Friday, May 7, 2010

Book Review: The Cellist of Sarajevo

I just finished Steven Galloway's Cellist of Sarajevo for book club next week. A bunch of people said they couldn't get into it-but I thought it was fantastic!! It has been described as "gripping" and I couldn't agree more. I actually had a pen out the entire time I was reading-in bed, on the subway, in the bath!! I don't often underline or highlight passages, but I couldn't help myself! Here are a few that spoke to me:

"It's a rare gift to understand your life is wondrous, and that it won't last forever" (p.12)

"It's said they took these new names no their families wouldn't be in danger...Arrow believes they took these names so they could separate themselves from what they had to do, so the person who fought and killed could someday be put away." (p. 13)

"He suspects that what the world wants most is not to think of it at all." (p. 61)

" I don't think any of us will be going back to the life we had before, however it ends. Even those who keep their hands clean." (p.71)

"It's just something you do because life is a series of tiny, unavoidable decisions." (p.95)

"Does she think she is good because she kills bad men?" (p. 190)

"...she'd just as soon sleep in her own bed. If she's going to die, that's where she'd like it to happen. It's a small measure of control over an uncontrollable situation." (p192)

This last quote reminds me of some of the patients I've seen. They are elderly, previously fiercely independent and now, because of a stroke, may not be able to live safely on their own. When these people say they'd rather die at home with dignity than go to a nursing home, what I think they might also be saying is that they want to maintain the "small measure of control over an uncontrollable situation." Just a thought.


  1. I am soooo glad to hear that someone else loves this book besides me!!!

  2. I couldn't agree more with your last comment, I see it all the time and sometimes just cant wrap my brain around it. But I get it, kinda.


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