The Cellist of Sarajevo – Steven Galloway


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.

The book in one sentence: How life amidst war (the Siege of Sarajevo) is like for three different individuals, who are all touched by the act of the cellist of Sarajevo.

Who would you recommend it to: Someone who likes a good, sad read that leaves you reflecting on life in a more appreciative way. Think Khaled Hosseini’s books.

OK bits: Of the three individuals’ stories, I like the story of Arrow, the female counter-sniper, the best.

Boring bits: Nothing boring, but it is quite slow. The language is simple enough to read but you might find yourself reading again to fully grasp the meaning of the words.

Random review quote:

“This gripping novel transcends time and place… A testimony to the struggle to find meaning, grace, and humanity, even amid the most unimaginable horrors.” – Khaled Hosseini

Verdict: My friend David did a guest post review for this book, which prompted me to look for it. By chance, I found it at a book sale for a really cheap price (RM8, that’s less than USD$3) so I picked it up. My friend is right – this is a good read and I would recommend it too. It’s not mind-blowing in that sense, but the book has a quiet power that affects you.


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