junctions, any or none of which can lead to salvation or disaster. There are no grand moments where a person does or does not perform the act that defines their humanity. There are only moments that appear, briefly, to be this way. &quote;
Markiert von 5 Kindle-Nutzern
Do you face the terror that must come with knowing youre about to die, just for the sake of one last glimpse of life? Dragan is surprised to find his answer is yes. &quote;
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