Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Posted 15 November 2007on:
My husband’s friend lent him this book. It was the translated version, but I’ve heard about the book for a long time, so I thought I might as well read it. The translation was good, but reading all the favorite quotations posted on Goodreads makes me wish I read the original.
The first part tells about Pi’s early life in India, as a son of a zoo keeper. It was very charming, with Pi’s experience with Hindu, Islam and Christianity, and his examination of each. I just love the comical scene at the beach where he met his three religious teachers and they argue about why their religion is the best and why Pi can only choose one.
The second part is basically a survival story, where the ship carrying Pi’s family and the zoo animals to Canada sank, and Pi was the only person who survived and had to live on a lifeboat with several animals, including a Bengal tiger. It goes into gory details about the animals fighting, killing and feeding on each other, as well as tiresome description of building the raft or catching fish, which sometimes makes laborious reading. I must admit, though, that the author has a good imagination (and has done a lot of research, it seems) to be able to describe all of that. But among these long unexciting passages, there are some funny bits that keeps me reading.
The last part was very, very funny, with a little plot twist that explains everything.
It’s horrifying what the kid had to go through, and I often found myself wondering whether I would fare half as well if I were in the same situation.
All in all, I think this is an interesting, funny book. I just wish that there were more of the religious-philosophical contemplation like in the first part.