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Sarah’s review of Life of Pi
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Aug 06, 2012 01:59AM
I am about two thirds into this book and feeling the same disappointment as you right now. Started scanning through Goodreads reviews in the hope there were others who were enchanted by the beginning but appalled by the sea-part. I will finish it, but I feel somewhat betrayed.
Sep 12, 2012 04:34PM
I'm with you, Lydia and Sarah! In many ways, the beginning of the book was not really developed or explored further. I kept waiting for the animals to be represented as different religions, for example. I found myself flipping ahead during the numerous Richard Parker pages, waiting to see whether any initial material would resurface. It didn't, in my estimation.
Oct 02, 2012 11:38PM
I did the same ... There were so many vivid images and witty lines ... I was on the shore with his mother wearing her native sari , wanting to buy up all the scents and mundane items .. Only to have.... Tried for a few chapters and was so disappointed . I kept waiting for if to be a dream
Jan 08, 2013 03:16AM
How funny, I'm only now up to the part where he sinks and have found the lead up tedious and preachy. I can't think of any off the top of my head but there were some eye roll moments at cheesy imagery. I'm pushing through, hoping it gets better... each to their own hey?
Mar 23, 2013 05:54PM
the whole point of the beginning is to build up his love of animals and moral vaulues, only to have him give all that up in days. it's about primitive instincts overpower5ing moral values.
May 14, 2013 09:24PM
I agree, all of his metaphors and descriptions did not help me empathize with Pi. When he described the angry waves, he failed to really give me the experience of being scared and tossed about. I didn't feel Pi's fear when he first discovered the tiger or his suffering during the duration of the sea. And in the end, I don't think he really comes to any deep religious conclusions.
Jun 12, 2013 03:56PM
I'm trying to decide if it's worth finishing. Maybe not.
Sep 07, 2013 10:23PM
I am trying to decide if I want to read it. I enjoyed the movie. Very helpful reviews.
Jan 27, 2015 03:17PM
I am on chapter 17 and already I am wondering if its ever going to get to the point.
Is it a really deep book where you have to analyse everything?! I am kinda frustrated because all my friends were like: you have to read it.
Sep 19, 2015 09:44PM
I would agree with your statement of the novel being a detailed, rich, wonderful beginning that tapered into a more flat, "less interesting" middle, and a slightly more redeeming end. However, I read the novel with the intent of reading it as literature. The stuff people study. In which case, while you are correct in the first part, I happen to disagree with your opinion of the middle of the novel. It reflects the deterioration of the boy on the boat, as his life becomes less about the human aspects of pleasure and religion, and more about the more animalistic aspects of violence and survival. As for your point about how it loses the metaphorical aspects of the start, at one point Pi points out that being at sea feels like being at the center of a circle. Which is brilliant, when realizing that he named himself after the irrational number pi, used to calculate the measurements of circles. If he had continued to act as he had in India, it would have been incongruous with the situation he was faced with. I want to make it clear that You have the right to your own opinion about the novel, which I would guess you probably read intending to enjoy it at face value, but I also wanted to point out that perhaps there was a reason for why you didn't enjoy it that had to do with the style of the writing.
Jan 25, 2017 04:16PM
I just finished reading “Life of Pi”, and when I came upon your review on the book I do agree that it does not deserve the low 2 star rating that you gave it. However, I confidently can say that I disagree with the rest of your review after this opening statement. The beginning of this book I thought to be the more boring and devastating part, not the middle and the end. Pi explaining his life pre shipwreck was no where near the exhilarating and emotional rollercoaster that Martel took me on in the remainder of the book. Yes, the incorporation of Pi’s religious awakening was in the beginning, but in no way did it end once he was at sea. At sea, Pi continuously turned to god in his most desperate moments, and when I thought there was no possible way he could survive, he miraculously did. He also turned to God in his happiest moments and in his most rageous moments. For example, on page 315, Pi says: “It was natural that, bereft and desperate as I was, in the throes of unremitting suffering, I should turn to God.” This was the last thing Pi said before he reached land in Mexico and was saved. This proves that Pi’s spiritual connections did not disappear, as he clearly reaches out to God in his final moments, and God undoubtedly answers him. Unlike you, I think that the end did pull through and and exceed expectations. This is because of the choice that Martel leaves the reader with. I find this very effective. You can either choose the magical story, filled with beautiful creations of nature and a bengal tiger that Pi had narrated from the beginning, or the darker more reality version. This choice really makes the end worth it, and leaves the reader analyzing everything that had happened before this point. This also ties to the spiritual degree, as you can either choose the story that makes you believe in God, or the one that doesn’t. I suggest that when reading a book, don’t go into it with high expectations, but go into it with an open mind.
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