“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
It is time to face the truth: I am a book snob.
Or maybe I’m a rebel book snob, which would be even more exciting to my robin-hood-ish mindset.
And to what am I referring?
I’m just saying if a book is on the bestseller list, I avoid it.
Not that I have no intention of ever reading it, it’s just that there are plenty of books at my fingertips, and I don’t want to feel pressured into reading the “flavor of the month.”
So, I held off awhile before reading Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto.
No, I don’t normally wait a decade to read a book, but I knew I’d get around to it eventually.’
“Bel Canto,” which is Italian for “beautiful singing,” is the story of the crisis that erupts when members of a terrorist organization take hostages in a mansion. After realizing they have too many hostages, the group decides to keep only the hostages they deem important, including a wealthy businessman, his translator, and a beautiful opera singer. Neither the terrorists nor the hostages can foresee the months ahead, the friendships forged, the sorrowful deaths that await.
Reminiscent of The Great Gatsby, there is beauty, politics, elegance, danger, romance, and yes, yes, the music.
Patchett says, “How much does a house know? There could not have been gossip and yet there was a slight tension in the air, the vaguest electricity that made men lift their heads and look and find nothing.” As a reader, I could hear the house whispering but I sure missed the message. I could have read the ending to this book first and STILL wouldn’t have seen it coming when it arrived.