Charity's Reviews > Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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's review
Jun 04, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 1001books
Recommended to Charity by: Becca
Read in June, 2009

** spoiler alert ** 4.5 Stars

I'm not exactly sure a true review of this book can be written without spoilers, so I don't think I'll even try.

Despite Pi Patel's claims to the contrary, I do not believe this was a didactic novel. It was an adventure story (er...stories), nothing more to me. And goody for me, I love adventure stories.

Pi Patel is a story lover and a storyteller. A spinner of yarns and a lover of all tales tall. He has read Robinson Crusoe three times. He fell in love with and began practicing three very different, very exclusive world religions (Hinduism, Christianity, Islam) because of their stories. Is it any wonder then, that Pi would concoct a magical story about the impossible? No, because Pi isn't interested in the truth and he doesn't believe most people would be either. Why? Because the truth doesn't make a very good story.

Or, maybe he simply invented a story as a means to help him live with the truth and the part he played in it. Happens all the time.

As for his claim that his story will make you "believe in God," well, I don't think anyone would walk away believing anything more than what they walked in with...especially given that his ideas regarding non-belief/non-believers are so rife with error.

Which story is better? Does it really matter? They both star Pi, as all people's versions of their realities do. Which do I prefer? Whichever one leaves out the eating of feces. Ewww!
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Reading Progress

05/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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Kelly B Oh my gosh, I LOVED this book. I read it on the beach in Mexico, which made the ocean feel just a little less safe! I hope you like it, too.

Charity It may take me a little while to get around to, but I am definitely excited to read it. :-)

Paula I loved it as well; this was probably the best book I ever had to read in college.

Kelly B You had to read this in college? For what class?

Paula It was a graduate course I took: Booker Prize Winners. That was maybe... four or five years ago?

Kelly B That sounds like a great class!

Dawn Michelle I am glad that I read it. I find I still think about it and about Pi. I LOVE books that reach you like that!

Kelly B I agree! My mom read it after me, and she had trouble with it; she didn't know if he was telling the truth or not, and I was like "I don't care either way!". I would really like to see it as an illustrated book--don't you think that would be cool? There are so many vivid images in my mind from it.

Paula Exactly, and some of the people in my class debated the whole "what really happened" issue because they didn't get it. The better question is, which would you prefer to happen? It's all about storytelling, which is why it's so brilliant. And I still, five years later, have very vivid images in my head, too. Hm, are you an illustrator? ;)

message 10: by Boof (new) - rated it 5 stars

Boof Charity, you're reading it! Woop woop!

Charity Yes ma'am! How funny that I'm currently reading one of your faves and you're currently reading a book with a main character named Charity! :-)

message 12: by Boof (new) - rated it 5 stars

Boof I know! She's not as cool as my lovely Charity (you!) though!

Dawn Michelle Hey Charity!!

How are you liking the book? Has it been "speaking" to you?

Charity Thanks for the love, Bex! ;-)

Dawn, I don't know if it is necessarily 'speaking' to me (perhaps, it is too soon to tell), but it has certainly been interesting and entertaining so far.

message 15: by Boof (new) - rated it 5 stars


Charity, you didn't believe in Richard Parker then? Sob! :o(

Charity I'm sorry. :-(

We're still friends, right? *wink*

message 17: by Boof (new) - rated it 5 stars

Boof No!

message 18: by Boof (new) - rated it 5 stars

Boof Only kidding! All friends will inevitably have some flaws; this can be yours.


Charity LOL! :-)

message 20: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Stanley I really loved it.

message 21: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex Nice review! I would definitely say this is a nice adventure too, rather than being didactic.

I really do like the stark choice we are invited to make at the end (view spoiler). Perhaps we should take a leap of faith to fill in the grey areas and believe the something more magical, as it is so much more fulfilling.

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