Dec 30, 11
Read in December, 2011
I thought this book was going to end as a two or three star book because it was coming across as a passive aggressive attack against religious fundamentalists and that in the end all roads lead to the same place. Well... it is that book but once I got through the hump of Pi, the young Indian kid making these discoveries, the book turned out to be one of the most amazing literary experiences of my life.
This book is about a young kid named Pi who grows up in India in a zoo and learns all about the Christian, Muslim, and a Hindu faiths creating controversy with his equal support of all three. He then moves to Canada when their family has to sell all the animals in their zoo to various buyers world wide. The ship sinks and Pi is trapped on a lifeboat for 8 months with a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a bangle tiger. You learn a lot of facts about zoology, Muslim and Hindu faith, and nautical survival secrets. It was a very educational, well researched and entertaining read.
There were parts that I was so stressed and terrified, parts I was laughing like a fool, and at one stage I put the book down and wept so bitterly and profusely like I haven’t in 12 years. It’s an extremely well written book and there were a few spots I took out a pen and started underlining because they were quotes I wanted to keep track of.
Pg. 302 – “I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality.”
Pg. 317 – “So tell me, since it makes no factual difference to you and you can’t prove the question either way, which story do you prefer? Which is the better story, the story with animals or the story without the animals?” – “With the animals” – "Thank you. And so it goes with God.”
This is one of those books I know I can never write. It doesn't put me off to writing, but it does put me in my place as a would be wanna be one. In a bar in Luang Prabang I spoke to a woman from the UK about books and mentioned this one. She said it was on her to read list. After I was done slurring about it she promised me she would move it up on her list.
So there you have it.