I really liked this book - dur, you've just given it 5 stars!
Simple story, simply told, but as with so much simplicity, there is both beauty and geniuI really liked this book - dur, you've just given it 5 stars!
Simple story, simply told, but as with so much simplicity, there is both beauty and genius at work.
An alien comes to Earth with the aim of killing a few people to prevent human kind from advancing technology (through a mathematical equation) beyond a level that we can currently control. During the course of the story he falls in love with some specific humans and humanity in general.
Before I read this book, I had read an interview where the author explained that he first came up with idea as he was emerging from battling depression. It took him a decade and writing several other books before he could get around to writing 'The Humans' as it was such a personal story.
I can definitely empathise. Having gone through some life changing events recently, there is an extra appreciation of even the small things in day to day life. I'd like to think I was as in awe and wondrous before of people and life in general, but I'd be kidding myself. I'm trying to make up for that now and The Humans by Matt Haig is a welcome addition to my arsenal of optimism/happy tools.
I'll leave you with a rather left-field quote to describe what I believe is the underlying message of this book;
'cuz everybody dies but not everybody lives' - Drake (paraphrasing Randall Wallace's Braveheart)
Definitely fiction (I think), but as inspiring as any self-help book that I have ever read....more
**spoiler alert** I have a magical ability, or superpower, you may want to call it. I can read a book or watch a film and lose myself in the world bei**spoiler alert** I have a magical ability, or superpower, you may want to call it. I can read a book or watch a film and lose myself in the world being depicted. Why that's important I'll come back to later.
'My suffering left me sad and gloomy...' Damn, what an opening line! OK, forgive my exuberance, but this is my favourite book of all time. Now, before I read this book, I was primarily interested in Fantasy and Horror genres or alternative history books such as those by Graham Hancock. Normal fiction? I had no interest in it. I borrowed this book from a friend who lent it reluctantly (more to do with previous disagreements over book/loan arrangements than any real desire in her to keep this book on her bookshelf!).
I found the writing style beautiful, exquisite and poetic, totally different from what I had experienced in the past. Right from the Author's preface, I was caught, hook, line and sinker (sounds like a nautical pun, hence intended!).
I honestly and truly believed that this was a true story that Mr Martell was retelling. That's where my superpower came into play. I believed that Yann Martell was in India when he stumbled across this story. I believed that Pi was the sole survivor of the Tsimsum. I believed that he survived for as long as he did in the Pacific. I also believe that his version of the story with the animals for company is the true one over the shorter more palatable version that he gave the two Japanese fellows. I'll be honest, a (big) part of me still wants to believe that this is a true story. I'm sure there is a real Mr Patel out there somewhere in Canada and only Yann Martell knows his true identity and location!
Anyway, I think I've gone on a bit without really reviewing this book. It's hard to know where to start as a big part of me wants to defend 'Life of Pi' from everyone who has given this book less than 5 ratings!
The style of the book is such that Martell leads you to believe, very convincingly I may add, that he is telling a true story. Right from The Author's preface which skilfully blends truth and fiction, through to the chapter style where alternative chapters tell the story and also Martell's meetings with Pi Patel in researching the book and finally to the report from the Japanese insurance company at the end. In subsequent months of reading this book, I asked several people that I met from Canada if they had ever looked up Pi Patel in the phone book!
I read the back cover before I started the book, but I was so totally wrapped up in Pi's upbringing that I forgot the whole premise of the book. I vividly remember reading the first line of part two ('The ship sank') and sitting bolt upright in bed saying 'WHAT?' very loudly. Given that it was about 1.00am, the Mrs was not best pleased!
That was the beauty of this book. You read it, you savour it and you become totally engrossed in it.