The Cellist of Sarajevo will rip your heart right out of your chest.
It is brutal.
It seems every page echos the melancholic voice of a cello.
Following a mortar attack that killed his neighbours, a cellist makes a courageous decision. "...at four o'clock in the afternoon, twenty-four hours after the mortar fell on his friends and neighbours while they waited to buy bread, he will bend down and pick up his bow. He will carry his cello and stool down the narrow flight of stairs to the empty street. The war will go on around him as he sits in the small crater left at the mortar's point of impact. He'll play Albinoni's Adagio. He'll do this every day for twenty-two days, a day for each person killed. Or at least he'll try. He won't be sure he will survive. He won't be sure he has enough Adagio's left." p. 5
His labour of love becomes inspiration to many who treasure the beauty that his art can bring to their hellish existence during the war. As such, he becomes the target of the "men on the hills with guns and bombs" p. 33.
This novel is not a philosophical discussion about the morality of war. It is about trying to survive: physically -- to find food and water, and spiritually -- to find hope and beauty while dodging bullets and bombs.
The stories of Arrow, Kenan and Dragan remind us of just how great life is in our fortunate country that has never experienced war up close and personal.