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)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted February 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    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 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?

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2010

    Difficult to describe. Unique.

    On the surface, this is the story of a well-known author and his rather tension-filled relationship with a taxidermist who seeks his help. But there are many, many currents running beneath the surface. A difficult book to describe. Here we are asked to consider (among other things) man's cruelty toward other men; his cruelty toward animals; his ability to look the other way when confronted with evil, and his lack of language to describe these things. It may sound bleak, but it is not entirely so. It is beautifully written. I hate to give out too much information, as this book needs to be read without too much foreknowledge. It is asking you to think and feel for yourself, and to gauge your own reactions to events. This is a haunting book that will not quickly be forgotten. Recommended. (I read an advance copy of this book).

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Innocent at first, Beatrice and Virgil leaves a dark smudge on a seemingly white page. It's disturbing and odd and I have to say it.brilliant.

    This book blew my mind.

    Henry the writer, meets Henry the taxidermist but the taxidermist is also a writer and has written a play about a donkey named Beatrice. and a howler monkey named Virgil. Beatrice and Virgil have long discussions about life, both the good and the bad but there's a problem. The taxidermist needs the writer's help in completing the play as the characters are not as fully fleshed out as they could be.

    This passage appears on page 80 of the ARC that I have:

    Henry: Off the top of my head, without any preparation or much thought, I'd say Virgil has the pleasing dimensions of a smaller dog, neither too bulky nor too slight. I'd say he has a handsome head, with a short snout, luminous reddish-brown eyes, small black ears, and a clear black face-actually, it's not just black-a clear bluish-black face fringed with a full, elegant beard.

    Taxidermist: Very good. Much better than what I have. Please continue.

    The play continues to unfold in this manner. The taxidermist tosses out a bit of info here and there and Henry the writer, takes it all in, provides help when he can and finds himself completely obsessed with the stuffed animals that this play centers around. Additionally, Henry the writer recently wrote a book of his own that bombed in a big way so helping in this manner is sort of like writing, but not.

    I won't say much more about the plot as you must experience it on your own, but it touches on the interaction between humans and animals, humans and other humans and the fact that evil comes in all forms. Once you figure out what is going on, and where the story is going, you continue to turn the pages with dread but somehow find yourself unable to stop. Martel dangles the carrot so to speak, and you can't help but take a nibble.

    I'd like to warn you that although this book is not overly graphic, it is disturbing and dark and will leave you feeling overwhelmed with emotion. After reading it, I immediately deemed it brilliant but then felt silly for saying so, as I'm not sure the author's intent was to write something brilliant. I know that sounds odd because most writers probably strive to be brilliant, but it's so subtle. Whether that was the intent or not, it WAS brilliant and odd and different from anything I've ever read. Beatrice and Virgil will be on my list of favorites for 2010.

    Beatrice and Virgil officially comes out on April 13, 2010 but you can pre-order it now.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    Powerful Book

    Yann Martel's ability to stretch a story beyond the reach of everyday imagination confounds me. He is one of the most effortless and eloquent writers of our time. This book changed the way I will think about a pear forever. After my husband and I read it, we bought a copy for every member of our family!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Most moving book I have read in a long time

    I was incredibly moved by this latest offering from Yann Martel. I thought Life of Pi was such a unique story and was anxious to read Beatrice and Virgil. I was not disappointed. Beatrice and Virgil is very heart wrenching. Martel's books are always full of surprises so I will not give anything away. I read Beatrice and Virgil in a few hours, and was moved to tears by some parts (the first book I have ever read to make me cry), so I do not recommend this book if you are looking for something light-hearted. Martel's storytelling can be wordy at times, and you may think the story is going nowhere, but trust me, keep going. Martel is truly a genius when it comes to weaving stories. I cannot wait for his next literary endeavor.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I adore this book. It is profound and inspiring, yet still clean

    I adore this book. It is profound and inspiring, yet still cleanly written and raw. The plight of a howler monkey and a donkey does not sound like the basis for a beautiful novel, but after reading Beatrice & Virgil, I know it certainly is.  I loved Life of Pi (which is why I looked into Martel's other books) but I love Beatrice & Virgil more. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Intriguing and horrifying

    Anyone looking for an amazing read, must read Beatrice and Virgil. It is poignant, elegant, beautiful, engaging and horrific... all in one. The end is insightful and terrifying. An incredibly unique way to view the atrocities of The Holocaust.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Another powerful book by Martel

    Will stay with me just as Life of Pi does.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 5, 2011

    Amazing

    A true testament to the writing craft! This book blew my mind.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

    Yann Martel

    One of the best book club dicussions ever!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 27, 2010

    Brilliance for Martel fans and new comers

    Beatrice and Virgil is a lovely companion piece for the fans of Martel's most famous work, Life of Pi, and can stand alone as fantastic discussion piece. It takes a jarring and personal look at the art form of writing and the complicated journey of personal salvation and self forgiveness. All this in under 200 pages. This is a definite book club must. Enjoy it. And talk about it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Mysteries abound in Beatrice and Virgil

    Yann Martel's puzzling and disturbing new novel vibrates just a
    little--a frisson for the mind--quite exactly as though someone has
    walked over one's grave. Martel takes on big issues not because he is
    unafraid, but perhaps because he is. But gently, o critic, lest you
    silence a voice in full throat. It is a voice we need to nurture since
    it mirrors us, not in raging journalistic torrents which belittle us,
    nor in hypocritical religious diatribe meant to shame us, but in
    stories meant to reflect, instruct, and sustain us.

    Ostensibly the book is about an author in search of a subject. We come
    across two writers named Henry, and two animals--dead animals--named
    Beatrice and Virgil. The story is deceptively simple--mostly the
    reading of a play with few characters. But references abound which make
    the mind whirl and stop and pick and think and wish and fear and...you
    see the novel is not really just a novel, the play is not just a play,
    and the playwright is not a playwright at all. In the end, a howl, or a
    braying--"frank and tragic as a sob"--would be a very appropriate
    reaction.

    I am left with questions which I will ponder with relish in the days to
    come. I welcome fellow travellers to unravel the mysteries with me, of
    the onelongword evilivingroomanerroneously, [sic] dramas, the odd hand
    gesture somewhat resembling a Nazi salute, a second hand gesture, and
    perhaps most mysteriously, tennis lessons. I have no problem with the
    ludicrousness of this list, nor do I have a problem with its ambiguity.
    There is little enough laughter in the full drama of the story--I would
    feel it too bleak to live otherwise. I believe the author means for us
    to think things through for ourselves. He's given us the signposts:
    Dante, Shakespeare, Diderot, Flaubert, Chagall, Mozart, among others.
    You see, it is not so very hard after all, and what a beautiful way to
    go.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2010

    Words cannot describe.

    The book starts out very expository, and at times, I felt like I needed to set it down to get away from the silence of the taxidermist. But I pushed on and am SO glad that I did. This book was amazing. Something that NEEDS to be read a few times to fully grasp the meaning and drama of it, of the art in the Holocaust. The book is not long, but in the shortness of pages, intense lexicons are used. Every page is thought provoking. I'm in awe.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2