Revolutionary 'Bel Canto' on everybody's top-10 list
By Wanda A. Adams
Advertiser Books Editor
So we're just going to take that as an endorsement of our choice and suggest that you read along.
The book is "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins, paper, $13.95) and it is, as others have said, the kind of book you want to thrust into other people's hands as soon as you finish it, pleading "Read this, read this ... so we can talk about it."
In "Bel Canto," a group of dedicated but amateurish revolutionaries take over a lavish state dinner party in an obscure South American country, planning to kidnap the president so as to get some of their comrades ransomed from jail. But the president isn't there, and the stymied kidnappers end up presiding over a mansion full of guests.
With consummate skill and a graceful writing style, Patchett builds a little world of a novel a world so believable and complete that you're chapters into it before you lift your head suddenly and mutter, "Wait a minute, wait a minute!" Questions to keep in mind: Does the ending work? Could any ending work?
We'll publish an interview with Ann Patchett next week. You also can find out more by visiting www.annpatchett.com.