Beatrice and Virgil: Book summary and reviews of Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel

Beatrice and Virgil

A Novel

By Yann Martel

Beatrice and Virgil
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2010,
    224 pages.

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Book Summary

Fate takes many forms. . . .
 
When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey—named Beatrice and Virgil—and the epic journey they undertake together.

With all the spirit and originality that made Life of Pi so beloved, this brilliant new novel takes the reader on a haunting odyssey. On the way Martel asks profound questions about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity. 

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Martel’s mesmerizing ... Life of Pi (2002) has become a cult classic, its richness of depth and meaning belying the startling basic story line ... so it is with Martel’s latest novel, also a fable-type story with iceberg-deep dimensions..." - Booklist

"Martel's aims are ambitious, but the prose is amateur and the characters thin, the coy self-referentiality grates..." - Publishers Weekly

"Whimsy takes a deadly serious turn in a novel that will enchant some readers and exasperate others." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Yann Martel Author Biography

Yann Martel was born in Salamanca, Spain, in 1963, of Canadian parents who were doing graduate studies.  Later they both joined the Canadian foreign service and he grew up in Costa Rica, France, Spain and Mexico, in addition to Canada. He continued to travel widely as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India, but is now based mainly in Montreal. He obtained a degree in Philosophy from Trent University in Ontario, then worked variously as a tree planter, dishwasher and security guard before taking up writing full-time from the age of 27.

His first book, a collection of short stories titled The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, was first published in 1993.  The stories deal with themes such as illness, storytelling and the ...

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Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Yann Martel: yarn mar-TELL (slight emphasis on second syllable)

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