#05 ~ Life of Pi


Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I had been excited about reading this book for quite some time. I was worth the wait. I did find the middle two thirds of this book to be slow and boring. Upon finishing it, I’m could be convinced that this was intentional. How slow and boring would it feel to spend 225 days as a castaway in a lifeboat? It is a brilliant book.

Pi’s family is a secular family. Pi himself, on the other hand, is a Hindu, Muslim, Christian. He has incorporated many of the rituals from each tradition. It’s not so much that he is creating his own faith. He actively participates in all three. It feels perfectly natural for him to find God as He reveals Himself to other people. His views on faith, religion, and God are interesting and thought provoking.

I don’t feel that I can really say much about this book without it spoiling it for other readers. This is the story of Pi, a teenaged Indian boy, who is the son of a zookeeper. In order to make a new life for themselves, the family sells off the animals to North American zoos. They travel together with these animals on a boat that has set sail for Canada. There would begin their new life. Unfortunately, the ship sinks quickly. Only, Pi and three of the zoo animals make it on the lifeboat. The remainder of the story details how Pi survived his ordeal. As the book is told in an interview type of style, we was get glimpses of Pi’s life after reaching shore in Mexico.

After completing this book, I know that I will have to read it again at some point. I want to go back and pick up pieces that I missed or misinterpreted. It is a book that I could learn something from with each read.

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  • At 2007.02.06 01:12, Trista said:

    My Dad loved this book. I think I’m on the lending-list for it after Becky. I am excited to read it now!

    • At 2007.10.30 17:15, Sapna said:

      I liked the beginning of the book but lost interest by the middle – the part that you say is slow and boring. Maybe I should finish the book – people have told me the end’s good, but I couldn’t get through the long, long descriptions of being at sea in that boat.

      • At 2007.10.30 17:51, Literate Housewife said:

        This is definitely a book to finish if you can. When Pi is stranded for so long, I tried to think of what it would be like to be in that position myself. The experience of reading that longer and more tedious section must be similar – HA!

        • […] how it always was.  I distinctly remember sitting back in my rocking chair holding my copy of Life of Pi to my chest after I finished it.  I played the novel back through my imagination, stopping from […]

          • […] all happened before I started reading Life of Pi. As wonderful as that book was, I didn’t feel like jumping back into anything heavy. “What the […]

            • At 2009.04.04 08:54, DianeG said:

              Another book I listed to while commuting. I don’t remember the middle being so long and boring, but it could be that I enjoyed the reader’s voice and so it didn’t bother me! I remember recommending this book to my friends. I’ve found that the reception to the book was mixed–some loved it and some hated it. Must be a good book if it engendered such strong reactions!

              • At 2012.09.12 11:31, Clint Davis said:

                I just finished this book last night.
                I had no spoilers going in so when I reached the end, the book completely broke my heart.
                This is by far one of the best novels I have read in the past 10 years.
                I am now really looking forward to how Ang Lee adapts this book into a movie this Thanksgiving. I really hope he doesn’t alter the end as that is the most amazing and haunting part of the story.
                I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

                (Required, will not be published)

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