Monday, 16 December 2013

Unusual story of Beatrice and Virgil (Yann Martel)

“To my mind, faith is like being in the sun. The shadow is doubt. And it goes wherever you go as long as you stay in the sun.” 
 Beatrice and Virgil
This is about Henry's fate when he met a professional – a taxidermist who preserves, treats, and mounts different kinds of dead animals. Beatrice and Virgil are the main characters of a play written by the taxidermist. He (taxidermist) shared their story by reading the script during Henry's regular visits to his Okami Taxidermy shop. Henry became obsessed with taxidermist's storytelling on the lives of a donkey and a monkey which also led to the former discovery of the latter strange behavior.

Yann Martel's story has a disturbing and unhappy ending with strange turns of events. At the end of the book, he included the games that Beatrice and Virgil enjoyed to play. For instance, Game #1: Your ten-year old son is speaking to you. He says he has found a way of obtaining some potatoes to feed your starving family. If he is caught, he will be killed. Do you let him go?

For Game #11: Of your community of 1,650 souls, 122 have survived. You hear that your entire extended family is dead, that your house has been taken over by strangers, that all your possessions have been stolen. You also hear that the new government wants to turn a new page and address the errors of the past. Do you return home?

And finally, Game #12: A doctor is speaking to you: "This pill will erase your memory. You will forget all your suffering and all your loss. But you will also forget your entire past." Do you swallow the pill?

This book was registered in Bookcrossing and released/received in March 2011 during a Bookcrossing-Northern Ireland meet-up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It took me more than 2 years to finally read and release it here in Manila. Click the image above for the release notes and the book journey. Hope this book will travel well and inspire others to release more books in the wild...!

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