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The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

The Cellist of Sarajevo

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Reviewed on Richard & Judy's Book Club 2009 on Wednesday 25 March.

This truly captures the sense of what it must be like to live in a war-torn city. Set in Sarajevo, at the time of the siege, everyday life is seen from three different perspectives. A story which truly evokes the terrifying ordeal of living under constant threat of death and yet how life goes on amid such horrors. Thoughtful and moving.


The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

Snipers in the hills overlook the shattered streets of Sarajevo. Knowing that the next bullet could strike at any moment, the ordinary men and women below strive to go about their daily lives as best they can.

Kenan faces the agonizing dilemma of crossing the city to get water for his family. Dragan, gripped by fear, does not know who among his friends he can trust. And Arrow, a young woman counter-sniper must push herself to the limits - of body and soul, fear and humanity. Told with immediacy, grace and harrowing emotional accuracy, The Cellist of Sarajevo shows how, when the everyday act of crossing the street can risk lives, the human spirit is revealed in all its fortitude - and frailty.


'This gripping novel transcends time and place. It is a universal story, and a testimony to the struggle to find meaning, grace, and humanity, even amid the most unimaginable horrors.' Khaled Hosseini

'A grand and powerful novel about how people retain or reclaim their humanity when they are under extreme duress… While reading The Cellist of Sarajevo you are imaginatively there, in Sarajevo, as the mortar shells are falling and snipers are seeking to kill you as you cross a street. Your mind's eye sees, your moral sense is outraged: your full humanity is being exercised.' Yann Martel

About the Author

Steven Galloway was born in Vancouver in 1975. He is the author of two previous novels. The Cellist of Sarajevo is his first novel to be published in the UK.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2009


Steven Galloway

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Atlantic Books


288 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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