Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways's Reviews > Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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Jul 25, 12

Read in January, 2010

UPDATE: Some will see this as good news...there is a movie based on this piffling 21st-century Kahlil Gibran ripoff, directed by Ang Lee, coming out...trailer here. As one can readily see, no smarm or treacle has been spared.


The whole world has a copy of this book, including me...but not for long. Over 10,000 copies of this on LT, so how many trees died just for our copies alone? Don't go into the forest, ladies and gents, the trees will be lookin' for revenge after they read this book.

There is no question that Martel can write lovely sentences: "Those first hours were associated in my memory with one sound, not one you'd guess, not the yipping of the hyena or the hissing of the sea: it was the buzzing of flies. There were flies aboard the lifeboat. They emerged and flew about in the way of flies, in great, lazy orbits except when they came close to each other, when they spiralled together with dizzying speed and a burst of buzzing." (p118, paper ed.) Good, good stuff, nicely observed and handsomely rendered, and not enough to lift this dreary pseudo-philosophical rehash of Jonathan Livingston Seagull into greatness.

Piscine Molitor (Pi) Patel does not wring my heartstrings on his spiritual quest across the vasty deep, accompanied by a tiger named Richard Parker, to a carnivorous island, thence to Mexico to answer to a pair of noxious Japanese stereotypes and, ultimately, to Canada...sort of an anodyne for all the adventure he's been through, the way the author presents it. If I were Canadian or Torontoid (or whatever they call themselves), I'd be livid with fury over this crapulous insult to my homeland.

But hey, I'm Texan and Murrikin, if they don't care enough to run this yahoo outta town, why should I? The yodeling of joyous awakening that fogged this book on its debut..."a story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction" ugh!; "could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life" oh really?; "a fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient" *retch*...made my "oh yeah?" follicle erect its sturdy little hair, so I avoided it. But, in all fairness, people I love and respect lived it, so it's a mitzvah to read it, right?

Public notice: My spiritual debt to the opinions of others is, with the reading of this ghastly book, herewith Paid In Full For Good. Most strongly and heartily NOT RECOMMENDED.

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Quotes Richard Reviles Censorship Liked

Yann Martel
“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Yann Martel
“When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Yann Martel
“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi


Comments (showing 1-44 of 44) (44 new)

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Mark what a fabulous opening paragraph and I mean of your review, by the way, not of the novel


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Thank you, Mark! On LibraryThing, that para got me a lot of comments, though few as pleasant to read as yours was.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I am sorry you did not enjoy the book more, Richard. Hopefully your next read will be more suited to your taste :)


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Oh, it's not a new read, Stasia, I'm getting around to posting my LT reviews over here. I'm finishing "The Other Wes Moore" review and reading "The Made-Up Man" which is a kind of "Faust"-meets-"Freaky Friday" tale.


message 5: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen I like the "Oh yeah?" follicle reaction. It might even need a shelf.


message 6: by Judith (new)

Judith I never had a copy of this....of my own...the Liberry copy wasn't in-house for long...good riddance to mediocre rubbish, i say/said

;-}


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

#4: Ah, OK. I still need to get to 'The Other Wes Moore' one of these centuries, but not right now while my reading is in a tailspin.


message 8: by Jane (new)

Jane The "oh yeah" follicle and Torontoid were memorable. The review has confirmed my feeling that I don't want to read this book. Thanks.


Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside) Crapulous is an excellent word.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Sadly, I find uses for it daily.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Jane wrote: "The "oh yeah" follicle and Torontoid were memorable. The review has confirmed my feeling that I don't want to read this book. Thanks."

A wise, wise decision. What are the Torontoid called, if not that?


message 12: by Evan (new)

Evan Leach "no smarm or treacle has been spared."

Hahahahahaha...


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways srsly Evan, go look at the trailer and tell me I'm wrong!


message 14: by Evan (new)

Evan Leach Richard wrote: "srsly Evan, go look at the trailer and tell me I'm wrong!"

Yeah...you'll get no argument from me:

img: treacle

I read this review at work and I was literally laughing out loud.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Heh!Glad to hear I made you laugh.


message 16: by [Name Redacted] (new)

[Name Redacted] But why two full stars?


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I haven't read this book, I don't think I will now, and Richard you make me laugh too!


message 18: by Rakhi (new) - added it

Rakhi Dalal Ok, now I feel less guilty to not have completed reading it after treading through some 35 initial pages. It just didn't click. Thanks for the review...:)


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Ian wrote: "But why two full stars?"

Because it has several lovely sentences and one I even added to my quotes. In fairness, I can't call that a one-star read.

Much as I'd like to.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Jeannie wrote: "I haven't read this book, I don't think I will now, and Richard you make me laugh too!"

So glad, Jeannie! It's a treat to know I amuse.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Rakhi wrote: "Ok, now I feel less guilty to not have completed reading it after treading through some 35 initial pages. It just didn't click. Thanks for the review...:)"

Most welcome, of course. The only click I heard was the safety of the gun I had pointed at the book snicking off. Bad bad bad book.


message 22: by [Name Redacted] (new)

[Name Redacted] Richard wrote: "Ian wrote: "But why two full stars?"

Because it has several lovely sentences and one I even added to my quotes. In fairness, I can't call that a one-star read.

Much as I'd like to."


Fair enough. That works for me.


message 23: by Terri (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri They might have been lovely sentences, but I care more about the story when I am outside of an English class. He could have portrayed his feelings about first being on the boat by saying, "The one memory I have of those first hours on the lifeboat are of flies incessantly buzzing around it." I get the point, let's move on.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways What horrifies me, Terri, is that someone has made a movie of the damn thing. Yikes!


Tanja Berg Lately I've wondered why I haven't read this, but I see it's a winner of the "man booker prize", which is a clear indication that I would hate it.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I pretty much hate the Booker winners too, Tanja. I'm sure I've liked a few, statistically I must have, but not many and not recently.


message 27: by Terri (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri I know! I wonder how long the film will be? I've heard that the book does have a deep moral at the end, so I would hope the movie could bring that out, but be more succinct in doing it.

Richard wrote: "What horrifies me, Terri, is that someone has made a movie of the damn thing. Yikes!"


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways However long it is, it's too damn long, and that moral at the end? Not worth the journey.


message 29: by Terri (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri That's what I had feared, Richard. I would torture myself through the book and then discover, "Wow. That was SO not worth it. Now I must bang my head against the wall!" :-)


message 30: by Terri (new) - rated it 1 star

Terri I'm sorry YOU had to go through that, but I was grateful to find your review!


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways I'm so glad my suffering has not gone to waste!


Bunmi Esho I read the book over 3 years ago after a strong recommendation from a guy I briefly dated. The only reason I finished the book was that I "knew" it had to get better. Well, for me, it didn't and I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in my "two star" feelings. Thank you for helping me determine two things: 1. It's okay to abandon a book that's just not working for you. 2. Be skeptical of Booker winners.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Bunmi wrote: "I read the book over 3 years ago after a strong recommendation from a guy I briefly dated. The only reason I finished the book was that I "knew" it had to get better. Well, for me, it didn't and ..."

You are most welcome. My life's purpose is, I think, to be the anti- to every pro-.


message 34: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul Taylor thanks for confirming my thoughts, I have left this book thankfully unfinished, what a waste of my time.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Paul wrote: "thanks for confirming my thoughts, I have left this book thankfully unfinished, what a waste of my time."

So glad I was able to help...often it's rough to dislike intensely the Book of the Moment, and good to know at least some others do as well.


message 36: by Marsha (new) - added it

Marsha Stewart This 'book' is a grossly over-rated waste of trees! As a fellow Texan, I salute your review and wish I'd had this app last year. I'd have put a bullet in the pages if I hadn't been so nauseated and; therefore, in greater need of a bucket than my sidearm. Well done, Sir.


Bassam Abboud If you don't mind me asking, what did you mean by "Khalil Gibran ripoff"?


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Basss89 wrote: "If you don't mind me asking, what did you mean by "Khalil Gibran ripoff"?"

Khalil Gibran's romantic/philosophical maunderings (eg, The Prophet) were written in a treacly, thick prose style I felt had a great kinship to the style Martel used. Like Gibran, Martel clothes an interesting and valid point about self in relation to adversity and about spiritual awakening in an allegorical framework that, for me, isn't necessary or desirable.

Gibran himself said, "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you." I was so put off by the meaningless half that the other wasn't important enough for me to reach for.


message 39: by Lex (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lex Poot sometimes your reviews are better than the book


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Lex wrote: "sometimes your reviews are better than the book"

I appreciate that compliment, Lex. Thanks for saying so!


message 41: by [Name Redacted] (new)

[Name Redacted] Richard wrote: "Basss89 wrote: "If you don't mind me asking, what did you mean by "Khalil Gibran ripoff"?"

Khalil Gibran's romantic/philosophical maunderings (eg, The Prophet) were written in a treacly, thick pro..."


THIS.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways That's a resounding endorsement, thanks Ian!


message 43: by Jo (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jo I disliked the movie. Hoped I would like the book better. It was no better.

I did enjoy your review.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Jo wrote: "I disliked the movie. Hoped I would like the book better. It was no better.

I did enjoy your review."


Thanks for stopping in to say so! I wasn't a big fan. Don't know if that came across.


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