The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo

This brilliant novel with universal resonance, set during the 1990s Siege of Sarajevo, tells the story of three people trying to survive in a city rife with the extreme fear of desperate times, and of the sorrowing cellist who plays undaunted in their midst.

One day a shell lands in a bread line and kills twenty-two people as the cellist watches from a window in his flat. He vows to sit in the hollow where the mortar fell and play Albinoni’s Adagio once a day for each of the twenty-two victims. The Adagio had been re-created from a fragment after the only extant score was firebombed in the Dresden Music Library, but the fact that it had been rebuilt by a different composer into something new and worthwhile gives the cellist hope.

Meanwhile, Kenan steels himself for his weekly walk through the dangerous streets to collect water for his family on the other side of town, and Dragan, a man Kenan doesn’t know, tries to make his way towards the source of the free meal he knows is waiting. Both men are almost paralyzed with fear, uncertain when the next shot will land on the bridges or streets they must cross, unwilling to talk to their old friends of what life was once like before divisions were unleashed on their city. Then there is “Arrow,” the pseudonymous name of a gifted female sniper, who is asked to protect the cellist from a hidden shooter who is out to kill him as he plays his memorial to the victims.

In this beautiful and unforgettable novel, Steven Galloway has taken an extraordinary, imaginative leap to create a story that speaks powerfully to the dignity and generosity of the human spirit under extraordinary duress.

Title:The Cellist of Sarajevo
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781594489860
Format Type:

    The Cellist of Sarajevo Reviews

  • TK421

    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 tr...

  • Richard

    The break up of Yugoslavia and the Bosnian War were geographically too close for comfort and are still too close to feel like history. Id travelled to Yugoslavia a couple of times before the troubles ...

  • Peter

    DefianceThe futility and horror of war are felt most acutely and despairingly when the young, the helpless and the innocent, bear the ultimate price. At 4 pm on 26th May 1992, in a war-torn Sarajevo m...

  • Mary

    Recently, Ive been bemused by some ongoing commotion in my workplace over a draft blowing through some glass doors. Perhaps its because I just finished The Cellist of Sarajevo last night, but the offi...

  • Dem

    The Cellist of Sarajevo is a book where fact and fiction blend to tell a story of ordinary people and the terror of war. Fact A cellist who has been the principal cellist of the Sarajevo Sympaathy Orc...

  • A.J.

    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...

  • Susan Rich

    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, t...

  • Sue

    A combination of history and historical fiction, The Cellist of Sarajevo is a harrowing portrait of a late 20th century civil war set in central Europe... And an excellent reading experience.further r...

  • ?Karen

    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 twen...

  • Elyse  Walters

    I've read this a couple of times ---I never posted it on Goodreads? 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...