Posts Tagged ‘Yann Martel’

I read this week’s book for reading group. Our description: weird…

Book 16 – Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. This book follows the experiences of Piscine Molitor Patel – Pi – firstly as a child in India, and then as a shipwrecked castaway.

I agree with the reading group assessment. This book starts as the exploration of a life in India, a child living on a zoo, who loves science and love. A child who cannot decide to be Hindu, or Muslim, or Christian so follows each religion devoutly and honestly; it seems to be the story of a child finding his place in the world.

It then turns into the story of the boy, shipwrecked and alone on the Pacific except for the company of a Bengal tiger. There is a lot of description of weather, of death, of the consumption of one creature by another (particularly horribly, unnecessarily so in some circumstances) and of survival against all the odds.

Finally, it turns into another story altogether which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t read or seen the book.

I really don’t entirely know what I’ve read. It’s such a strange book that its success is unexplainable in normal terms – I can’t even say whether I enjoyed it myself.

I don’t think I’d re-read it, but it took me only a few hours and I wanted to keep on until I finished it. I found the main character to have a stilted and affected way of talking which was a little off-putting, but his thoughts were interesting and drew me in.

I feel as though there must be something more under the surface of this book that I didn’t pull out which would explain its success and attraction more effectively, but I don’t know what, at least not right now.

Perhaps it is just the sheer unexpectedness of the tale, the unique viewpoints and the wildly imaginative circumstances but I’m glad I read it and I think I’ll be pondering it for a few days yet!

Happy reading,



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