Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
From my review:
I couldn’t stop thinking about this book. 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...Read more
This is one of the only books I can think of where I asked SO many questions that I had to keep my Googling addiction at bay. I didn’t even come close to Googling everything that I wanted to (like nasty Olympic pools in Paris) just so I could finish the story. This diary is just the bare minimum of searching that my insanely curious self could live with.
“The way their front paws hang before them, make them look either like children self-consciously posing for a photographer or patients in a doctor’s office stripped naked and demurely trying to cover their genitals.” – Yann Martel, Life of Pi pg 335, Chapter 92 Mass Market Paperback edition
They are so cute! They are even cuter covering their genitals en masse.
Lots of Sharks
I mean, what’s a survival story set in the ocean without knowing the exact species of sharks that are trying to eat you??
The dorado fish is also known as mahi-mahi or the common dolphinfish.
“The dorado did a most extraordinary thing as it died: it began to flash all kinds of colours in rapid succession. Blue, green, red, gold and violet flickered and shimmered neon-like on its surface as it struggled. I felt I was beating a rainbow to death.” – Yann Martel, Life of Pi pg 234, Chapter 61 MMPB edition.
^Is he serious?? Wiki says he is. What the crap kind of fish changes colors when it dies? That’s kind of cool in a slightly disturbing way.
There were so many quotes that I loved. Lots of funny ones and some philosophical ones, too.
“A natural transition you might think, from hotelkeeping to zookeeping. Not so.” pg 16, Chapter 4 MMPB edition.
“Despite attending a nominally Christian school, I had not yet been inside a church–and I wasn’t about to dare the deed now. I knew very little about the religion. It had a reputation for few gods and great violence. But good schools.” – pg 64, Chapter 17 MMPB edition.
“…he treated me like a grown-up; and he told me a story. Or rather, since Christians are so fond of capital letters, a Story.” – pg 67, Chapter 17 MMPB edition.
“Nature can put on a thrilling show. The stage is vast, the lighting dramatic, the extras innumerable, and the budget for special effects is absolutely unlimited.” – pg 128, Chapter 38 MMPB ed.
And for the best quote of all…..
“Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?” – pg 375, Chapter 99 MMPB ed.
The Gods in Pi’s living room (Chapter 15):
Virgin Mary of Guadalupe
Kaaba (a holy sanctum of Islam)
What does the Goddess Durga look like?
Famous Survival Stories
In chapter 63, Pi mentions some famous survival stories and how long they survived on a life raft at sea.
Robertson Family, 38 days at sea. – Interesting tidbit – Dougal Robertson, the dad, wrote “Sea Survival: A Manual.” I wonder if this is the manual that Pi keeps reading in his life boat…..
Captain Bligh, 47 days at sea. It’s a rather boring story of mutiny and duty.
Steven Callahan, 76 days at sea. His ship was probably sunk by hitting a whale.
Owen Chase, 83 days at sea. His story inspired Moby Dick. How ironic that the crew didn’t want to sail to the nearest island because they thought it was full of cannibals but they had to resort to cannibalism in the end to survive.
Bailey Family, 118 days at sea. They saw 7 ships pass them and none of them helped. How rude!
Poon, 133 days at sea. Holds the record for longest survival on a life raft.
Robert Louis Stevenson is mentioned and my favorite survival story of his is Kidnapped.
What do you think? Will it be a good movie?