One of my best/worst traits is that I have a tendency to be brutally honest and openly critical. This can get a boy into trouble but it also garners the tiniest bit of respect from people who seek out that sort of thing. I'm always the first to be asked an opinion on something because people know that will get my honest opinion and possibly a few suggestions on to make something better.
That being said, I refuse to hold back when discussing things that I have read. I wouldn't say that I'm a literary genius, or that I could write a better book than anyone who has been published but I am rather well read.
If you disagree with my personal opinions, I'd love to hear about it! I'm completely open to new ideas and I will try my hardest to see things from your point of view. When possible, if your opinion on certain book varies from my own I'd like to offer the opportunity for you to provide an antithetical guest post discussing the same piece. I'd love for my readers to have both sides of the story if possible!
"The Life of Pi"
by Yann Martel
I had seen this book on a "Top 100 of all time" list, and wondered why I had never heard of it. I'm usually not a sucker for those sorts of things, but a co-worker egged me on. We intended to read this book together, so we could discuss it while reading it. He finished it in a few days. I did not. We don't ever discuss it and there's a reason.
He loved this book. He read everything at face value. He didn't dig for symbols. He didn't try to make it anymore than it was. I dug and dug for hints or clues. I re-read passages, pages and chapters. I wrote down character names and took copious notes on the life of Pi. I was looking for something, much like the protagonist. I wanted to him to tell me something.
This is what he told me (in no order):
-people can be animals.
-animals aren't always people.
-don't ever eat tiger poop.
The theme of this book actually seems to be about contemplation of "God" and of his existence outside of the stories/fables. The seafaring journey takes us through many of the parables found in the Old Testament of the Bible: Jonah and the Whale, Daniel and the Lion's Den, the list goes on. Still, I had trouble connecting with Pi's journey.
This book has been compared to Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Big Fish and even The Old Man and the Sea but none of those books left me feeling as empty as The Life of Pi. I think I actually looked at the story backwards somehow. It left me wondering how such a pious young boy was left on a boat by his "gods" to watch his mother die while he eats feces.
Did you read this book? What did you think?
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