A Modern Classic

21 10 2009

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Book Review: Life of Pi

The Life of Pi is a novel by Yann Martel. It is the story of an Indian boy adrift the Pacific Ocean for 227 days, and the incredible experiences he has.

The story opens with the recount of Piscine “Pi” Patel’s time growing up in Pondicherry, India.
Here, he lives at a zoo with his mother, father and brother, and displays from a young age his deep fascination of zoology, and genuine love of animals.
His absorption in several methods of religion also sparked in his early teenage days. Pi was raised as a Hindu, but then discovers Catholicism and Islam, and proceeds to practice all three, much to the horror of his parents and religious mentors.
In Pi’s mid-teens, the family decides to leave India, and move the zoo to Toronto, Canada. The animals are to be taken with the family to Canada, and the sold and given to zoos around America. However, during the journey, the boat sinks and Pi finds himself cast adrift in a life boat with a hyena, a zebra and an orang-utan. To makes matters worse, thinking that he is saving a person from the wreckage of the sinking ship, Pi accidently brings a 450 pound Bengal tiger on board. And so begins an epic 7 month journey, a tale beyond belief.

I read this during the summer of 2008/09 and I found myself completely immersed in this book. I had originally told myself I didn’t really feel like a book at that time that “might change my life.” But I couldn’t help but be astounded by the story, and the way it is written. It is, in essence, a book about the underdog, who really has nothing left to lose, and fights for his life until the very end.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is suffering from a lull of good books, because this is story that truly stays with you long after you’ve finished it.

In fact, I think I might read it again soon myself.

By Thom

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