knitxcore.: Book Report: "The Life of Pi".

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Report: "The Life of Pi".

book report

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?


Coming Up...

-Wildwood Days
-A Work in Progress; The Bathroom.
-The First Roll of Film From My Diana Mini
-The Encyclopedia of Craft: Handwoven Bracelets

...and much more


The Feisty Redhead said...

A friend once told me this book changed her life. I read it one depressing summer, hoping to improve my life. In the end, all I wanted to do was get back the precious hours I spent reading. My conclusion: I just didn't get it.

Rae said...

i tried reading it recently for the same reasons, i saw it on lots of top reads lists, then i saw it had something to do with a zoo so i thought i would give it a try. I gave up about 100 pages in. I just didn't connect with it at all and it felt like a chore sitting down to read it. i've made it a point not to slog through something just because i feel like i should, because it is supposed to be amazing, if i don't enjoy it i put it down.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the book, but it doesn't really catch my attention, either to be honest.
I do love how honest you are and how you write - definitely wish I had your writing style! :)

diandra said...

in my best Blanche Devereaux voice: "GAWD; it was TERRIBLE!" xo

Erin Joy said...

I remember reading this book in college. What I remember most was the imagery - the vividness of the characters, the fantastic situation. I remember being carried along by the story itself, not feeling the need to understand anything more than the story being told - it read like a kind of existential boy's adventure book. Robert Louis Stevenson on acid. And I loved naming the tiger Richard Parker. Life of Pi was weird, it was colorful, and though it was a long time ago, I remember really enjoying it. It will be interesting to see what other people think!

Jessi said...

Since he Yann is a Canadian author - we heard about this book all the time!!

I liked - I also read it at face value :) This is the most sane of his books - read "Self" it's pretty f*$ed up

Anastasia said...

This is a great book, it was assigned to me the summer before my senior year of HS and I was delighted (the year before we'd had to read Walden which isn't much my taste).

I thought it wasn't too pushy, I'm not religious in any way, I'm atheist, but I'm very spiritual and I ultimately thought this book had a fair take on religion. It's faithful to itself.

lizbeth said...

Life of Pi has been on my personal fav list since I read it 4-5 years ago. I'm with the other commenter- I took the book at face value and loved the name of the tiger.

Sian Lile said...

yeah, i didn't like it either. i read half of it and gave up.x