Review of “Beatrice & Virgil” by Yann Martel.

I went to the library today because my book was ready for pick-up.  First off, I love picking up books from off my Holds list, because the library spits them out onto a special shelf for me to pick up, with a slip of paper marking it as mine.  “L Nic” is what this paper reads.  At least, that’s what I think it reads.  I usually remove it immediately upon picking up the book from the shelf (which I do, by the way, with a professional “this is mine” sort of way) and flick it into the recycle bin left on the bottom of the stack, just for such a purpose.  Perhaps I should start keeping them.  I could write thoughts on them, or such.  Grocery lists.

“Beatrice and Virgil” is the new work from Yann Martel, who wrote “Life of Pi,” a book I enjoyed despite the talking animals.  Based on the cover of this book, which shows the sillouettes of a donkey and the monkey, I am in for some more talking animals.  OK.  What actually intrigued me about this one, though, was that he originally planned for it to be a flip-over kind of book. He was prevented from doing so because… well it was because his publishers talked him out of it, but the article doesnt say why they talked him out of it.  I have my own suspicions:  printing costs, no one would “get it”, it’s just too weird.

The final version is here in front of me and the the only bit of flipiness that the publishers could let through is the cover.  It does indeed “flip,” with the back cover looking like it should open into a whole new story. It doesn’t though, and that makes me a little sad.

I’ll get over my sadness, though, since the titling (title-ing?)  looks as though it has been inky-pressed onto canvas, and that quite tickles my fancy.   I guess I should read the story inside too, but so far I’m enjoying the outside quite a lot.

P.S.  I also like that it is a very thin book.  My last book was too heavy.

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