The real Cellist of Sarajevo is Vedran Smailovic, a musician who played Albinoni’s Adagio for 22 days in 1992 at the site where 22 people were killed in an explosion while queuing for bread. Based on this true account, Steven Galloway developed the story around three fictional characters that are affected by the horrors of war, the cellist and his music that resonate the war torn city. The Cellist of Sarajevo is a harrowing account on the lives of three individuals: Kenan, Dragan and Arrow and how they each struggle to survive, their thoughts, their despair and their hopes for a better life.
Galloway’s short novel is excellently written to make readers understand human reaction during times of war. Even though this is a work of fiction, The Cellist of Sarajevo is a powerful must- read that reminds us on the importance of humanity and the effects of war on human lives. At the end of the book, I could not help but wonder what I myself would do and how much I would be able to endure in such a situation.
The Cellist of Sarajevo is definitely a recommended read.