Reading for a Lifetime Together


They’re on a Boat; Life of Pi
March 11, 2010, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

They're on a boat.

“A tiger, an orangutan, a hyena, a three-legged zebra, and a teenage boy are in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean,” sounds a bit like the beginning of a bad joke.  In actuality, it is the premise of an intriguing story about the journey of Piscine Molitor Patel, known to all as Pi Patel.

Pi Patel, a member of three different religions, who grew up around his family’s zoo, was the sole survivor of the Tsimtsum.  The sole human survivor that is.  He finds himself in lifeboat with a small series of animals from his family’s zoo including a very, very large Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.  A series of events lead to the deaths of every creature on the boat except for the tiger Pi Patel.

The rest of the book is the gritty, painful story of Pi Patel’s survival.  The tale is epic, and the ending is thought-provoking and brilliant, digging deep into how humans interpret stories and information.

The comments I’ve made might seem a little vague, but the plot twist in this story is too phenomenal to spoil it for anyone who is interesting in reading the Life of Pi.

Reading this book is entertaining for the story it tells and also for the pondering that follows.  What is one thing readers may ponder?  One thing I found myself wondering about was how Yann Martel came up with such an off-the-wall story.  With readers debating whether or not the story, author’s notes included, is completely fictional or not, Yann Martel certainly had my brain turning, and I highly suggest you let him turn your brain too.

-Gabriela Zamfir

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