William's Reviews > Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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Mar 06, 09

Read in March, 2009

If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.

I've read this twice now. Despite knowing what happens, it was still a wonderfully enjoyable read, with lots of 'clues' that i didn't pick up on the first time staring me in the face second time round.

I think it's fascinating that the very people who, you would think, don't need a novel like this to confirm their imagination and open mind, seem more often than not to be the very people who dislike it on the grounds that it is "too far-fetched". That these people don't make it to the end, and thus don't realise their apparent subliminal hypocrisy, is an unexplainable phenomenon. I'm not talking about those people who genuinely don't like it (fair enough), or those who are so hell-bent on their atheism that they are effectively as dogmatic as those at the other end of the spectrum. Nor am i saying there's anything wrong with it, just that it's surprising to the point of intrigue.

On my second reading, i was very much reminded of Robert M. Pirsig's Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance in the way the novel continually interweaves two apparent opposites: spiritualit and rationality. It's measured, it's considered, it's paced...but it's oh so impulsive and oh so full of imagination. Best of all, it's a fantastic story.
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