Sunday, 12 February 2017

Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Title: Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Publisher: Canongate Books
Pages: 352
Genres: Literary Fiction

One boy, one boat, one tiger . . .

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan -- and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.
So this was a slog to get through. Oh my days. It is the story of Pi Patel, his life story essentially. Dull as dishwater if I'm honest, I would never have finished it if it was not for the audiobook.

It remember when this book was the book to read. It won the Man Booker in 2002 and was pretty popular. I personally was not too impressed by it. For the first part of the book, Pi Patel introduces the reader to his childhood growing up at his families zoo in Pondicherry, India. If you like long rambling narratives about random stuff that isn't interesting at all, this is the book for you. I honestly did not care about anything Pi had to say and I was impatient for the main part of the story, when Pi is stuck on a lifeboat with the tiger.

When the story finally got to that point, it didn't improve. I hate reading graphic descriptions of animals dying and there were scenes that made me feel physically sick. Again Pi rambles on about the terribly dull day to day details of being stranded at sea. There is only so much description of fishing, thirst and the sea that I can take. Not to mention the constant banging on about religion and spirituality, specifically how atheists and agnostics are misguided. It was about as subtle as a shovel to the face.

That ending though *rolls eyes*, I personally would have preferred the brief alternate story then the rambling rubbish that went on for 100 chapters. Needless to say, I really don't recommend this book. However, I did watch the film in 3D when it was released at the cinema and loved it. So my advice is skip the book and watch the film.

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