The Life of Pi

We’re doing a novel study in TALONS right now, and we have the option of choosing a novel, album or movie.  Me personally, I love to read.  As much as I enjoy watching a good movie, or listening to my iPod, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of tearing through a good novel.  To me, books are a sacred thing.  Albums and movies are for entertainment, books are for knowledge.  Knowledge about the world, knowledge about others, but most importantly, knowledge about yourself.  Things like what kind of books you read, or who the main characters are, gives you a sense of identity.  For example, I like reading fantasy, or action.  So I’m a dreamer, yet I love to make things happen.  I want to believe in miracles, yet I also delight in things I create with my bare hands.  Books are a way to discover yourself.

This year, I chose Life of Pi to read.  I’ve already read this book a couple times, and each time, it never ceases to amaze me.  The first time I read, I tried to get through it as fast as I could, at the beginning, because I found it boring, and at the end, because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened.  The last few times I’ve read it, I’ve read it a lot slower, trying to pick up on the various themes of the book.  Each time, I feel like it’s an onion.  I’ve peeled away a layer of meaning, yet there’s always one more underneath.  I think what makes this book so intriguing, is that it has a wild plot, yet something about it is so realistic that you have to wonder whether there is a grain of truth hidden inside there.  Margaret Atwood said it beautifully:

it’s a finely twisted length of yarn – yarn implying a far-fetched story you can’t quite swallow whole, but can’t dismiss outright

For me, I alternate between believing, and denying.  For me, I want to believe that adventures like this really do happen, yet I’ve grown up in a world of skepticism and liars, where even the most clean people can have dirty histories.

I think that what draws me to this book is the wonderful lifestyle this boy leads.  To basically live in a zoo, where

my alarm clock during my childhood was a pride of lions.  Breakfast was punctuated by the shrieks and cries of howler monkeys, kill mynahs, and Moluccan cockatoos.  I left for school under the benevolent gaze not only of Mother but also of bright-eyed otters and burly American bison and stretching and yawning orangutans.

It’s every boy’s dream, to be surrounded by animals every day, where each moment can bring something unexpected.  I started off by saying that I loved fantasy and action books, and I’ll end by saying the same.  The reason why I enjoy Life of Pi so much is because it’s my type of book.  A little bit of fantasy and imagination mixed together with a ton of adventure, all to produce a fantastic book.

6 thoughts on “The Life of Pi

  1. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I can already see what you’re saying. I’ve found it so fascinating(even the beginning, which I don’t find boring at all) that I’m reading it quickly, and I’m sure there is a lot that I am missing which I hope to catch on later reads.

    I’m curious what you think about how Yann Martel makes it so clear, both in the author’s note and within the book itself, that the events described are real, where by any source not in the book, it was not a real event. I dislike being lied to in the parts of the book that aren’t supposed to be fiction – but what do you think?

  2. this book is sounds interesting for me something about it is so realistic that you have to wonder whether there is a grain of truth hidden inside there.

  3. For me Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck, while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger…Thank you 🙂

  4. I have to agree with Jason, Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel. This book is very interesting. And there are a lot of truth hidden inside in this book.

  5. A fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient, this novel is an impressive achievement “a story that will make you believe in God,”

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