Yann Martel the author of Life of Pi is an expert on stories. He believes we need to make it a conscious practice to regularly reexamine the stories we tell ourselves which make sense of what happens to us.
The book won me over from the first chapter and I was lost in Martel's imagination in a way I rarely am. I found it just as enjoyable on the re-read; not a perfect book, but one whose popularity, both critical and sales-wise, I perfectly understand.
It's easy to see why Pi was such a solid choice for the New York Film Festival's opening night, though: It has impeccable artistic credentials, is easy-going and unchallenging. But it's not a film you fall in love with.
The dividing lines have already been drawn -- and continue to be drawn -- about what should or shouldn't be among the year-end awards contenders. And the biggest line, of course, has to do with The Master.
Rereading Life of Pi again, 11 years later, I was impressed again at the masterful storytelling and the boldness of the proposal made at the beginning of the book, "I have a story that will make you believe in God."
Our view is that Beatrice and Virgil is a beautifully written, unconventional and intriguing book that should be read and discussed broadly. It would be a real shame for readers to summarily dismiss this book because it disappointed a few critics.