The Cellist of Sarajevo | EW.com

Books

The Cellist of Sarajevo A stripped-down depiction of the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, The Cellist of Sarajevo follows a female sniper, a bakery worker, and...The Cellist of SarajevoWar, Fiction A stripped-down depiction of the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, The Cellist of Sarajevo follows a female sniper, a bakery worker, and...2008-05-16Riverhead
B+

The Cellist of Sarajevo

Genre: War, Fiction; Author: Steven Galloway; Publisher: Riverhead

A stripped-down depiction of the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, The Cellist of Sarajevo follows a female sniper, a bakery worker, and a young father as they separately wander the once-idyllic city. Steven Galloway uses admirable restraint — the shelling of a crowded water station becomes all the more horrible. But the narrative falters with the title cellist, who plays daily in the street to commemorate victims of a mortar attack. Loosely based on a real figure from the Bosnian war, he’s a vague symbol of resolve — an inspiring idea but not nearly as compelling as Galloway’s other, richer characters. B+

More from Our Partners