Please suggest books, movies or shows like Bel Canto
October 28, 2009 9:44 AM   Subscribe

I loved the plot of Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Any recommendations for similar books, shows, or movies?

I loved how Patchett's book showed hostages and hostage takers forming a sort of community within their besieged compound.

I also remember an essay with a similar theme by P.J. O'Rourke. It involved him being stuck in a hotel with a bunch of foreign correspondents during a bombing and talked about how they coped.

Any suggestions?
posted by reenum to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't finished it yet, but this looks like it might be in the right vein: Blood Kin by Ceridwen Dovey
posted by sharkfu at 9:59 AM on October 28, 2009

Best answer: The Effect of Living Backwards by Heidi Julavits is a kind of odd book, though I did really like it. The central relationship is most focused on two sisters, but they find themselves in a hijacking situation and the line between allies and enemies becomes really blurred.

A community develops around the hijacking in a similar way, but the book doesn't really have some of the warmer/sweeter moments found in Bel Canto.
posted by juliplease at 10:10 AM on October 28, 2009

You might want to check out the Beirut episode of No Reservations. Here's the description from wikipedia:

In July 2006, Bourdain was in Beirut filming an episode of No Reservations when the Israel-Lebanon conflict broke out. Bourdain and his crew were evacuated with other American citizens on the morning of July 20 by the United States Marines.[8] Despite having filmed only one restaurant before fighting began, Bourdain's producers compiled the Beirut footage into a No Reservations episode which aired on August 21, 2006. Uncharacteristically, the episode included footage of both Bourdain and his production staff, and included not only their initial attempts to film the episode, but also their firsthand encounters with Hezbollah supporters, their days of waiting for news with other expatriates in a Beirut hotel, and their eventual escape aided by a "cleaner" (unseen in the footage) whom Bourdain dubbed "Mr. Wolf", after the character portrayed by Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction. The episode was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007.
posted by amarynth at 10:14 AM on October 28, 2009

I haven't finished it yet either, but I'm enjoying the relationships that are developing in Day After Night by Anita Diamant.

From Publisher's Weekly: "In her compulsively readable latest, she sketches the intertwined fates of several young women refugees at Atlit, a British-run internment camp set up in Palestine after WWII."
posted by librarianamy at 10:31 AM on October 28, 2009

You might like the Cellist of Sarajevo, which though it doesn't deal specifically with hostages, I think has a similar feel to it.
posted by triggerfinger at 11:55 AM on October 28, 2009

Oh, I *loved* Bel Canto too. Found myself dialling down my reading speed towards the end to savour it for as long as possible.

Without giving too much away, one part of Ian McEwan's Saturday might meet your criteria. But don't go in expecting a jolly ride.
posted by sleepcrime at 1:10 PM on October 28, 2009

Actually scrub the above suggestion. Having reread your post it seems you're definitely looking for a 'trapped people bonding' story. Saturday ain't that.
posted by sleepcrime at 1:24 PM on October 28, 2009

Response by poster: sleepcrime, you've nailed it! I want stories of trapped people bonding.
posted by reenum at 3:35 PM on October 28, 2009

You may want to read memoirs by former cult members, which have lots of this and there are many good ones.
posted by Maias at 4:24 PM on October 28, 2009

Check out the film Die Edukators (that is its english release title....the actual title is "Die fette Jahre sind vorbei" if that helps you find it). It's an Austrian/German film about young activists who take a rich business man hostage after a break-in gone awry.
posted by missmary6 at 9:53 PM on October 28, 2009

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