Review: Life of Pi
One of the characters in Life of Pi claims that “this is a story that will make you believe in God”, a statement that is reasserted by a reviewer on the back of my copy. I have to admit that as someone who has never felt the slightest inkling towards religious belief, I was skeptical. But although this story is not one that made me reconsider my spiritual position, it has reaffirmed the closest thing I have to religious devotion; my faith in literature.
Pi is a young Indian boy who finds himself adrift in the ocean with only a Bengal tiger for company. If your plan was to come up with the world’s best idea for a novel, tough shit. It’s been done. You’ve lost, give up now.
[You can’t tell from this picture, but I read this in wonderful sunny Montpellier, France. You also can’t tell, but it’s such a nice, solid, weighty book. I approve of large paperbacks.]
And the execution of this idea is just stunning. The book is crammed with mouthwatering descriptions; of food, of Pi’s environment, of animals, of the sea. The whole thing just whacks you right in your senses, defining the idea of ‘show, don’t tell’ with pages upon pages of breathtaking scenes.
It’s not just beautiful and enticing writing, though. It also drags the reader around by the emotions; at turns funny and painful, with a protagonist that is admirable without being self-righteous.
The one thing that let Life of Pi down is the ‘alternate ending’ in the closing pages. Don’t worry, kids, these reviews are spoiler-free, but my feelings were similar to when I finished Atonement. Frankly, I felt a bit gipped. Read it and you’ll maybe see why.
No but really. Read this book.
Final Word: I still don’t believe in God, but I believe in this inspired and inspiring book.#Life of Pi #Yann Martel #books #reading #lit #review
Well, looks like me and Mister President are finally going to have an important topic of conversation for when we inevitably meet. Which is good, because we’ll need something of substance to talk about after we’re done with me giving him excellent policy direction and him hiring me as his next speechwriter.
Also, my new life ambition is to be a good enough poet that I receive a letter like this.
THEY’RE MAKING A FILM OF LIFE OF PI?! HOW HAD I NOT HEARD ABOUT THIS?
INTERNET YOU HAVE FAILED ME.
It’s made by Ang Lee (famous for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain) and apparently comes out in December this year! By the looks of the cast list, they’ve stuck to the storytelling structure of the book, with an older Pi telling his story to Yann Martel, who looks as if he’ll be an onscreen character played by Tobey Maguire.
Not only is all this very exciting, but by the looks of this trailer, I think it will be one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen.