As I state in my “about” page, I will try and avoid spoilers. It’s very hard with this book to avoid all spoilers.
This is probably not a book I will read again. That is not to say that it is not good. Quite the contrary. It is excellent but the subject matter is one which means a single reading is enough to get the message home.
Beatrice and Virgil are characters in a play, written by a character in a book. The writer of the play is clearly referring to events within his own experience . Our playwright seeks the help of an accomplished writer “Henry”. Henry has an idea for a book which is part essay and part story but his publishers are not keen. He is drawn into the playwrights world and it becomes his own.
Yaan Martel is being obviously self referential in this book. He writes about a subject in a new and tangential way which in part mirrors Henry’s experience.
The subject, is one where certain responses and respect are demanded if the reader and in part this is deliberate manipulation which I do not like. That said it is an incredible and brilliant way of looking at that subject.