Monday, 30 July 2007

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

I finally finished reading another book from my Summer Reading Thing list. Life of Pi by Yann Martel is a story about a 16-year old boy from India who is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. The boy, Pi, tells his story of survival. As a young boy in India, Pi becomes interested in different religions and explores each one without deciding on any one in particular, but a combination of three. When he is a teenager his family decides to make the move to Canada to escape the political turmoil of India. As they sail across the ocean, the ship runs into trouble and sinks. Pi then tells how he ends up in a life boat with only a 450 pound Bengal Tiger as a companion. We watch Pi as he deals with despair and wanting to give up, and then his determination to survive.

When I started the book, I found it a little bit slow. The writing was quite poetic and beautiful to read but I found myself wanting something to happen. As the book progressed I started to enjoy it and when the shipwreck happened, I was hooked and couldn't wait to reach the end to find out how he gets off his life raft. I would definitely recommend this book. Life of Pi is the winner of "The Man Booker Prize."


Rick (Stephanie's sidekick) said...

So, here's the golden question. How far into a book do you need to go before you decide whether you want to keep reading it or not?

For example, if "Pi" wasn't on your reading list, would you have tossed it after the first chapter? The second, the third, the 10th?

How many good books do we miss out on because the beginning doesn't engage us enough? And on the flip side, how many books do we slog through only to find out that we weren't able to connect with the story right through to the end?

ali said...

Ooh, Rick, I hate it when that happens! It's happened a couple times that I've slogged through a book that I really didn't like but that others said was worth reading: NOT. You gotta go with what works for you. I have to admit that I need a book to grab me pretty early on or else I'll toss it. Though maybe in this case, where Stephanie has said that it takes some patience, I'd stick it out.

Thanks for the review Stephanie! I usually enjoy books based in the Indian culture and I like to think about/read about religion so this might be a good book for me. And like I said, now that I know to give it time, I might just be able to make it to the end.


Stephanie said...

I almost always like to give a book a chance. Unless I find something offensive I will keep reading. I finish most books I start and can usually find something interesting about the story or even just about the writing style that made it worth my time. Occasionally I will start reading a book and then put it down and just forget to pick it up again. That is when I know for sure it is just too boring to be bothered with.

I think with "Pi", I needed action in the story much sooner. When I stopped wishing things would happen quicker in the story and just sat back to enjoy the poetry in his writing, I found I enjoyed it more than I originally thought I would.

Ms. Ward said...

Just happened to stumble across your blog and find the post about Life of Pi. I heard Yann Martel speak two years ago about how he crafted this book. And it very much was a craft. He talked of all the intentional symbolism he added in the characters, the (random) seaweed island - all to get to the ending. What's the true story - talking animals or objective facts. I'll take the talking animals. Great review!

Stephanie said...

The version with the animals is much easier to take. If we take the other version it is almost disturbing to think of humanity that way. I'll take the animals too.

Karlene said...

I'm reading Life of Pi later this year as part of the Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge and the Book Awards Reading Challenge.

Thanks for the review. I didn't know anything about it, just had heard a lot of buzz.

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