story begins with an Opera Diva, a song, a powerful captain of industry from
Japan, and a birthday party. The night goes horribly wrong when terrorists
burst into the room. Roxanne Coss, the famous Opera Diva, enchants both captive and captor.
Relationships are formed along tenuous lines, time stands still for a brief
magical little while. Patchett has written a brilliant story that
delves into the changing relationship of captors and captives with compassion
and insight. Her writing is absolutely luminous. This is one of my favorite books.
A major motion picture starring Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe.
“Blissfully Romantic….A strange, terrific, spellcasting story.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Bel Canto…should be on the list of every literate music lover. The story is riveting, the participants breathe and feel and are alive, and throughout this elegantly-told novel, music pours forth so splendidly that the reader hears it and is overwhelmed by its beauty.” —Lloyd Moss, WXQR
“Glorious.” —The New Yorker
Ann Patchett’s award winning, New York Times bestselling Bel Canto balances themes of love and crisis as disparate characters learn that music is their only common language. As in Patchett’s other novels, including Truth & Beauty and The Magician’s Assistant, the author’s lyrical prose and lucid imagination make Bel Canto a captivating story of strength and frailty, love and imprisonment, and an inspiring tale of transcendent romance.
About the Author
“Patchett’s tragicomic novel—a fantasia of guns and Puccini and Red Cross negotiations—invokes the glorious, unreliable promises of art, politics, and love.”
— New Yorker
“Elegantly alluring. . . . A novel that begins with a kiss and absolutely deserves one.”
— Janet Maslin, New York Times
“One approaches the final pages with a heavy heart for several reasons, not the least of which being that this fine read has come to an end.”
— Entertainment Weekly (A-)
“Bel Canto has all the qualities one has come to expect from a classic Ann Patchett novel: grace, beauty, elegance, and magic.”
— Madison Smartt Bell
“Patchett’s ability to evoke sense of place. . .is near magical in itself.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A novel that showcases [Patchett's] profound understanding of the heart.”
“This fluid and assured narrative, inspired by a real incident, demonstrates her growing maturity and mastery of form as she artfully integrates a musical theme within a dramatic story.”
— Publisher's Weekly
"Bel Canto by Ann Patchett should be on the list of every literate music lover. The story is riveting, the participants breathe and feel and are alive, and throughout this elegantly-told novel, music pours forth so splendidly that the reader hears it and is overwhelmed by its beauty. Ann Patchett is a special writer who has written a special book."
— Lloyd Moss, WXQR
“The most romantic novel in years. A strange, terrific, spellcasting story.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
"Bel Canto invites readers to explore new and unfamiliar territory, to take some emotional risks rather than stand with Rolland among those 'already saved.'"
— Chicago Tribune
"In more ways than one, Bel Canto is about finding beauty in unexpected places."
— New York Magazine
“The author has taken what could have been a variation on the Lord of the Flies scenario and fashions instead a ’Lord of the Butterflies,’ a dreamlike fable in which the impulses toward beauty and love are shown to be as irrepressible as the instincts for violence and destruction.”
— New York Magazine
"Patchett can be counted on to deliver novels rich in imaginative bravado and psychological nuance."
— Publishers Weekly
"You'll find a few hours of entertainment and maybe even a strange yearning to be kidnapped."
— Time Out New York
"A book that works both as a paean to art and beauty and a subtly sly comedy of manners."
— The New York Times
"Combining an unerring instinct for telling detail with the broader brushstrokes you need to tackle issues of culture and politics, Patchett creates a remarkably compelling chronicle of a multinational group of the rich and powerful held hostage for months."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Bel Canto moves elegantly through its paces, captors and captivates alike stumble on that most elusive liberty: the freedom to be."
— New York Daily News
“A provocative and enchanting look at the power art has to suspend real life and to create a better world, one in which the differences between people can be erased and the barriers to our best selves can be hurdled.”
— Detroit Free Press
“Blissfully romantic... with engaging wit and brilliant writing about love, Patchett has crafted a seductive, romantically charged novel...”
— San Fransisco Chronicle
— Seattle Times
“Bel Canto is its own universe. A marvel of a book.”
— Washington Post Book World