©2009 Steven Galloway; (P)2009 Oakhill Publishing Ltd
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.
"Galloway delivers a tense and haunting novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"A controlled and subtle piece of craftmanship." (The Observer)
this promised to be a good and gripping story but suddenly it was finished. Loose ends all over the place, it just didn't go anywhere. As a description of what Sarejevo was like in the war it was very vivid, but as a story, completely unsatisfying.
I write short stories and love reading. I can't stand poor grammar though. I like most types of books but I don't like erotica or romance.
Now, I know that I have, in the eyes of some of the readers of this book and some of the potential readers of this book, overrated it. I am conscious that I have done so but I can't think of anything else to do with the rating. This book really has no rating. So I've given it top marks. It's a thinking man's book which looks at how civilians cope with war in the streets. it's a literary novel full of thoughts. a slow awakening to inner self. It has no plot but plenty of thought provoking aspects to it. It has multiple strands but not many characters. Did the cellist make any difference? well read the book. Find out for yourself. I have read it and I really cannot say.
A slice from the lives of four people during the siege of Sarajevo. The way people discount their ordinary, meagre attempts at staying alive, whether it is bringing home bread or walking miles with empty containers to bring safe water home for you and your neighbour.
What helps you remain human despite the inhumanity in your life? What makes you bring your long buried mothers' out dated blood thinners to a sick lady on the other side of town?
Why do you 'play Sarajevo roulette' - so much more dangerous than the Russian variety? Because you have to! Life has to go on and you have to find a way to feel alive.
The ending of the novel is quite poignant, unlike the title would probably lead you to believe, the ending is about accepting the inevitability of death but also about choosing to go out on your own terms.
'My name is...'
I won't spoil the ending for you, listen to this well narrated story of the ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
As with many titles this one gives the reader some preconceptions on what the story may be about...
However what you are given is so much more... This is a very good read for an open mind..
Though the story inside is not mind blowing I am glad I read this and feel it took war time reads to a whole new place.
A very welcome surprise from a genre I would have never usually took off the shelf.
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