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Author: Yann Martel
ISBN: 030739994X
Subcategory: Literary
Pages 358 pages
Publisher Knopf Canada (April 13, 2010)
Language English
Category: Fiction
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 698
ePUB size: 1131 kb
FB2 size: 1370 kb
DJVU size: 1129 kb
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eBook Beatrice & Virgil (Large Print) (TP) download

by Yann Martel

Writers seldom become public figures. It's their books that rightly hog all the publicity.

Writers seldom become public figures. well, it's hard to tell-doesn't he have long hair?-oh, he's gone. When he was recognized, Henry didn't mind. Shouldn't the very newness of it, both in the content and in the form, in a serious book, attract attention? Won't it be a selling point?"

Yann Martel's book, "Beatrice and Virgil", is not intended to be a frothy light read. That said, it does contains wit and humor albeit in a self deprecating manner by the author, but always with a deep menancing undertone of tragedy lurking just around the corner

Yann Martel's book, "Beatrice and Virgil", is not intended to be a frothy light read. That said, it does contains wit and humor albeit in a self deprecating manner by the author, but always with a deep menancing undertone of tragedy lurking just around the corner.

Virgil and Beatrice are the same before, during and after. Henry looked at the list again. Henry stared at the head. It was a fox's head, but emptied and turned inside out. A snout, a mouth, eyes, large ears, a neck-but all wrong, all inside out. Henry could see white fur inside the mouth, where a tongue should have been, and at the neck cut he could see red fur bursting out. The rest was the peeled head, pink and raw, of a formerly sentient being. The ears, despite being the largest features, were inexpressive.

Beatrice and Virgil is Canadian writer Yann Martel's third novel. First published in April 2010, it contains an allegorical tale about representations of the Holocaust. It tells the story of Henry, a novelist, who receives the manuscript of a play in a letter from a reader. Intrigued, Henry traces the letter to a taxidermist, who introduces him to the play's protagonists, two taxidermy animals-Beatrice, a donkey, and Virgil, a monkey.

Beyond that, though, Beatrice and Virgil seems, despite its evidently large ambitions, strangely trivial and narcissistic: a book that ends up thinking about neither Jews nor animals . Yann Martel is at the Guardian Hay festival today.

Beyond that, though, Beatrice and Virgil seems, despite its evidently large ambitions, strangely trivial and narcissistic: a book that ends up thinking about neither Jews nor animals, but using the extermination of both to think about, of all things, writer's block. James Lasdun's It's Beginning to Hurt is published by Vintage.

Open this photo in gallery: Yann Martel. Tim Fraser/The Globe and Mail. lt; In late-2007, five years after he won the Booker Prize for Life of Pi, Yann Martel started talking about his next book. The structurally unconventional A 20th Century Shirt, he explained, would be divided into two separate parts and published as a "flip-book," with each half reading inward from its own cover.

Beatrice and Virgil book. I literally just finished Yann Martel's new book Beatrice and Virgil (B&V for brevity's sake) about 10 minutes ago. I am shaken with rage as the book is one of the most hateful and ghastly jumble of horrors I have ever finished. At least it is mercifully short. In fact, it is so short, it can hardly be called more than just a long short story.

Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel (2011 . Virgil, not even when the book culminates in its final moment of overwhelming crescendo, as Martel's characters find themselves trapped in an eruption of hell-like flames

Virgil, not even when the book culminates in its final moment of overwhelming crescendo, as Martel's characters find themselves trapped in an eruption of hell-like flames. Like the echoing themes of a fugue, all the components of the Martel's novel fit tightly together, leading up to one ultimate moment of terror. -The Harvard Crimson PRAISE FORLIFE OF PI "Life of Picould renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life. -The New York Times Book.

Henry’s second novel, written, like his first, under a pen name, had done well.  Yann Martel’s astonishing new novel begins with a successful writer attempting to publish his latest book, made up of a novel and an essay. Henry plans for it to be a “flip book” that the reader can start at either end, reading the novel or the essay first, because both pieces are equally concerned with representations of the Holocaust. His aim is to give the most horrifying of tragedies “a new choice of stories,” in order that it be remembered anew and in more than one way.  But no one is sympathetic to his provocative idea. What is your book about? his editor repeatedly asks. Should it be placed in the fiction section of a bookstore or with the non-fiction books? a bookseller asks. And where will the barcode go? To them, Henry’s book is an unpublishable disaster. Faced with severe and categorical rejection, Henry gives up hope. He abandons writing, moves with his wife to a foreign city, joins a community theatre, becomes a waiter in a chocolatería. But then he receives a package containing a scene from a play, photocopies from a short story by Flaubert – about a man who hunts animals down relentlessly – and a short note: “I need your help.”  Intrigued, Henry tracks down his correspondent, and finds himself in a strange part of the city, walking past a stuffed okapi into a taxidermist’s workshop. The taxidermist – also named Henry – says he has been working on his play, A 20th-Century Shirt, for most of his life, but now he needs Henry’s help to describe his characters: the play’s protagonists are a stuffed donkey and a howler monkey named Beatrice and Virgil, respectively, and Henry’s successful book was in part about animals. He wants help to finish his play and, we may suspect, free himself from it. And though his new acquaintance is austere, abrupt and almost unearthly, Henry the writer is drawn more and more deeply into Henry the taxidermist’s uncompromising world.  The same goes for the reader. The more we read of the play within the novel, the more we find out about the lives of Beatrice and Virgil – in a series of initially funny, and then increasingly harrowing dialogues – the more troubling their story becomes. As we are drawn deeper into their disturbing moral fable, the relationship between the two faltering writers named Henry becomes more and more complex until it can only be resolved in an explosive, unexpected catastrophe.  ThoughBeatrice & Virgilis initially as wry and engaging as anything Yann Martel has written, this book gradually grows into something more, a shattering and ultimately transfixing work that asks searching questions about the nature of our understanding of history, the meaning of suffering and the value of art. Together itis a pioneeringly original and profoundly moving accomplishment, one that meets Kafka’s description of what a book should be: the axe for the frozen sea within us.From the Hardcover edition.
When I read Life of Pi, it was the first book that I re-read passages because so much was within each sentence. I love Mr. Martel's crisp yet complex style.
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.
Four elements form this novel, listed in order of appearance: 1) A narrative following a thinly disguised Yann Martel; 2) fragments of a story entitled “St. Julian the Hospitaler” by Gustave Flaubert; 3) a play concerning a donkey and a monkey—Beatrice and Virgil ; 4)a set of “cards” describing Gustav’s Game(s). Don’t let the disguised narrative bog you down as it did me the first go around. It serves a purpose. The Flaubert story too, serves a purpose. The play—ah, the play has marvelous moments! And too, does Gustav’s Game. This is a novel that grows more intense with a slow build. While it is worth reading for that intensity, most readers will come away wishing that the build had developed in a more orderly, less biographical fashion and that the ending was not thrust on them in the last twenty or so pages.
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.
The reviews suggested another book might be a better place for my attention but after reading Mr. Martel's third book I was curious enough to experience this work. Thoroughly novel in it's approach and effective in its delivery. I find his exploration of human suffering worthy of sharing. The Truth draws us close enough to feel, an intimacy with energy to linger in our consciousness. I am deeply grateful for Mr. Martel's offerings. An appropriate selection for a fellow human being seeking to explore the human condition and how we might have gotten here with the world as it appears now. Travel well.
By far one of the worst waste of time. I chose this book because I loved Life of Pi for its unique approach. But this book goes beyond a unique approach. It's almost insulting in dragging its reader through a ludicrous plot and a horribly wrong analogy. One bit of honesty was the first luncheon where the author learns why his book is unpublishable. Yann Martel's publishers should have read and learned. I'm glad he sees us in animals, but it just doesn't work here.
Martel's novel is about the Holocaust in a round about way that entertains as well as enlightens one about misplaced trust. The narrator meets a taxidermist who is writing a play about a donkey and a howler monkey. This book is bound to cause mixed emotions, but well worth the read.
Yann Martel's book, "Beatrice and Virgil", is not intended to be a frothy light read. That said, it does contains wit and humor albeit in a self deprecating manner by the author, but always with a deep menancing undertone of tragedy lurking just around the corner. I give the book 5 stars but I can't say I "liked" it, that word reserved for warm fuzzy feelings not applicable here. But it deserves 5 stars. First off, I loved and thank the author for his generous opening of his private life, giving us peeks into his life with a few fictional trappings thrown in for good measure. It reads like a fascinating interview on how an author lives in the immediate aftermath of writing an international best seller. The story then delves into a dark and uncomfortable topic, the Holocaust. It attacks the story from the perspective of a donkey and a howler monkey, two animal characters in a play written by an unfathomable fan/taxidermist figure who seeks the author's help regarding this play. Throughout the book you try to ascertain if this taxidermist is a "good guy" or a "bad guy", without a lot of success. Much like trying to label ourselves based on our thoughts or conduct at any given instant. The book makes a thought provoking suggestion - that to truly "understand" the holocaust, we must approach it not only historically but also from a fictional perspective where fiction installs the emotional aspect of the story, as distinguished from the clinical impact of historical treatises that tell the story but dull the emotional and far-reaching impact of an event that shattered man's God-soul on an epic scale. The book's protagonist, Henry, argues that addressing hard moral issues from a fictional stance opens our emotional involvement with the lesson, versus historical perspective which permits us to safely stand distant and thus potentially emotionally uninvolved. The suggestion tugs at the very question many of us have of the Holocaust - how could we - collectively "we" - have permitted it to happen and what would "we" have done in similar circumstances regardless of our roles? It requires the contemplative reader to ask: In a similar situation, what answer would I give, what action would I take, what life would I live during and after an experience like this? That makes for a great book regardless of whether it is comfortable to read or not. The book challenges the world's attempt to look away, much like polite society avoiding uncomfortable mirror truths, where hard looks make us all accountable to permitting many current atrocities to occur unchallenged. The book ultimately asks us to reflect on mankind's accountability one to another. Being the child of a French Jewish Holocaust victim, now deceased, the book gave me a much richer understanding of my mother in ways I never expected. She never talked about her experiences. She did however cry every time she saw hurt and abandoned animals and she was a devoted supporter of the ASPCA. She herself could be unspeakably cruel to the people in her family and in her life. The book gave me a much better understanding of how this could come to be. Two characters in Beatrice and Virgil are both named "Henry", one being the author, and one being the taxidermist. A great tool suggesting perhaps that the best and the worst qualities can appear in all of us, the only difference being the choices we make. We kids lived with the Holocaust's aftermath on a day by day basis in the manner of her life, a life which was incongruously wonderful, amazing, inspiring, and terrifying, dysfunctional, darkly sad, and extraordinarily consumed with heart-rending guilt. Wonderful and horrible all at the same time. We learned to focus on the wonderful part, tried to understand and avoid the terrible part, learned to live around the dysfunctional part, and probably passed a lot of those elements on to our kids who are just now starting their own families. This second generation also carries the story's aftermath to their own lives, hopefully with a large part of the "wonderful" and a lesser degree of the "terrible" with each generation. But like Yann Martel, I don't want them to forget the story or lose the depth of its message. Stories like Beatrice & Virgil and Ursula Hegi's "Stones from the River" Stones from the River bring an understanding that goes beyond the documentaries, both sharing a message that life can be both wonderful and terrible depending on what you take and apply from the messages. Read the book and then find a way to discuss it with a book club or close friends or family. Finally, the book's last chapter deserves multiple reads.
I would say that the most redeeming quality about this book was its brevity. Had it been much longer, I think I probably would have lost interest and abandoned it.

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.