Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yann Martel, Beatrice and Virgil

Disappointing Follow Up
Clever was the marketer who put the animals on the cover of Beatrice and Virgil, which is designed to look like it's Life of Pi, part deux. But while this book, too, features talking animals, it has none of the charm of its predecessor. It's a slight little book, barely half the size of Life of Pi and with half the interest. The not-at-all-shocking secret at the end of the book (which you'll figure out a few pages in if you have any sense at all of dramatic irony) is probably supposed to add heft and make B&V feel bigger than it is...but it doesn't.

This feels like Martel had to churn something out--indeed, the Martel-ish narrator has a serious case of writer's block--and so he came up with a little writing experiment, carried it out, and published it with a donkey and a monkey on the cover to sell some copies. Fans of Life of Pi deserved better.

This is an Amazon Vine review, available here.