Reading for a Lifetime Together

Life of Pi
April 5, 2010, 1:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Raaaaaawr Tiger

The adage that “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is not entirely true, especially in the case of Life of Pi. The cover depicts a boy on a boat with a tiger, and just once glance was enough for me to realize that the story within those pages was going to be very interesting. Life of Pi is about a boy named Piscine Molitor Patel, a young Indian boy with a passion for biology and religion. His father owns a zoo, and as a result, Piscine (Pi) grows up surrounded by animals. From a very young age, he has a love for all living creatures. As he grows into adolescence, Pi develops an interest in religion as well. He ends up becoming a practicing Christian, Hindu, and Muslim – at the same time.

Eventually, times grow bad in India, and his family decides to sell the zoo and move to Canada. They manage to make all the arrangements, but while they are traveling to their new home on the Tsimtsum, a Japanese freighter, disaster strikes. The boat sinks, and every person and animal on the boat dies. That is, except for Pi, a tiger named Richard Parker, an orangutan named Orange Juice, a hyena, and a wounded zebra. The story that follows seems to defy reality – and perhaps it does. This unlikely group of survivors ends up stuck on a small lifeboat, adrift at sea and lost to the world.

I really liked this book, especially the ending. Yann Martel, the author, truly wrote a masterpiece with this novel. Even during the portion of the book that is set in India, at no point is the book boring. Somehow, Pi always manages to make life interesting. The book is so well-written that the reader can practically see the story’s events unfolding before his eyes. It was very difficult to stop reading at the set stopping points for our literature circle groups, and nothing could have prepared me for the ending. Out of the four books I read for Read for a Lifetime, Life of Pi was definitely the best.

– Eli Bernstein


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