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Book: Beatrice and Virgil

Yann Martel’s Beatrice and Virgil is a novel told from a novel point of view. Its parable handling of the Holocaust was interesting, as was the framing of the story itself. It is vivid, yet slow. It focuses on description and development of the four main characters.

When i picked up the book, i expected from the title it to be in some way related to Dante’s writings, in much the same way that Headhunter references Heart of Darkness — but any similarities alluded me. It didn’t seem to contain any of the plot elements of character similarities present in La Divina Commedia. Perhaps, if anything, the similarity is in that the two characters guided the other through the story… Though, to compare the Holocaust to l’Inferno would be a fallacy: for those in l’Inferno had good reason to be there.

The story is well constructed, though the ending is perhaps a bit weak. It is worth reading if you are interested in a character development type book.

My rating: 6/10


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