Thursday, November 8, 2012

Books: Life of Pi

Yann Martel tells the story of a castaway who spends more than 220 days stranded on a lifeboat drifting in the Pacific Ocean. Can a story of castaway keep us glued to the book? The answer is yes because Pi has companions. But they aren't humans, they are animals. Soon, the number of reduces gradually and Pi is only left with a Bengal Tiger. What happens on the lifeboat between the predator and prey is told in the rest of the pages.

Told in three parts - before, during and after the life as a castaway - and in first person narrative, the novel throws a thought provoking look at the harmony of life and perservarance of human spirit. We are all built differently. So naturally, there is an immediate hostility among all the occupants in the life boat. There is a urgency of survival when the overall number drops to two with only Pi and the Bengal tiger. Having worked in a zoo proves a blessing in disguise for Pi. The human spirit prevails. Pi is able to conquer the animal psychologically and soon come to peace with the beast. On a different level, the novel is also an inside look into the psyche of man.

I like books in the first person narrative. It puts you in the shoes of the protagonist. The language is easy to understand even though some of Pi's thoughts are absurd. This is justified as Pi is an young boy. Towards the end of castaway days, Pi starts hallucinating and crosses between real and unreal world. This is where the novel becomes heavy.

This book will emotionally drain you. It will also make you think about life and choices. Be ready for it if you are picking this one up.

Tags: Books,Yann Martel



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10 comments:

  1. Goo review. I liked this book, especially its twisted ending. Don't know how well they are going to use it in the movie.

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    1. The movie is one of the reason why I picked up the book. I also loved the twisted ending because the second part was getting uncomprehensible at the end. The twisted ending made sense of it all. :)

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  2. Some years back (2008 ?) Night Shymaalan tried to adapt this book to make a movie ( 20 century fox). I don t know the projet was dropped. Now Ang lee have made it.

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    1. :) Yes, I read about it at that time. Night Shyamalan has been associated with many projects. I am looking forward to the Ang Lee one although I didn't like the CG effects. The CG effects seems to dominate the frames.

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  3. I like books in the first person narratice too. There is an intimacy to the "I" that immediately draws you in and makes you part of the setting.

    Like you, it is talk of the film that made me interested in the book, though I haven't read this book yet. Thanks for the intriguing review.

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    1. Read the book before you see the movie. :) I have been reading many books with "I" perspective. Now I like it more than the regular books. The regular narrative doesn't interest me much anymore

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  4. Thanks for the review. This one is next on my reading list.

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    1. A different read compared to Jack Reacher. This one is thought-provoking. Enjoy the read.

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  5. Ah... that's my favorite book. hmmh.... If you could get your hands on it-

    Try "Day of Wrath" By Sever Gavnovsky. If you liked reading Life of Pi- this book will completely blow you away. :)

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    1. Thanks. Will keep this in mind next time I am hunting for a book

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