Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel

Those of you may remember my ultimate favorite book is Life of Pi, and for those who are fans of this book there will be disappointment, for Beatrice and Virgil is nothing like the previous Yann Martel lit.  This statement, I must say, is nothing against the great writer, whose delectable ability with words and storytelling stands firmly intact—but more in that, for me, Life of Pi was life enhancing (I won’t say life-changing) and doubt provoking into wonder…it altered my assumptions of survival, religion, and writing, so much so, that Martel of course, could not be expected to achieve this again.

But…since I was told years ago that in a previous life I was a victim of the Holocaust, the end of Beatrice and Virgil scared the shit out of me and produced that knot that’s hard to shake off in the middle of my chest…an emotional rendering. And the retelling of the obscure  Gustav Flaubert story near the beginning of the book made me ill.

Well, that said, I guess you should read it anyway.  Let me know…perhaps my emotional literary habitations altered my diplomacy here.


2 Responses to “Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel”

  1. You were told you were a victim of the Holocaust in a previous life? Wow. How awful. Do you remember anything? I’d like to hear that story sometime.

    Love you. Have a terrific weekend. Stay cool.



  2. If a novel can scare the shit out of me, and lodge a knot in the middle of my chest that I can’t shake off, and rend me, emotionally, I’d want to read everything that author wrote.

    I played the “games” at the end of Beatrice and Virgil with a friend who had also read it. At the beginning I was making flippant answers, then serious ones, and by the end I was depressed. I guess that is the appropriate response. But it seemed a bit shallow and cheap.


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