Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
Published: June 4, 2002
Genres: Adult Fiction
Format: Paperback (356 pages)
Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe.
The Life of Pi is like The Old Man and the Sea kicked up a notch with wild animals that certainly don’t belong in the ocean and a 16 year old boy. Part 1 of the story is full of amusing honesty, entertaining writing, and fascinating educational passages about religion and animals. One of the most interesting themes in the book was how similar zoology and religion are. I didn’t know they were similar either, but the stuff that the author points out kind of blew my mind. Part 2 is an incredible tale of survival. Why are tales of survival so enduring and riveting? He fishes, he eats, he drinks and I’m glued to the pages. The way the plot is told is very interesting. You know a lot of facts upfront. It’s not one of those stories that makes you wonder if or when he gets rescued. The thing that moves the plot along is the awesome journey that Pi takes physically and mentally.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Life of Pi. I have pages and pages of notes, questions, and thoughts while I was reading it. I had no idea going into this book that it would fill my mind with so many deep thoughts and questions. And yet this was not a difficult book to read. The writing is stunning and flows very well. The only reason it took me so long to read the book is because I kept pondering the meaning of life. The ending, quite simply, took me completely by surprise. It was so twisty…that I can’t even put it into words. Read this book – you won’t be the same again.
This is one of my favorite quotes from the book:
Content Rating: Medium, for some violence and gore mostly involving surviving and eating nasty things.