BookBrowse Reviews The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Cellist of Sarajevo

By Steven Galloway

The Cellist of Sarajevo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: May 2008,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2009,
    256 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Novel. A spare and haunting, wise and beautiful novel about the endurance of the human spirit and the subtle ways individuals reclaim their humanity in a city ravaged by war

Just 52 days after the Siege of Sarajevo began, 35-year-old cellist Vedran Smailovic watched as a mortar shell killed 22 of his friends and neighbors waiting across the street in a bread line. For the next 22 days, Smailovic took his cello to the site of their deaths and played the hauntingly beautiful Adagio in G Minor, the only response he felt he could make in the face of so horrific an event. It is this reaction to the inhumanity of a brutal war that forms the core around which The Cellist of Sarajevo revolves.

It is difficult to imagine what it would be like to exist in a place where the choice of which street to cross and when to do so is a life and death decision. Galloway's writing transports readers into exactly those circumstances, putting them right there...

The Balkans

The 20th century was an intensely bloody time for the Balkan region (20th century timeline & maps) as it emerged from centuries of control by the Ottoman Empire, and briefer control by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, that triggered World War I, took place on the Latin Bridge (also known as the Princip Bridge) in Sarajevo (now the capital of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina) leading to massive bloodshed across Europe including the Balkans.

The bloodshed in the Balkans during World War II was even worse. The diverse ethnic and political groups living in the area fought among themselves as well as against the Nazis. Yugoslav war casualties topped one million people, and over half a million (mainly ethnic Serbs, ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

Find Out More
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...
  • Book Jacket: Complicit
    Complicit
    by Stephanie Kuehn
    When seventeen year-old Jamie Henry receives word that his older sister Cate, is being released from...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  33Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Who Said...

When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O O T F P, Into T F

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.