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Book Information: Cellist of Sarajevo, the

Cellist of Sarajevo, the (2008) [Novel]
by Steven Galloway Rating: No votes (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

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.

Original title: The Cellist of Sarajevo
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionGeneral FictionLiterary Fiction/classics
FictionGeneral FictionWorld Affairs


  • Selected for the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist

Edition #1: The Cellist of Sarajevo

The Cellist of Sarajevo (2008)
Edition Details:

Language: English

  • "A gripping story of Sarajevo under siege." J. M. Coetzee
  • "Though the setting is the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, 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
  • "Steven Galloway’s The Cellist of Sarajevo is a wonderful story, a tribute to the human spirit in the face of insanity." Kevin Baker
  • "Steven Galloway is a precocious writer of astonishing talent and creative imagination whose third novel lives up, in every respect, to the high bar set by his first two. The Cellist of Sarajevo captures with taut, painstaking clarity the events and atmosphere surrounding the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s... Galloway once again shows himself to be as gifted as he is fearless. If it weren’t for the fact that he teaches creative writing, I’d say it was time to give up his day job." Emily Donaldson, Quill & Quire
  • "Perfect in that way only a true story can be. . . . [Galloway] is a surprisingly mature and self-confident storyteller. . . . His writing is meticulous and purposeful. War may be hell, but in this novel it’s an unsentimental, almost pedestrian hell and all the more compelling for it. The Cellist of Sarajevo is a sombre, stirring performance." The Montreal Gazette
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Manifested in:

The Cellist of Sarajevo (April 2009)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: Toronto
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 9780307397041
Pages: 272

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The Cellist of Sarajevo (April 8, 2008)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: Toronto
Publisher: Knopf Canada
ISBN: 9780307397034
Pages: 272

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The Cellist of Sarajevo (2008)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: London
Publisher: Atlantic Books UK
ISBN: 9781843547396
Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.4 x 1.1 in
Pages: 304

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