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Beatrice en Vergilius

3.13  ·  Rating Details ·  16,661 Ratings  ·  2,781 Reviews
Op een dag ontvangt Henry een brief met daarin een vraag die hem niet meer loslaat. In zijn poging de mysterieuze afzender te achterhalen, stuit hij op een oude taxidermist, iemand die dieren opzet, die zijn hulp nodig heeft. Voor Henry het doorheeft wordt hij de wereld van deze raadselachtige man in gezogen, en van de ezel en de aap over wie hij zo indrukwekkend vertelt: ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 2010 by Prometheus (first published 2010)
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Kevin Lanzone Yes! It happened so fast, I could barely tell if it was real. I'm struggling to piece together why it happened. I'm also struggling with the…moreYes! It happened so fast, I could barely tell if it was real. I'm struggling to piece together why it happened. I'm also struggling with the importance of the "flip book" in it. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Apr 16, 2010 Melinda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy cruelty to animals
Recommended to Melinda by: I loved Life of Pi, so I read it
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. The main story clocks in under 200 pages, there is tons of white space and the last 8 pages are "games" that feel lifted from works about the Holocaus ...more
Apr 22, 2010 Rita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to review this book. I loved the first part so much, the simplicity and innocence of it. It was so seemingly transparent and human and honest. Then it turned... it didn't become something else, it revealed what it had been all along.

I've read reviews with people saying they felt manipulated, conned, tricked. They are expressing anger over the book and the way it approached the subject and who it was approached by (Who is HE to be writing so offensively about the Holocaust?).

The symboli
My first reaction was a howl, a braying if you will, into the vastness. Martel does not allow us to look away. He puts his everyman in charge of his own story, and it is not a pretty sight. Echoing great voices in literature through the centuries, Martel chooses elements from many to create a symbolically dense, but figuratively simple narrative in which a taxidermist lovingly recreates the beauty once inherent in animals now long dead. Killed...nay, massacred, defaced, defiled, tortured, and hu ...more
Jul 12, 2010 Mark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think this book now holds the dubious honor of the worst book I have ever finished. It's derivative, dull & pretentious. The story within the story-a play featuring Beatrice and Virgil, a monkey and donkey walking across a striped shirt-is a cheap ripoff of Waiting for Godot. There are other plot points involving the narrator Henry's pets that seem to come from nowhere and lead nowhere. Finally, the book ends with a series of philosophical questions that strive to be profound, but remind m ...more
Apr 19, 2010 Robin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What's wrong with it? All the literary devices are stale (the play
within a novel, the big chunks copied out of a story by Flaubert that
is equally uninterestingly presented, the post-modernist writer
writing about a writer who is himself, the tedious Holocaust
allegorical back story is not even mildly interesting or mysterious,
the talking animals, the waiting for godot thing [it's been done, we
hear:]...yuck.) None of the characters are interesting. There is no
plot, really, which is OK (that can be
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Apr 12, 2010 Shannon (Giraffe Days) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2010
You know those people who get put off by a book sheerly because of how popular it is and get it in their head that it sounds boring (the blurb gave it a self-help-fiction-ish tinge* and I loathe self-help) and is bound to be mainstream 'cause so many people are reading it? Yeah I'm one of those. I saw people everywhere reading Life of Pi for a couple of years before I caved and read it - and, I have to use a cliché here, I was "blown away" by how fantastic it was. If you haven't read it, I hope ...more
Jun 24, 2012 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated-it
I disliked Life of Pi, but I thought, well let's give this one a try; it can't be worse. To be fair, it probably wasn't, but it was no better.
I think most available literary devices were used and you can have great fun spotting the various references to other works; many are blindingly obvious, others less so.
In brief, the two main protagonists are both called Henry; one is an author with writer's block and the other an aging taxidermist, usually refered to as the taxidermist. The taxidermist s
Jun 08, 2010 Dianah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow - 9 years was certainly worth the wait!

Henry L'Hote is a wildly successful novelist who is thwarted in his desire to publish his next novel. While taking a break from writing, he receives a mysterious package from a fan who sends part of a story, part of a play and a note asking for his help. What follows could only happen in a Yann Martel novel. He makes the surreal and impossible seems normal and routine.

After much contemplation, Henry goes to meet the fan and is perplexed by the strange
Mar 12, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book snuck up on me.

I adore Life of Pi and was prepared for something along those lines, and while the writing style and voice are just alike, this book is totally different. I was not sure what this book was while I was reading it... it is discordant and has some concepts in it that dont seem to fit with others, there isnt an easy flow to the story and I can see why some people would be put off by it.

What I will say about this book is that it is like a good poem, and I think that is the po
Barbara Figlewicz
I can't believe this story only got 3 stars in the cumulative rating. I know I love Yann Martel, and I personally relate to this book, but I thought it was written brilliantly - and I mean BRILLIANTLY!!!

It's a very tough book to read. I felt like I had experienced something close to the pain of the Holocaust when I finished it. It tore up my insides and made me bleed. I still can't think of it without feeling angst and sorrow in my heart.

It's confusing, but in a good way. I think readers SHOULD
Glenn Sumi
Apr 20, 2014 Glenn Sumi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
What are the ethical and moral quandaries of depicting the Holocaust with anything but straight facts? That’s at the heart of Yann Martel’s Beatrice & Virgil, his disappointing follow-up to his prize-winning, bestselling Life Of Pi.

Henry is a Martel-like figure who’s temporarily given up writing in despair after his follow-up to his prize-winning, bestselling novel is misunderstood and rejected by publishers.

Living off the royalties of that earlier book with his pregnant wife, Sarah, he move
Dec 31, 2011 marymurtz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I finished this book in less than a day - I could not stop reading it. Yann Martel is one of the most brilliant writers and ever since I read (and was haunted by) Life of Pi, I've been looking forward to reading his next novel.

A Booklist reviewer called this book "a fable-type story with iceberg-deep dimensions reaching far below the surface of its general premise."

A young author named Henry L'Hote wrote a hugely successful book, but his second novel, eagerly awaited, is pitched to
Jun 03, 2010 Andi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a child of postmodern literature. In college, my postmodern lit class with Samuel Smith was my favorite lit course because it gave me the framework to talk about all the things I love – metanarrative, self-referentiality, deconstruction. Yann Martel’s new book Beatrice and Virgil contains all these things – a play within a novel, the commentary on writing that applies to the book itself, a complexity of story lines that can, ultimately, be broken down into one central theme – the value of s ...more
Mar 05, 2010 Noemi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, white-author
I really liked parts of this book - the play within the story was pretty interesting. However, the book as a whole seemed to be one long explanation for why Martel hasn't published anything since Life of Pi, and frankly, I don't care why he hasn't written since then. I don't think that authors "owe" us anything just because they write one really good book - if that's all they write, that's fine, it's awesome that they gave us that much.

Martel seems to be both trying to excuse not having publishe
Aug 11, 2010 Tawny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was sorry to read the Publisher’s Weekly review of this novel. I couldn’t disagree more with the reviewer’s take on this book.

The Life of Pi is one of my all-time favorite novels, so when Yann Martel published his latest novel, I was hoping for more of the same: a novel that would touch my heart and haunt my consciousness. So I ran right out and spent the big bucks for the hard-bound copy. Beatrice and Virgil did more than touch my heart; it tore it out and handed it to me on a plate. And I me
Feb 11, 2016 Marc-Antoine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very difficult read in the end, but one that will help me be a better person... I didn't know where this story was going, but once it was revealed to me it opened my eyes to horrors that I will probably never fully understand. I can't say that I enjoyed this story, but in some ways I felt it. Ultimately it brought me to tears.
Jul 21, 2010 Shanil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2010 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, romance
Envolvente é a melhor palavra para definir este livro. Com uma história lindíssima, entre Beatriz e Virgílio, Yann Martel define muito bem os horrores do Holocausto.
Henry, um conhecido e reputado escritor de best-sellers sai do seu país natal quando um livro que projectara de uma forma diferente e em que relatava os horrores do Holocausto lhe é vetado pela sua editora. Decide partir com a mulher para uma outra cidade e aí fazer uma nova vida, completamente diferente do que havia feito até agora.
Lauren Mckinney
Sep 06, 2011 Lauren Mckinney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My eleven-year-old son read this book, because he loved Life of Pi better than anything else he ever read. (Me? I felt completely betrayed by Life of Pi's ending.) He kept saying to me, "You need to read this and tell me what you think."

Wow. This is a powerful tiny novella, rich in symbolism and packing a huge emotional wallop. Although I'm normally the first person to be turned off by postmodern self-referentiality, it didn't bother me here. Martel's narrator is transparently a stand-in for him
Kathy Rainey
May 02, 2010 Kathy Rainey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Complete opposite of his first book The Life of Pi which was intriguing, fascinating, different and positive. While this story is also written through symbolism with the intent to make you analyze and interpret, the net result leaves you feeling used. Having said that it is extremely well written. The story within a story within a story is intriguing. All of it has serious potential but ultimately very dissatisfying. Spoiler alert: The story begins with an author's story getting rejected because ...more
Alayne Bushey
Mar 31, 2010 Alayne Bushey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What is Beatrice And Virgil about?

The question of “about-ness” is asked more than once in Yann Martel’s latest novel. In reference to our main character Henry, “What is this book about?” is asked of his latest novel regarding the Holocaust. When Henry’s publishers and editors don’t “get” his work, he gives up writing for a time, moves to a big city with his wife, adopts a dog and cat, gets his wife pregnant, and meets another Henry; a taxidermist writing a play. In this play, the taxidermist has
Oct 18, 2012 Cameron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface by saying that I liked The Life of Pi. I loved it, in fact. It is a fantastic novel that I would enjoy reading again and again.

When I got Yann Martel's later novel, Beatrice and Virgil, I wasn't expecting something like the Life of Pi.But, in a way, that is exactly what I got. Only it was a confused, convoluted, and atrocious version of the book that I had loved so much.

The premise of this book, where an author is convinced to help an elderly taxidermist with his allegorical off-o
I love Yann Martel's stories. He has a brilliant way of twisting the conventional storytelling method while making the reader think about what fiction/truth/reality mean to the individual.
Beatrice & Vergil is a story about the Holocaust which is told through a number if different perspectives: there is Henry, who narrates the story and is a very successful author who is feeling pressure to write an equally successful second novel (slightly autobiographical?); there is the taxidermist, whom
“To my mind, faith is like being in the sun. The shadow is doubt. And it goes wherever you go as long as you stay in the sun.”

“We overvalue words, they are just refined grunts.”

“Words are cold, muddy toads trying to understand spirits dancing in a field.”

I always felt that words are so strong that they can shatter the silence and scream the truth hoarse... but this book just makes me believe that nothing is more powerful than silence... it can be killing, tormenting, poignant, threatening, cla
Apr 07, 2014 Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beatriz e Virgílio é um livro agitante e assustador, onde as coincidências são certezas. À semelhança da outra obra que li de Yann Martel, o início é espantoso, mas depois algo se desmorona e fui invadido por uma sensação de incompletude.
O Holocausto é tratado com muita precisão histórica aquando da sua inserção na literatura, enquanto que as Guerras estão muitas vezes sob alegorias.
Está muito bem escrito e confirma o talento do autor.
Tanuj Solanki
Aug 06, 2012 Tanuj Solanki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, library, canada
The lousiest book I've found myself reading in recent times. I will finish it. The amazement at the sheer banality of it has forced me till now, and I hope Martel saves it from here on.
Carinya Kappler
Nov 27, 2011 Carinya Kappler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no doubt that the author Yann Martel has a gift for writing prose with hidden underlying themes, discoverable essentially by comprehension of obscure symbolic parables and involving brave leaps of faith.
Based on this uncertain premise I have built my even more uncertain interpretation of the story.
Henry is an accomplished author. He has established public recognition and credibility based on successfully creating two popular books. I see Henry as the symbolic representation of “the peop
Arun Divakar
Many an object that is a rage during our childhood days becomes a relic as we grow up. The swift current of time ensures that most inanimate objects are not spared this fate. I can remember a few such things : the audio casette player, the VHS player, cable television and so forth. Advancements whether in technology,time or humanity itself tend to dig graves for such items and then walk off without so much as a shrug to their own inevitable deaths waiting in the wing. Another example is Taxiderm ...more
Apr 19, 2010 Shar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many of my friends, I picked up Life of Pi (Martel's previous novel, a Booker Prize winner) because of its cover. I was intrigued by its premise and I ended up taking it home with me. It was what I was hoping for: a completely unique and utterly convincing take on a deceptively simple story of human survival. I was impressed by the book, moved by its intensity, and desperate to discuss it with others. Because there was something I didn't quite "get" about the novel, something I didn't like ...more
Apr 09, 2010 Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I so much admired Life of Pi that I was almost afraid to read Beatrice and Virgil in case Yann Martel had not reached the heights of creativity that he had in Pi. I held on to my copy for almost 18 hours before beginning it on the day of its release.

I didn't need to worry. He has an inventive and creative mind which he uses expertly in this life interrupting read. I was in "Wow" mode for hours after finishing it.

I disagree with those who criticise the author for giving us the yarns about his mee
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Boston Bookworms: So, a monkey and a donkey. What's up with that? 1 9 Jan 13, 2016 12:33PM  
Amnesty Internati...: September 2015 - Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel 7 26 Nov 20, 2015 07:38PM  
The taxidermist 6 172 Dec 20, 2013 01:19AM  
Martel and the Animals 1 42 Jul 02, 2012 09:25AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Beatrice and Virgil 1 3 Jun 25, 2012 12:05PM  
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Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes). He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs ...more
More about Yann Martel...

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“Just as music is noise that makes sense, a painting is colour that makes sense, so a story is life that makes sense.” 63 likes
“A work of art works because it is true, not because it is real.” 34 likes
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