It isn’t often that I get taken completely by surprise by a book, but it just happened as I was finishing Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel. To be fair, the main character in the book was also taken aback, so perhaps I was right where I should have been as the reader, glancing over Henry’s shoulder and experiencing life with him.

Or perhaps it was how I found this book nestled in the corner shelf of a used bookstore on a frontage road that made the experience more mystical and magical in some way or maybe it was the parallels I was drawing between the taxidermy shop and that used bookstore that put my into the story in a way.

Whatever the case may be, I was delighted to find myself tricked, shocked, and mystified by Yann Martel yet again. I can remember the same sense of awe as I read through Life of Pi, which is why I picked up this book in the first place.

Isn’t it wonderful to be surprised and caught off guard by the power of story?