Customer Reviews for

Beatrice and Virgil

Average Rating 3.5
( 159 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(41)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(24)

1 Star

(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Bravo! (I think)

Wow. This is one of the most memorable books I have ever read. (I got an advance copy). Martel is both a thinker and an entertainer and a magician. This book is about a zillion things: about story telling, about unreliable authors, a stuffed howler monkey and a stuffed ...
Wow. This is one of the most memorable books I have ever read. (I got an advance copy). Martel is both a thinker and an entertainer and a magician. This book is about a zillion things: about story telling, about unreliable authors, a stuffed howler monkey and a stuffed donkey. It steals from Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and pays homage to it. It is also about the holocaust and not about the holocaust and about an animal holocaust. It is funny one second and chilling another. The end is positively disturbing for many reasons (I don't want to spoil it.)
I think this will be a controversial book in that it attempts to make art out of the holocaust. There are those who think that is totally wrong. The point is to bear witness to such an event. Not to transform it into a thing of whimsy and cleverness (along with horror). I'm not sure where I stand on this. And, frankly, I'm not quite sure where Martel stands. Can you say book club discussion?

posted by Zandokahn on February 24, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK

As someone who LOVED the LIFE OF PI I was highest disappointed with this book. The first 170 pages of this book bored me to no end, but the last 27 pages angered and disgusted me. You went from having a pointless book with no plot to having a gruesome ending that did...
As someone who LOVED the LIFE OF PI I was highest disappointed with this book. The first 170 pages of this book bored me to no end, but the last 27 pages angered and disgusted me. You went from having a pointless book with no plot to having a gruesome ending that didn't really tie in with the rest of the book. The LIFE OF PI left you wanting more to read. This book left you never wanting to read another book by YANN MARTEL ever again. The character in the book "Henry" is a writer and is told by his publisher that his story is about nothing and should never published. I wish someone had told YANN this before he published this book. Take you own advice Mr. Martel next time and stop writing if you don't have a story to tell.

posted by Drewb on May 5, 2010

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK

    As someone who LOVED the LIFE OF PI I was highest disappointed with this book. The first 170 pages of this book bored me to no end, but the last 27 pages angered and disgusted me. You went from having a pointless book with no plot to having a gruesome ending that didn't really tie in with the rest of the book. The LIFE OF PI left you wanting more to read. This book left you never wanting to read another book by YANN MARTEL ever again. The character in the book "Henry" is a writer and is told by his publisher that his story is about nothing and should never published. I wish someone had told YANN this before he published this book. Take you own advice Mr. Martel next time and stop writing if you don't have a story to tell.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2010

    Disgusted

    It is an interesting question: is it appropriate to write a work of pure fiction about the Holocaust?

    Perhaps a work of fiction regarding the Holocaust would succeed without the gratuitous violence.

    I certainly believe in reading about the horrors of history to help us understand what people have been through. It would be fair to include factual details in a historical account, no matter how distressing. However, with excessive creative license, and lack of reality, these details seem better suited for a horror novel. At least in a horror novel, the reader would have no right to be angry about being blindsided by horror.

    I wish Yann Martel had followed his characters' concepts for talking about the horrors. With so many listed ways to express and remember, why did Martel need to throw all of those excruciating details at his readers at the end of the book?

    Would I stand on my daughter's head if she was dead, and I was trying to survive?
    Please spare me the imagery.
    Dear Reader, sorry to expose you to that. If you'd like to avoid more of the same, avoid this book.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    Avoid at all costs (Can I give it zero stars?)

    I don't care how much you may have liked the "Life of Pi" (I loved the Life of Pi)... do yourself a favor and avoid this book.

    At first, when the book was just boring, I continued to listen to it thinking... it must get better than this. I was wrong. Being only boring was unfortunately one of this books best attributes. From there it rambled on until finally finishing with an ending that can only be described as absurd and horrific. I understand the attempt was to write an allegorical story about the Holocaust, but simply writing a list of the worst things you can imagine is not something I enjoy reading.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    GONG!

    What a gong show! He means well - but writes poorly.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    not good

    not good

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    I cannot believe I paid for this!

    Based on other reviews, I kept waiting for this book to get better, however, it never happened for me. It seemed that I was waiting to find out if the book was about the life of the author, the taxidermist or the animals. The only thing I really took away from this book is that our society seems more outraged over the senseless killing of animals than it does the atrocities of war. Overall, the book left me feeling disgusted and angry. I would not recommend this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2012

    Very Disappointed...............especially after reading Life of

    Very Disappointed...............especially after reading Life of Pi. The story moves very slowly and it takes a very long time to understand if book trying to tell something meaningful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Disappointed

    I get he had writers block but why put fans throuhh this book.

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  • Posted September 8, 2010

    Boring!

    I loved Life of Pi. I can always get through a book no matter how much I dislike it. This one though, I couldn't do it. I guess it was way too deep for me but I couldn't make heads nor tails out of it. Couldn't connect it to the Holocaust no matter how hard I tried. I gave up in the middle. I read the questions at the end which were the only thoughts I could connect to the Holocaust. Maybe I'll go back and finish it through to see what everyone is talking about "the horrific ending".
    I just wanted everyone to know that I could have thrown it in the pool!

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    Posted July 1, 2010

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