duminică, 27 februarie 2011
Beatrice and Virgil
by Yann Martel
courtesy of dear friend Andre :)
I don't know what to make of this book. It started so beautifully, and it ended so strangely.
Henry is a writer with a published book, and another one ready about the Holocaust. But it's a strange book in his editor's opinion, so the book doesn't get published. Henry and his wife decide to go away and live in another town. She is a nurse, he takes music lessons and joins in an amateur theater group. And then he meets this strange man, also called Henry, and this Henry is a taxidermist; he has a strange shop where he works ( and probably lives), full of stuffed animals( obviously; although we are told in the book that the term of "stuffed animals" is not correct), and he has a play called " Beatrice and Virgil", with two characters: a donkey and a monkey. And everybody( where ' everybody' stands for the reader and Henry, the first writer) thinks that Virgil is the donkey and Beatrice the monkey, but it's exactly the other way round.
Anyway, the play is about these two animals who ( or which? sic) talk throughout it, and basically that's all they do so Henry the taxidermist, who is a veeeery strange man, is stuck. He needs help from Henry the writer, so he reads him bits of his play. He almost never lets Henry read it. And then the play turns out to be about Holocaust, and you think, that must be it, that is the book about, Henry the author finds his voice through Henry the taxidermist, and you keep fooling yourself, thinking it's a funny book, and you do that even when the dog and the cat die of tragic death, and you keep telling yourself that even when your are a few pages from the end and what is worse is happening before your eyes, and then you finish the book and you don't know what to make of it.