I just finished this book, but, although I thoroughly enjoy Martel's writing, I was not as excited about this novel as I was Life of Pi. SO, I asked my husband to give his viewpoint, as he was "over the top" on this one!! He highly recommends it and thinks it would be a great book talk book as well. Here is what he says:
If you liked Life of Pi I would argue that most would like Yann Martel's newbook Beatrice and Virgil. I have always found Martel's work to be compelling, thought provoking and engaging. Maybe its my analytical, philosophical mind but Yann is able to observe the world and describe it in a way that is just "off" enough to really get you thinking. In the opening pages of his book there is a dialogue between Beatrice and Virgil. They discuss a pear. How would you describe a pear to someone who hasnever seen or eaten a pear? It is this "slowing down" and observation of the "common" in life that makes me like him so much.The topic of the book was also presented in a way that caught my attention as well. I am not one who often reads literature about the Holocaust. While the events that transpired are horrendous and the human suffering was unimaginable I find the stories to have a common theme. Nazi occupation and aggression followed by racism and hatred which leads to incarceration, suffering and death. I have seen and read about the atrocities that were done and the same image of grey, dark, emaciatedbodies fill my mind.Beatrice and Virgil led me down a path of looking at the Holocaust with new eyes. To see it from a perspective and angle that sharpened and focused the tragedy in a different way.