I loved Life of Pi. I'm sure you did too, and that that's why you're thinking about getting Beatrice and Virgil. I thought this book was even better. If you're reading these reviews, then you know by now that the ending of this book is shocking and sad, and that such endings are not for everybody. Perhaps I, having read those other reviews in advance, was inoculated from the shock of that ending, even as I spent the entire book in suspense, knowing that something awful was going to happen before it was over. Perhaps as a result of this forewarning (or perhaps not), I found the ending as brilliant and satisfying as it was disturbing and horrifying.
Prior to that ending, as even the harshest critics of the book here seem to agree, Yann Martel writes throughout with the same beautiful, flowing prose that made Life of Pi such an achievement. It is the audio-equivalent of a page-turner, every bit as much as that earlier book was.
Finally, I also want to praise the pitch-perfect performance delivered by Mark Bramhall. I normally feel that the best that a narrator of an audiobook can aspire to accomplish is simply to stay out of the author's way. But Bramhall narrates with such perfect emotional resonance, endowing each character with so much life and personality, that I believe that anyone who reads only the text version of this book will have missed out on the full experience of it.
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