Author: Yann Martel
Genre: Literary Fiction
I’ve actually had Life of Pi on my shelf for the longest time. I pick it up once and quit a couple of pages in the first time and only managed to give it another try earlier this month. Life of Pi is a story about Piscine Molitar Patel (or Pi as he prefers to be called), an Indian boy from Pondicherry who survives a shipwreck and being lost at sea for more than 200 days. The uniqueness of this story is not only of his survival but that he had survived the ordeal with the company of a 450- pound Royal Bengal tiger.
The book is divided into three parts:
The first part tells of Pi’s childhood; how he grew up amongst animals seeing that his parents own a zoo; and how he found religion at such a young age (actually he found three religions and not just one and became a practicing Hindu, Christian and Muslim all at the same time).
In the second part, the ship Pi and his family boarded for their move to Canada suffers a shipwreck and Pi’s sea adventures begin with a unique group of survivors; a hyena, a zebra, a female orang-utan and a Royal Bengal tiger.
The third part of the book is Pi’s conversation with two maritime officials who seek to ascertain the cause of the shipwreck. He tells his story to the officials but they do not believe his version of the story. But as the officials dig deeper, they began to have a better understanding of Pi’s predicament and left a report stating Pi’s “story is unparalleled in the history of shipwrecks.”
It took a while for me to appreciate Life of Pi, especially the first part of the book. I thought that the pacing was slow but once I got into the second part, I found the book to be more interesting and carried on reading. I absolutely admire Martel’s writing style which was so detailed that it makes up for (what I felt was) a slow plot delivery. Martel’s writing was so excellent that at times I felt like I was on the same boat with Pi.
Overall, I found Life of Pi to be a good read, not excellent but good. Still, even though I found it to only be a good read, I'd recommend it to anyone. Life of Pi was an interesting read because it explores faith and the ability of the human mind to adapt and survive the worst ordeal a human being can handle. A definite must read.
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenges