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Publisher's Summary

Fate takes many forms.
When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey named Beatrice and Virgil and the epic journey they undertake together.
With all the spirit and originality that made Life of Pi so beloved, this brilliant new novel takes the reader on a haunting odyssey. On the way, Martel asks profound questions about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity.
©2010 Yann Martel (P)2010 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"[A] fable-type story with iceberg-deep dimensions reaching far below the surface of its general premise." ( Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By S. Connors on 04-16-10

Excellent writing and reading, but...

This is the saddest book I have ever read! It struck my soul to its core. Because I read for pleasure as well as education I cannot recommend this book to anyone who does not want to be affected on such a level, however the writing and reading is undeniably excellent! It uncovers the horrors of the holocaust in a new and, at first, unrecognizable way. Then hits you with slow creeping revelations.

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40 of 41 people found this review helpful

By Penelope Wisner on 07-23-10

Love and Death Await: Wake Up!

The negative listener reviews nearly convinced me not to listen. But my sister had read the book and was so affected that she called needing someone to talk to about it. Having been prepared for something awful to happen, I could let the book happen, to be carried along by the narrator whose voice and tone I liked very much. The book is deeply affecting and haunting--the contrast between the palpable love the narrator conveys in the voices of Beatrice and Virgil and the horror of the story increase its effect. I cannot say I completely understand the ending of the book; but I remember having the same feeling at the end of Life of Pi. The author almost lulls you into a feeling of safety and then springs a trap. There is no escape. Suddenly life is revealed for what it really is. You cannot pretend or sleep through it. To survive, you have to wake up. And even this may not be enough. But that is what is most true. It is, I think, the author's intention not to make things easy. And it is the nature of parables to reveal their meanings only over time. So I encourage anyone interested in Yann Martel's work to take a listen. Like the hero of the story, I miss Beatrice and Virgil. You may, too.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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