Cellist of Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

I know that for Bosnia-Herzegovina that Steven Galloway the author of Cellist of Sarajevo is not from there, but that did not make the book have any less of an impact. It was not until I read the back of the book that I found out this was based on an actual event.

Oh, I knew about the siege of Sarajevo it was in the news such that it was here in the states. I did not know that there was a gentlemen who for twenty-tw0 days played the cello while the city was under attack.

While the cellist was a central part to the book the story revolved around other characters. A man seeking water for his family, a sniper looking for a way out, and an older gentleman witnessing death on every corner while looking for a meal. While in the background sometimes the cello could be heard.

In the book the song that was played was Albinoni’s Adagio. I had to look that up as I was not familiar with that piece. It is haunting, and sad, and full of hope.


“He can perhaps learn to bear the destruction of buildings, but the destruction of the living is too much for him.”

“Do you face the terror that must come with knowing you’re about to die for the sake of one last glimpse of life?”

“At this moment fear does not exist. There’s no such thing as bravery. There are no heroes, no villains, no cowards. There’s what he can do, and what he can’t. There’s right and wrong and nothing else. The world is binary. Shading will come later.”


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