Beatrice and Virgil

Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel- 213 pages
Book Blurb:
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.
My Review: 4 stars
This book is utterly disturbing while still a beautifully complicated story. There are several narratives going on with the prominence of a play being the one I liked best. The book is one giant allegory that I believe would be an ideal discussion book in any English class. The author is incredible at descriptive passages. Some in the taxidermy shop, I actually had to skim over, because the images were too real to digest. The description of a pear took several pages in the "play" but were so well written that I didn't mind. The use of words in this book is incredible and whether you like the subject of the book or not, the writing is superb.

Quotes I liked:
-“Slice a pear and you will find that its flesh is incandescent white. It glows with inner light. Those who carry a knife and a pear are never afraid of the dark.”

-“Just as music is noise that makes sense, a painting is colour that makes sense, so a story is life that makes sense.”

-“Fiction and nonfiction are not so easily divided. Fiction may not be real, but it's true; it goes beyond the garland of facts to get to emotional and psychological truths. As for nonfiction, for history, it may be real, but its truth is slippery, hard to access, with no fixed meaning bolted to it. If history doesn't become story, it dies to everyone except the historian.”

Tags: Fiction, 2010

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