Horrors. If you liked reading Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, don’t pick up his new novel, Beatrice and Virgil until you understand how different it is. The one element these novels share is the use of animals as characters. The subject of the new novel is the holocaust, and the horrors abound throughout these pages. A writer is experiencing a bloc and becomes interested in a play that a taxidermist is writing. The violence becomes numbing, and by the end of the novel, the extreme brutality becomes horrible through the description of games. This is a work of art about a difficult subject and is written in ways that can lead a reader to revulsion. That can be a strength of art, or an indication that the work is lousy. Readers are likely to love or hate this novel. I think it is finely written, but caution readers to think twice before experiencing the horror on these pages.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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