Life of Pi

2002 WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

I read Life of Pi sometime last year, just to see what all the hype was about. Normally I don’t succumb to these sorts of curiosities. Take Harry Potter for instance – I mean it’s amusing enough and I can see why people (including myself) are in love with it, but it definitely doesn’t live up to its reputation. All those “…”s in an attempt to create more dramatic dialogue, the badly constructed romance, the repetitive phrases. Although I’m a fan, it’s definitely overrated.

I digress. When I picked this book up at the bookstore, I had no idea it was about a boy who gets stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, so I was rather apprehensive about it. Then I thought to myself, there has to be a deeper meaning; some profound philosophical meaning that justifies this rambling on about zoos, religion, and survival on a boat with an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.  Well, I didn’t really. I try not to judge a book before reading the last page, so I just enjoyed the ride. And it was enjoyable. Martel’s sense of humour just works on so many levels. The Japanese guys at the end cracked me up.

Anyway, I had a little think about this book after I put it down, and I reached the conclusion I missed the point of this completely by trying to read too deeply into it. It starts to get mopey if you start thinking about the purpose of life and its futility, and why we’re here, and all that. I feel like Martel just wants us to have a good time of it, and I bloody well did.

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4 thoughts on “Life of Pi

  1. I think that was his point, that searching for meaning is pointless. I liked this book and thought it would stay with me for a long time. But I was surprized that it didn’t. While I remember it, it isn’t one that find myself thinking about a lot like some books.

  2. For me, the bulk of the book was just a rollicking adventure story, but those last several pages threw me for a loop and made this one stick with me. I seems to me that there’s a whole thread about truth and whether we’re better off making up our own story if the “true” one is a mess, which has dicey implications for religion. Do we believe in God, not because God is real, but because it’s a better story than a world governed by random chance?

  3. I started reading this book aaaaages ago (back in 2003), and just couldn’t get into it. I really should give it another go, but…. I don’t know… I just can’t get motivated enough!

    Sorry for the use of the “…”s. It is getting overused now-a-days!

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