The Cellist of Sarajevo

Steven Galloway‘s third novel is set in the siege of Sarajevo which extended from 1992 to 1996. It was the longest siege in the history of modern warfare and an incredible example of man’s inhumanity to his own species. This is an impressive book for a Canadian who had never been to the city or even the country before researching it.
The chapters in this short novel are innovatively titled with the names of the four principal characters with the name of the character whose perspective rules it in bold.
I was deeply moved by the chapters devoted by Arrow, the counter-sniper in charge of keeping a cellist mourning the brutal death of 22 people in a mortar blast while waiting in a bread line. Even more touching was the fact that these characters are based on real people and events.  Galloway’s skill really brought me there and showed me what a continuing stream of atrocity can do to people.
Very highly recommended.


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