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'Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel' by Yann Martel

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Author: Prasoon Kumar

'Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel' by Yann Martel is the brilliant and potent journey that takes you into the world of survivors who know what it is to live a life in the face of evil. The narrator of the book is a novelist named Henry who is going through writer's block after having written a successful first novel. He strongly believes the story of holocaust has not been told enough through fiction. The author believes readers would understand the Holocaust better through fiction.

Fate Helps Henry

In the book 'Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel' by Yann Martel, at the time when the author feels stuck, fate brings him close to a taxidermist who has written a play about a donkey and howler monkey, named Beatrice and Virgil. When Henry hears parts of the play, he finds out the taxidermist has creatively used the animals to describe the worst acts of mankind, murder, annihilation, torture and sadism. The animals want to survive the cruel acts and record the tales at the same time, and still remain truthful to life.

Record The Lives Truthfully

The survival of humanity can be ensured through recording the existence of dead people, though the recording must be good and truthful, or else the purpose would be defeated. The art of taxidermy preserves the existence of the hunted animals and if it is done shabbily, it ruins the existence of the animal. The taxidermist in the story became one (a taxidermist) with the purpose of bearing witness, and that's the reason why Henry also wants to write the novel.

Helpless Yet Human

The portions where the play "Beatrice and Virgil" (ISBN-13: 9780670084517) takes place are very interesting. Here the animals express helplessness while facing horrible situations, and remain noble at the same time. The narrator earlier felt that after suffering the violence, the only feelings one can go through were despair, joylessness, suspicion, fear and anxiety. What he overlooks are the millions who have themselves suffered terror and went on to lead human and enriching lives. The donkey and monkey celebrate life even when they are going through misery.

Celebrate Life Even When The Times Are Tough

Henry comes up with games to celebrate life though they end up reminding you of the holocaust at the same time. The survivors don't only have to be witness to what happened, they have to celebrate life as well. The book makes the readers think about the abysmal levels to which humans may go and our ability to survive.

Don't Go By What You Think

Despite what you think, Beatrice & Virgil is a different story altogether, different from anything else you might have read. It is interesting to see how the story has been associated with the holocaust. The author, Yann Martel is a master at revealing everything slowly. Although you know that genocide will come into the picture, you never really figure out when it does so. Just like the German Jews, who realized there was a problem only when they on their way to death. The author strongly believes every culture needs to tell fictional stories about a topic, if only to express how it feels about them.

About the author: The author Prasoon Kumar works for which is the leading online bookstore that offers all the current and all time great titles at never before prices. Been through some horrible times? You can come out of it, that's what the book says. Buy 'Beatrice and Virgil: A Novel' by Yann Martel a great prices only at

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