Garry's Reviews > Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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's review
Oct 30, 2010

it was amazing
Read from November 09 to 30, 2010

There's a passage in The Life of Pi that goes:
"Life on a lifeboat isn't much of a life. It's like an end game in chess, a game with few pieces. The elements couldn't be more simple, nor the stakes higher."

That pretty much sums up the book for me - by the half way point there seemed very little on the board for the author to work with, and a part of me wondered what tricks he could possibly have up his sleeve to keep me interested. Well, obviously a few, because I was thoroughly engaged all the way to the end.

I was expecting the book to play out as a parable, and there were certainly messages to be gleaned from it. But I was surprised at how real the story seemed, even at its most improbable. The writing was at times funny, at times brutal, but always came across as a true narrative. I think it's because the worst didn't always happen - indeed, the best happened more often than not. It was this perfectly balanced mix of fortunes that allowed me to suspend belief enough to imagine that everything might have actually happened.

I really enjoyed this book. I expected to enjoy it, but it surpassed even my high expectations.

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