book review: life of pi

by Yann Martel
(Not the book cover, because I thought the cover sucked.)

When was the last time you longed for a book to be real, true? A novel? The Life of Pi came out in 2001, and I kind of knew it was a book I was supposed to read. But I did not like the cover and could not figure out how a boy, a tiger, and 3.141… were supposed to all figure together.

So just this week I finally got around to reading the book. What a fun read, and insightful. One quote on the back cover said the book would make you believe in god. That’s what sealed the deal for me. Any book that could do that was worth reading.

The plot: a boy, his family, and their literal zoo of animals set sail from India on their way to Canada. The boat sinks. Boy lives, with said tiger, on a life raft. For 227 days! (Note 22/7 = π) Needless to say, it is an adventure.

There were a few quotes in the book that I really enjoyed:

On supporting the arts:
“If we, citizens, do not support our artist, then we sacrifice our imagination on the alter of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.”

This really sums up the book, in more ways than one: create your own reality.

The boy, Pi, decides to become a Christian, Muslim, and Hindu. While defending this choice to people who think that this is wrong, and spew anger he says:

These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended,
not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the
open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good
is not the open ground of the public arena, but the small clearing of each heart.
Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their
defense, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.

Well said.

After finally reading the book, I would heartily encourage you to do so as well.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

A book I've read! And loved! So glad you agree! Its been a few years so I should read it again -- after I finish my second bubble-gum mystery of the holiday season, "K is for Killer." BTW, my copy has a MUCH better cover.