Friday, 11 January 2013

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Back in December I went to the cinema to watch a film. A film adaptation of a book called Life of Pi.

I'd heard about this book and had it recommended to me on a few occasions, but was still to read it. All I knew was that it involved a boy stuck in a boat with a tiger and other animals. I remember thinking of the story of The Owl & The Pussycat and their 'beautiful pea green boat' when I heard of it.

On visiting the cinema (an even more regular occurrence since discovering our local newly reopened cinema where all tickets are £4!) I'd seen the trailer for Life of Pi and had to see it, it looked amazing!

After seeing the magical and beautiful film (which I was pleased to see this week has been nominated for a number of Oscars) I vowed I must get around to read the award-winning book where it all began.

So today on one of my visits to Costa Coffee on my break (these regular visits and consumption of mochas - even if they are small and skinny - needs to stop), I settled down with my Kindle to read the remaining 8% or so I had left.

Needless to say on finishing this piece I felt sad for my reading experience to be over.

What a book, not just a magical tale with bright, vivid descriptions, but something that really makes you think.

There are so many themes going through this book - becoming an adult, religion, storytelling, God, beliefs, human survival...I could go on and on.

I don't want to reveal too much and give away anything or spoil the book for anybody who is still to read it, so I'm going to be quite restricted in what I say here.

The main character Pi is such a strong and loveable character. I loved the descriptions of the animals and life in Pondicherry. You really can see it all in your head.

Not a particularly religious person, I really found the book got me thinking again and questioning beliefs. The way you are introduced to so many religions and in such an easy to understand way was great, I really felt I learnt so much from this book. Not just gaining a better understanding of other people's beliefs, but ways we look at life and approach and even simply facts about various animals and wildlife.

Good bits
Very compelling read
Strong and fascinating protagonist
Vivid descriptions
You can disappear into this book and transport yourself away from real life as you read

Not so great
At times references to wildlife facts do go on for a long time
I didn't always like the italicised comment chapters in between
The end - I didn't want it to end! That's not to say the ending is bad, far from it, it's very powerful!

I probably don't need to say it but I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the hidden messages and values behind it. I plan to re-read it in the future and re-view the film to think more about the meanings behind certain events and characters. A great read!

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