L.M. Ironside's Reviews > Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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I guess there was supposed to be something inspiring or uplifting or at least thought-provoking in this text, but all I could get out of it was unsubtly disguised religious harping that made me roll my eyes every five pages, and an utter lack of ability to suspend my disbelief. Maybe it's the former zoo keeper in me talking here, but there is just no way -- just no way -- the human wouldn't have been the very first animal eaten by the tiger on that boat. Not even one of God's vaunted miracles could have spared a delicious, frail, sunburned, weakened, juicy human lad when a hungry tiger's other options are a pissed-off ungulate with hooves of steel and a couple thousand pounds of pressure in a single kick, or an orang-utan with the kung-fu skills afforded all great apes (except humans), and a seven-foot reach. And whatever other animal was on the boat.

Uh-uh. Human would be first to go. Tigers aren't dumb.

Which is all just to say that this book really was not for me.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond Funny review. I'll steer clear. I know you're right about apes; our prize fighters wouldn't go a round with any of them.

message 2: by L.M. (new) - rated it 1 star

L.M. Ironside It's not necessarily one to steer clear of. I just couldn't make myself go along for the ride.

message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill You hated this book, too?

message 4: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill That makes two of us. Could not stand it.

message 5: by Gary (new)

Gary Inbinder Here's my take on the book. The "Tiger" was a hard-boiled survivalist (see Thomas Hobbes "nasty, brutish, and short" view of life in nature, or Darwin and Spencer, et. al) who killed and ate his fellow lifeboat passengers. He saved Pi for his own reasons, which I leave to your imagination. Pi makes up the myth of the Tiger and the animals for psychological reasons, i.e. it's a rationalization, in other words a means of survival. As for the metaphysical/theological stuff,that was made up as part of a cynical marketing ploy. Considering the sales and all those prizes, the ploy worked.

message 6: by L.M. (new) - rated it 1 star

L.M. Ironside I just object very strongly to anybody who asserts that people who are faith-free are somehow living a deprived life. It's just so damn smug. It's the same reason I can't take anything Ariana Huffington sets her smug hand to seriously. She says the same trash Life of Pi says about how emotionally/"spiritually" deficient atheists are, but says it in mouthy, eye-roll-inducing nonfiction where Yann Martel says it in fiction.

Gag me with my Cosmos DVDs. Before these idiots spout off about the inner lives of atheists, perhaps they should get to know a few.

message 7: by Gary (new)

Gary Inbinder Understood. In this instance, I chiefly object to the cynical marketing of a novel as some new "proof" of God's existence. IMO, all "Pi" proves is the existence of smart agents, editors, publicists, and marketing departments.

Tony Talbot Even though I liked this book enough to give it 4/5, I love your review! Did you actually not manage to finish it? I ask because there's a twist at the end that make your comments interesting.

message 9: by L.M. (last edited Jul 28, 2014 07:44AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

L.M. Ironside Nope, I never finished it. But I know the twist -- the whole "Oh, maybe it never did happen...or maybe we INVENT OUR OWN REALITY BLARRRGH and YOU ARE BLESSED IF YOU BELIEEEEEEEEEEVE." It just makes it seem even stupider to me.

Plus, I don't remember whether I ranted in this review (and I'm too lazy to scroll up and check) about how offended I was that the major premise of the book was basically "atheists are stupid." I'm an atheist, so I take exception to Yann Martel's assertion that I'm not as awesome and rad and enlightened as Pi because I don't believe in an imaginary being...that, according to the twist at the end of the book, he might have just made up anyway.

Yeah, it's a terrible book as far as I'm concerned. Sorry. :(

message 10: by Tony (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tony Talbot Yeah, no worries...be a dull Goodreads if we all liked the same book!

message 11: by L.M. (new) - rated it 1 star

L.M. Ironside Indeed! :)

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