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Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel

In Beatrice and Virgil, Henry is a writer whose previous book was a bestselling novel about animals. When his publisher turns down his new book, a flip book that contains both a novel and nonfiction section about the Holocaust, Henry is crushed and gives up writing. He and his wife move to a new city where Henry receives a strange package containing a Flaubert short story and part of a play that centers around two animals, Beatrice (a donkey) and Virgil (a monkey). The sender of the package wants help finishing his play. Henry seeks him out and finds the amateur playwright to be a taxidermist with stuffed versions of Beatrice and Virgil in his shop. As Henry learns more about the play, which just features conversations between Beatrice and Virgil, he comes to understand that the taxidermist is also writing about the Holocaust too. Yann Martel's novel (author of Life of Pi) has received mixed reviews with the USA Today saying, "But somehow Martel brilliantly guides the reader from the too-sunny beginning into the terrifying darkness of the old man's shop and Europe's past. Everything comes into focus by the end, leaving the reader startled, astonished and moved."
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Buy Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
St. Louis Post-Dispatch review
by Cody Corliss

Seattle Times review
by Adam Woog

USA Today review
by Deirdre Donahue

New York Times review
by Michiko Kakutani

BookPage review
by Eliza Borne

Boston Phoenix review
by Clea Simon

Washington Post review
by Ron Charles review
by Roz Shea

Enertainment Weekly review
by Missy Schwartz

Boston Globe review
by Amanda Katz

Yann Martel
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