Bel Canto

by Ann Patchett | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by sweetnorthernro of Rotherham, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on 3/12/2004
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by sweetnorthernro from Rotherham, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, March 12, 2004
Tale of an Opera singer, and Japanese CEO and their fellow hostages, as 2 couples fall in love. Sadly let down by the unnecessary epilogue, which mars a good novel, and spoilt my enjoyment!

Journal Entry 2 by sweetnorthernro from Rotherham, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, March 18, 2004
Sent to tangledthreads as a trade - hope it's not one you've already read!

Journal Entry 3 by tangledthreads from Derby, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Thankyou sweetnorthernro! Sorry it's taken me so long to journal - I wasn't in when delivery was attempted so had to collect from PO, but was away over the weekend...! Anyway, it was a nice surprise when I got back! You have managed to find something that I have only heard good things about yet don't already have on my bookshelf so I am looking forward to reading it. Not sure how long it will take to reach thte top of my TBR pile, though...

Journal Entry 4 by tangledthreads from Derby, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Sunday, April 4, 2004
I am a little surprised to be reporting that I really enjoyed this book. I knew it had been nominated for the Orange Prize, and that it had good reviews, but it had never particularly appealed to me. I didn't think it would be bad; just not specifically 'my kind of thing'. I started reading without high hopes and found the characters a little superficial, but there was a dry humour that came through.

By the time I was a third of the way through, I found the characters were growing on me one by one, first Ruben Iglesias, then Mr Hosakawa, then Father Arguedas... I must confess though that I never developed anything approaching affection for Roxane Coss, although she never did anything wrong. Almost without me noticing little friendships and relationships developed (some tender, beautiful relationships), faceless characters developed characteristics, and the book became more interesting.

The book suggests lots of themes to think about, such as the importance of language and communication, the importance of being understood; but also the understanding that can arise between two people without the need for words and outward communication (not only through music). And then the importance of fate, and the aptitude and potential within everybody which can only flourish under the right circumstances.

I agree with sweetnorthernro about the epilogue. I can see what the author was doing with the end pairing, tying two people together from a commonality of experience, the need to share and remember: you can say it wasn’t a realistic pairing, but then the whole situation wasn’t exactly realistic. But there could probably have been a neater way to round the story off at the end of the previous chapter. It didn’t ruin the book for me, though, and I will definitely be recommending it to other people.

Thankyou sweetnorthernro for encouraging me to read a book that might otherwise have slipped through the net!

Ready for release. Will take to next Derby Meetup unless requested by someone else, first...

Journal Entry 5 by tangledthreads from Derby, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Monday, April 5, 2004
Passing on to GlasgowGal though Book Relay site (http://casualreader.net/bookrelay)

Journal Entry 6 by tangledthreads at on Saturday, April 10, 2004
Released on Saturday, April 10, 2004 at In the hands of Royal Mail! in Postal release, United Kingdom Controlled Releases.

Sent by 2nd class post to GlasgowGal - hope you enjoy it!

Journal Entry 7 by BC-08041015142 on Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Received this morning as part of BookRelay.
Thank you!

Journal Entry 8 by BC-08041015142 on Friday, July 9, 2004
I finished reading this last night, and I have to say I was rather disappointed in the novel. The reviews of the book and overview of the story both appealed to me, so I was surprised to find I really struggled to stay interested in this. In fact, I would go so far as to say that other than the last 20 or so pages, I found the writing uninspiring and rather ordinary. There are some very interesting themes in this book - the power of language, the Stockholm syndrome, the power that the perception of captivity has over people (they could have left the compound, but didn't) - but none were expanded upon or examined sufficiently for my liking. The story meandered along at a rather slow pace until the ending which was, admittedly, my favourite part of the book and the only part that evoked any kind of response from me. It was just a shame it only lasted a handful of pages. The epilogue was entirely unnecessary and took away the power of the reader to be able to imagine "what happened next" themselves.

I'm passing this on to talkland as a RABCK. I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Thanks to tangledthreads too for the original BookRelay offer.

:-)

Journal Entry 9 by BC-08041015142 at on Friday, July 9, 2004
Released on Friday, July 09, 2004 at RABCK in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

Sent to talkland.
:-)

Journal Entry 10 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Thank you Glasgowgal for this RABCK.

Journal Entry 11 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Saturday, September 11, 2004
This is a wonderfully told story and fully deserves the various plaudits on the cover [which I must admit it a rarity in itself]. It is beautifully written with well-drawn characters and plot.

Journal Entry 12 by talkland at on Saturday, September 11, 2004

Released 17 yrs ago (9/11/2004 UTC) at

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