Friday, January 10, 2014

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Book Three of 2014: Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Pi Patel is the 16 year old son of a zookeeper. His family is in the process of moving from India to Canada when their ship sinks. Pi is the lone survivor on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Before long it is only Pi and the tiger left to coexist for 227 days at sea.

I wavered back and forth between 2 and 3 stars for this one, so I think I needed a two and a half star option. I like the themes of philosophy and religion that are explored. I actually saw the movie first and then decided I wanted to read the book, and I remember thinking it would be a good movie to spark discussion, so the same is true of the book. The other thing I liked was some of the reflections and statements Pi makes at the end reflecting on the nature of truth, reality, and story. In some ways it reminded me of the book/movie, Big Fish, but I liked Big Fish much more!

Ultimately, the ending leaves me disappointed at best. In fact, if it ended in a different way, I am certain I would have liked it more. But there is also the gruesome factor, meaning there was so much in the book that made me cringe, I just can't see myself wanting to read it again, hence the "It was okay" rating.

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