Bel Canto

by Ann Patchett | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0060838728 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingDolphuswing of Luzern, Luzern Switzerland on 10/15/2017
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingDolphuswing from Luzern, Luzern Switzerland on Sunday, October 15, 2017
This work is certainly a worthy winner of the Orange Prize. It is a highly original story about kidnappers and their hostages, forced by unforeseen circumstances to live together for months. In a time when terrorists were depicted as something like the devil incarnate, the author managed to turn them back into human beings, with their own understandable desires, dreams and frustrations.

The book confronts the reader with the possibility that the Stockholm Syndrome may not be a stress-induced psychological anomaly, but at times a quite reasonable reaction derived from the realization that in some circumstances the hostages and the kidnappers are both the victims of the system or the people in power, who are absent from the moment of confrontation. In this story the measures, that are presented to the public as justified and liberating, just happen to be infinitely worse than anything the supposed bad guys do. I don't know whether this was the author's intention, but I see the book among other things as a call to question governments and the press, and to look for the story behind the headlines.

The only aspect of the book, that I am ambivalent about, is the epilogue. On the one hand I am grateful for the author's desire not to leave the reader devastated about the outcome, and I understand her apparent wish to end the book on a positive note. On the other hand I find it hard to console the epilogue with the rest of the story and the way the carefully drawn characters were depicted up to that point. I fear the epilogue is a bit damaging to the story and to the characters of Gen and Roxane.

This is a rewarding book - a great pleasure to read

Journal Entry 2 by wingDolphuswing at Ujezd in Praha, Praha Czech Republic on Thursday, August 02, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (7/31/2018 UTC) at Ujezd in Praha, Praha Czech Republic

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On a park bench in the little park above the tram stop Ujezd, in the vicinity of the memorial to the victims of communism

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