Synopsis (from Goodreads): “In Life of Pi, the question of stories, and of what stories to believe, is front and center from the beginning, when the author tells us how he was led to Pi Patel and to this novel: in an Indian coffee house, a gentleman told him, “I have a story that will make you believe in God.” And as this novel comes to its brilliant conclusion, Pi shows us that the story with the imaginative overlay is also the story that contains the most truth.”
Five Words: Faith, beauty, motivation, life, and death
Why I Read This: I put it off for a long time, even though I was very interested (I mean, really, a book about a dude surviving in a lifeboat with a tiger? Why wouldn’t I want to read it?); it unfortunately sort of fell off of my radar, and it wasn’t until they started doing promotions for the movie that I remembered how much I had wanted to read it, and sought it out.
My Overall Impression: This was such a beautiful, interesting, and well-written book. A story that will make you believe in God. The truth is stranger than fiction. Emotional dishevel and a lot of flailing is how I got through this book. Yann Martel does such a mind-blowing job with the narrative that you would almost believe that Pi was reality and that he was writing it himself. Clearly a lot of time, effort, and research went into developing this story. I am still broken-hearted that Richard Parker did not give a proper good-bye.
What I Loved:
- Pi’s narrative in its entirety
- The obvious amount of time and effort the author put into the information about boats, shipwrecks, survival, and etc
- The backstory in the beginning and Pi’s unbiased exploration and embracing of different religions (his search for closeness to God in general)
- The beauty of the zoo and India, laid out in words
- Meerkat Island
What I Didn’t Like:
- I wouldn’t say ‘didn’t like’ so much as was ‘put off by’ Pi explaining his story to the two reps at the end. The correlations were startling and certainly the idea was effective and perhaps even necessary to properly tell and explain Pi’s journey, but at the same time, somehow turning the animals into people made what happened so much more heart-wrenching.
Favourite Adaptations: If you have read the book but have yet to watch the movie, I suggest you do, because they did an exceptional job.
Who Should Read It: Life of Pi explores themes of faith and does a very good job of differentiating it and religion. Whether or not you believe in God, this book is poetry in prose; if you’re currently having a love affair with words, you won’t be disappointed. Yann Martel is a man I would love to sit down with and talk to about existential poetry and/or the Bible.