The Cellist of Sarajevo

Steven Galloway


The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo

  • Title: The Cellist of Sarajevo
  • Author: Steven Galloway
  • ISBN: 9781843547419
  • Page: 407
  • Format: Paperback



Tense and heartbreaking to its last page, The Cellist of Sarajevo shows how life under seige creates impossible moral choices When the everyday act of crossing the street can risk lives, the human spirit is revealed in all its fortitude and frailty.


Recent Comments "The Cellist of Sarajevo"

Few books have ever moved me to tears. Sure, I get sad every once in a while when reading a story, but hardly ever do I feel like crying after a novel. THE CELLIST OF SARAJEVO made me cry. Not face trembling, snot pouring from the nose type of crying, rather, the tears that came from completion of this novel were from a deep sadness I rarely experience. But before getting to my crying episode, let me first share a few things that I found amazing with this book:1) It was written by Steve Galloway [...]

Recently, I’ve been bemused by some ongoing commotion in my workplace over a draft blowing through some glass doors. Perhaps it’s because I just finished The Cellist of Sarajevo last night, but the office hubbub no longer amuses me and I think this is partly why books such as this one are fundamental. There are entirely far too many comfortable, middle-class people in their warm, dry cubicles complaining about things that don’t matter. These people will never know true hardship; their citi [...]

Onvan : The Cellist of Sarajevo - Nevisande : Steven Galloway - ISBN : 1594489866 - ISBN13 : 9781594489860 - Dar 235 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2008

I was skeptical of a book written about Sarajevo by someone who neither lived through the seige nor who is a Bosnian, but I was wrong. The book is a lyrical song to a city l love very much. Clearly, the author has done enormous research and spent time in the city with Sarajevans. All that aside, what I love about this book is the deep empathy with the characters and with the city. Something about living in these unspeakable conditions is understood by the writer and rendered here with beauty and [...]

The Cellist of Sarajevo has received good reviews and on the surface has a lot going for it. It's well written, convincing in its detail and doesn't waste words. Three characters struggle to get by in besieged Sarajevo. Kenan walks off to get water for his family and neighbours; Dragan to get bread. The third, Arrow, is a female sniper charged with protecting the cellist, who for twenty-two days will play in the Markale marketplace to commemorate the victims of a mortar attack.The triple, parall [...]

During the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992, twenty-two people were killed by mortar fire while waiting in line to buy bread. A local Cellist commemorated them by playing his cello at 4 pm every day for twenty-two days on the site of the killings. This story is told through the eyes of three extraordinary people: a man who spends most of each day walking across the city to get water for his family and an ungrateful neighbor; another man who walks to his job at the bakery while dodging sniper bullets fr [...]

During a siege of Sarajevo in the Bosnian War, 22 people who were in line to buy bread are killed when a shell hits next to the bakery. It was next to a cellist’s apartment building, and he decided to play for 22 days, in memory of the dead, one day for each victim.In a ruined city, where people are shot when crossing the street, this is a suicide attempt. And there is a sniper watching him, and basically he can get shot at any moment. A woman sniper, Arrow, is assigned to protect him. And she [...]

Opening line: “It screamed downward, splitting air and sky without effort.”A few years ago while I was travelling in Europe I met a guy from Sarajevo and we became friends. At one point he asked me if I knew anything about what had happened in his country. I replied that I knew very little, only what I'd seen on the news. Sasha laughed and never said another word on the subject, which at the time I found strange. Now I know why, what could he possibly say that I'd understand? This is a beaut [...]

This is a gorgeous, haunting book set in war torn Sarajevo in the mid 1990s, as the title implies. It's about so many things - the will to survive, making choices, and determining who you are underneath the trappings of civility, especially as they are stripped away with violence. Its about finding pleasure in small luxuries such as having electricity or seeing your children smile. Its about deciding what is moral. One line I think sums my feelings about this book rather nicely - its from later [...]

My favorite part of this book was the discussion of Sarajevo's role in starting the first World War with an assassination. "When the world thought of Sarajevo, it was as a place of murder. It isn't clear to him how the world will think of the city now that thousands have been murdered. He suspects that what the world wants most is not to think of it all."I was in high school when the siege on Sarajevo began. And honestly, I didn't know, or at least had forgotten, about Sarajevo's role in WWI, be [...]

Feb. 28 update:Since my trip to Whistler, where I had the chance to talk with, and listen to Steven, I have learned that the original cellist and Steven are now on good tems. Apparently, there had been misunderstandings (language barrier could easily play a role!), but now, all is well. :)Below, the review, as previously written:Henceforward, when watching daily news clips from war-torn countries, I will think of the three main characters in this story, and what it must be like to live this real [...]

In 1992, twenty-two people were killed by mortar shells as they stood in a bread line in a town square during the Siege of Sarajevo. In honor of the deceased, a local cellist who had witnessed the attack played Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor at the site daily for twenty-two days. It is a bit of beauty at a scene of devastation. This fictional book is inspired by this true event in Sarajevo.The book also tells the stories of three other characters trying to survive the devastation. Sarajevo is surr [...]

What a beautiful book! Normally when I listen to an audiobook, I speed up the narration to 1.25x or even 1.5x. Speeding up the narration by Gareth Armstrong would have been blasphemous: he sounded like Mr. Carson from Downton Abbey! Narration aside, the book was straightforward and beautiful; the writing style reminded me of Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day." Set in wartorn Sarajevo--but never getting into the specifics/politics of the war other than references to "the men on the hill"--the st [...]

3 Stars, rounded up.I held out hope for this novel because many have raved about it. But, mehI'll say that Galloway has beautiful, lyrical prose, so the novel has that going for it. He was able to show the repetitiousness of war; there is constant shelling, constant bombing, constant fear for your life, etc. Outside of that, it really didn't get to me like it did some people.I didn't enjoy the structuring. The three narrative structure felt a little contrived, in an effort to lay down some sense [...]

I remember hearing about this book and sorta deciding I just didn't want to read another book about another war, especially one that didn't really effect me. Then I was on vacation in Punta Cana and had nothing left to read so I decided to check out the book-exchange in the condo complex. It was this or a Harlequin Romance so I grabbed it. This book is Brilliant. Period. It is about the siege of Sarajevo, but really it is about humanity. It is about choosing to survive. It is about surrendering [...]

I've read this a couple of times ---I never posted it on ? Shame on me! I thought everyone has read it! Its such a sad/sweet story. This small story can read it in a couple of hours --- Fresh air will pump through your body from the experience. When I saw that my GR's friend --(also friend & neighbor)-- is reading it now ---my heart warmed!

A stark look at three lives affected by the siege on Sarajevo in the 1990's. I liked how Galloway avoided identifiers like “Muslim,” “Serb,” “Croat” and “Bosnian,” or any ethnic or religious labels in The Cellist of Sarajevo. The main characters are simply referred to as Sarajevans, their common enemy described only as “the men on the hills.” There is a good mix of inner and outer demons. I think Galloway did a good job of showing what war does to ordinary citizens. And I lik [...]

A truly AMAZING, 5 out of 5 stars, book that, simply put, everyone should read. It follows three stories - four, if you include the cellist's - of trying to survive and retain one's humanity (literally, as in being alive and human at the same time) while living in Sarajevo during the 1992-96 siege. The two men's stories (Keenan and Dragan) are particularly poignant and thought provoking: One man, a husband and a father, who is getting water for his family - a death defying act - and the other ma [...]

A fictional story based on true eventsSomewhere in Sarajevo in 1992 22 people were killed by a mortar bomb while they queued for bread, a cellist witnessed that and decided to play the cello for 22 days in the same spot at the same time, the cellist real name was Vedran Smailović."Is he playing for the people who died? Or is he playing for the people who haven't?"This novel is really simple and short, with only three characters: Dragan, Kenan and Arrow-Dragan a father whose family got the chanc [...]

Today, Europe and the world face a refugee crisis. And a growing number of people raise opposition to accepting them into their countries. I am personally baffled by this inhumane response. It is selfish, fearful, heartless and well, I really can’t come up with one single positive trait to place on such misdirected rhetoric. I would like to say to every one of them, read this book and then tell me that you would not choose to be a refugee rather than live in a war zone or city under siege. Eve [...]

3.5 stars - It was really good.I typically really enjoy fiction based on true events and this one was no exception. When I was a young and ignorant teenager I worked with a few Bosnian immigrants that had fled their country due to all of the fighting, but I didn't really get it then and American news certainly was not covering it as much as they were the celebrity flavor of the month. I definitely was not aware that at the time, the Siege of Sarajevo was the longest city siege in the history of [...]

All wars are ugly but civil wars, neighbors killing neighbors, friends killing friends, are the ugliest. The war in the city of Sarajevo is told from the point of view of the besieged; those souls who were unlucky enough to be caught in the crosshairs of "the men in the hills". These the same hills where not many years before had been the path of the world's greatest skiers. This is a five star novel which puts to shame commercial authors who have sales of their books in the millions. There is s [...]

A beautifully rendered, harrowing account of one month during the four-year long siege of Sarajevo (1992-96). It is remarkable that in such a slim work the characters could be so completely drawn and with such dignity. I noted in the author's acknowledgments those he thanked for helping him think like a Sarajevan and was touched that he allowed real voices to inform his work and speak through his characters. These voices of the four characters, whose survival in a destroyed city is linked by the [...]

This book is raw and powerful. Written in the present tense, you are with the characters on the streets of Sarajevo during the siege of 1992-1995. It isn't fun being there, but it is compelling. The cellist plays for 22 days in the crater from a shell that killed 22 people standing in line for bread. Why?The author has taken a dark event in human history and crafted a story whose theme transcends that event and is relevant to each life in every situation: Each life is important, that self respec [...]

This book brought some memories to me. Not of war because I've never lived in these circumstances, but more of memories of my dad. My dad isn't dead or anything just felt he was similar to Kenan. I've seen my dad broken like Kenan was, due to not having money. He’d do whatever it took to feed us like Kenan did.This book takes place in a city named Sarajevo during the Siege of Sarajevo. The opening scene is of a bomb shelling a group of 22 people. It really paints a strong picture on how quick [...]

Well, this book divided the Hallam Cricket Club book club. I liked it very much, but the general feeling wasn't at all positive. I thought it convincingly explored the daily horrors of living in the siege, and the sense of bewilderment that that haracters felt. The three characters whose perspectives are given in detail are all plausible, and surviving as best they can - there is real suspense in places, particularly in the struggle to cross the road with the snipers firing down on them. I think [...]

FINISHED FIRST TIME NOV 1 2008Everyone: read this book. I feel so blessed and sick at the same time. Blessed for where I live. Sick for the ignorance that's been mine. How many people are suffering every day while I go about my life? As a parent I was struck by the idea of having to sacrifice your life just so that your child could have water. It's humbling. This is one of the best books that I have read. My next step is to learn more about the conflict in Sarajevo.SPOILER HERE ----> How amaz [...]

My favourite thing about historical fiction is learning something of history that I didn't know much about before. In this case, it was the Siege of Sarajevo. Of course, on May 2, 1992, when the Serbs blockaded the city, I was only 10 years old, so I'll give myself a pass on not keeping up with international affairs at the time. This book is a beautifully written account of three people struggling to hold on to their humanity in a city under siege.

The Cellist of Sarajevo is a heartbreaking but beautiful novel based on the Siege of Sarajevo that raged on for four years. However, this book is compressed into a period of about four weeks. At 4:00 in the afternoon on May 27, 1992 several mortar shells struck a group of people waiting to buy bread at the market killing twenty-two people and injuring many more. For the next twenty-two days, a renowned local cellist, who had witnessed the murders from his apartment, played Albinoni's Adagio in G [...]

Devastating and beautiful.


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    Posted by:Steven Galloway
    Published :2018-06-02T18:39:08+00:00