Review: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett & Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Bel Canto novel is a 2001 piece ed by Ann Patchett and published by Perennial. It has won an orange and Faulkner prize for fiction awards. On the other hand, Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, is a 2009 best-selling book that narrates a true story about the way of life of the Tarahumara Indian tribe. This paper gives a summary and analysis of the two best-selling books mentioned above.

The Bel Canto is a story on a group of terrorists who holds high-ranking politicians hostage. Patchett reveals the way of life between these groups of different individuals who end up living together for several months. The setting is in an unnamed country beginning at a birthday party in the vice president’s home. The birthday party is to honor, Katsumi Hosokawa, the chairman of a major Japanese electronics firm. Towards the end of the party, terrorists break into the house in search of the president. They decide to take everyone in the entire building hostage when the terrorist did not find the president. They released some of the hostages and remained with those likely to fetch quite a large ransom. The unlucky hostages who remained included Katsumi Hosokawa, Roxane Coss, an internationally renowned American soprano and Gen Watanabe, Mr. Hosokawa’s translator and assistant (Patchett 78)

McDougall in his book, Born to Run, after marveling at the Tarahumara Indian tribe’s ability to run long distances at high speeds, decides to find out why. As a runner, McDougall himself has succumbed to injuries from his life as a runner. He describes his experience gained from studying the Indian tribes. To his experience, the modern running shoes contribute to the majority of the running injuries suffered by modern runners. He gets his argument from the thin sandals that the Tarahumara runners wear to their races. Apart from the shoe issue, McDougall shows why human beings apart from other primates have developed traits that motivate running. His book has been a major boost in the running business, motivating many runners to great success (McDougall 34-78).

Patchett in her book uses irony to build her plot. She shows how ironical such opposite groups could mingle together and develop a form of love that can result in marriage. Throughout the book to the reader’s astonishment, the bond grows proving that something good can come out of a terrorist attack. McDougall, on the other hand, takes an educative tone. His aim is to educate runners as they perfect their skill to much the Indian runners.

The most important work in Patchett’s novel is the theme that she builds in it. It is not logical to fall in love with one’s attacker. Instead, hatred usually generates which is not the case in Patchett’s work. In McDougall’s work, he tries to be educative but misses points in explaining the significance of comparing Humans to other pirates. Even in the cat family, some are faster than the others are.

In conclusion, Patchett’s setting is majorly in the Vice-president’s house. In the book, she uses opera to bring together the characters. In the story, Coss music brings them together to listen to her beautiful voice. The second book by McDougall has received many praises from writers. It is a best-selling piece that has won many awards. There is a film in the name of the book written and directed by Peter Sarsgaard.

Works Cited
McDougall, Chris. Born to Run: The hidden tribe, the ultra-runners, and the greatest race the world has never seen. New York: Profile Books, 2010. Print.
Patchett, Ann. Bel Canto. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.

You Might Also Like