- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 1 minute
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
- Audible.com Release Date: June 3, 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005GL8X8E
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Beatrice and Virgil
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Top customer reviews
After re-reading this novel, I can appreciate the structure a bit more, and even come away with some appreciation of the (auto)biographical wanderings in the first part. The narrator, I suspect, is meant to be an Everyman. In an odd way, I think I like this one better than Pi. BUT, you do have to get past the trumped-up autobiographical bits and then, only in retrospect, do they work.
I was not disappointed reading Beatrice and Virgil. It will be a book that will stay with me.
The horror of the Holocaust slips up on you through allegory and then punches you in the gut. His writing is masterful.
Next step is to find my next Yann Martel read.
It's a metaphor for the Holocaust, that much is clear from the beginning. The storyline is dark and filled with extraneous details about the writing process that I ended up skimming over. Every once in a while it crosses over into the surreal with no real explanations given (for example, the travels of Beatrice and Virgil (a donkey with a monkey riding its back) take place on a shirt.)
It seemed like Yann Martel used his post-Pi real life experience as a foothold for a story, which in the end, just came off as a bit weak and watered down. I got the feeling the whole time I was reading that he was struggling with a horrible case of writer's block, which I can certainly relate to. I would say overall, Beatrice and Virgil is a classic case of the "Sophomore" novel.