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Life of Pi
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message 1: by Zeljka (last edited Jan 01, 2013 07:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeljka (ztook) | 2876 comments Mod
We are starting new year 2013 with a novel that seems larger than life, Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Good omens or not - this peculiar adventure, though impossible to put in any specific literature genre, promises to stimulate our minds and spirits I think in quite proper time of the year and I hope in a positive way.

This is one of the books where plot descriptions do more harm than good, as narrative seems quite complicated. I actually have no clue what is this about, except for the vivid picture of an Indian boy and a tiger in a boat in the middle of the ocean. That alone was enough to entice me to get finally a hold of the book.

Since it was published, it received many praises not only by other readers, but by the critics and other writers alike. Now, mere decade after its publication, it got its own feature film, made by great filmmaker, Ang Lee -- which we will, I hope, discuss in detail in the film thread. Here you may post your own thoughts and opinions, add favourite quotes and other things you found interesting while you were reading the book.

Alana (alanasbooks) | 730 comments Mod
I'm still waiting for my copy of this from the library... I think I'm finally down to number eight on the list.

Carly (clgreve) | 15 comments I am currently listening to this on a playaway. I am not into this story yet, but hopefully that will change. :(

Rebecca | 14 comments Believe me it will. Where are you in the book?

Olga Miret (goodreadscomolganm) I read it shortly after it came out and loved it. I remember starting it with some doubt as I read what it was about and wasn't sure I'd like it but it grabbed me and couldn't put it down...I haven't had a chance to watch the movie yet but like the director's previous movies...

Rebecca | 14 comments Carly, Have you stayed with it?

Carly (clgreve) | 15 comments Rebecca wrote: "Believe me it will. Where are you in the book?"

Chapter 28 and still going. It's getting better.

Travis (travistousant) | 58 comments Are the animals any more as real than wilson of the movie castaway. Seem many similarities of pi and tom hanks role in castaway

Rebecca | 14 comments As you read on, it will be clear that the animals are not just animals.

Travis (travistousant) | 58 comments I finished the book but the age old question it would seem is which story do you believe

Rebecca | 14 comments And what version do you believe and why?
That's what keeps this book alive to me.

Travis (travistousant) | 58 comments Rebecca wrote: "And what version do you believe and why?
That's what keeps this book alive to me."

The first one makes for the better story obviously and under extreme circumstances such as those I think man and beast could survive together. The human brain always seems to want a more practical answer which makes us want to believe the second story. I am no different and lean to the more believable second one although I hate to completely abandon the first one altogether. I really can't make a definite decision one way or the other. I like the way the book is written to leave us up in the air to choose which version we want to believe, but not force us into choosing one or the other. Which version did you choose?

Rebecca | 14 comments I believe both. Who knows what would happen out there. It would take both the strength of a tiger and an act of God to survive. The island confuses me. Any thoughts?

Travis (travistousant) | 58 comments The island is a tough one. Was there even really an island or did Pi in his mind turn his raft into an island to escape the bleakness of being lost at sea in a raft? I think maybe it was an illusion and he came to reality by finding some human teeth on the floor of the raft which scared him so that he made the island disappear. Anyone would be on the brink of insanity after so many days in this situation.

Zeljka (ztook) | 2876 comments Mod
*skipping possible spoilers above*

I am currently on chapter 25. So far I love immensely Martel's sense of humor. Last two chapters about Pi's introduction on interfaith dialogue were delightful! I also enjoyed very much Pi's views on animals, zoos and animal behavior in general. In short, book is very interesting and very amusing. I have already made some notes to remember to discuss here about :)

Travis (travistousant) | 58 comments Zeljka wrote: "*skipping possible spoilers above*

I am currently on chapter 25. So far I love immensely Martel's sense of humor. Last two chapters about Pi's introduction on interfaith dialogue were delightful! ..."

He does raise an interesting question of why can't a person have 3 religions

Travis (travistousant) | 58 comments Toni wrote: "The way Pi really gets to know his sea life from the inside out makes me want to be a better microbiologist. I want to really delve in and (figuratively) eat them all up.

As for which story I bel..."

The teeth (view spoiler)

Rebecca | 14 comments I'm skipping the Feb. options. Anyone going to read other books and may I tag along?

Zeljka (ztook) | 2876 comments Mod
Rebecca wrote: "I'm skipping the Feb. options. Anyone going to read other books and may I tag along?"

I have just opened Buddy Reads section for such situations -- if you have some wishes, you may post them there (or wait other members ;)

Zeljka (ztook) | 2876 comments Mod
Travis of NNY wrote: "He does raise an interesting question of why can't a person have 3 religions "

Ravi spoke about it humorously (rather in sneering manner): At the rate you're going, if you go to temple on Thursday, mosque on Friday, synagogue on Saturday and church on Sunday, you only need to convert to three more religions to be on holiday for the rest of your life.
But the point is there, not in days off in the week ;) but in devotion. Person can belong to one denomination, and still respect other religions, but hardly can devote his/her time to every single rite, ritual and rule of each religion with equal zeal and understanding without eventually burning out in an effort to please them all, especially because some religions contradict each other. The mind of undecided child may try, but soon will have to decide, not for others but for his own peace of heart and mind. I love the following two quotes in these chapters:
The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.
If there's only one nation in the sky, shouldn't all passports be valid for it? (and there are indeed people with two passports, but really rare are those with three or more...)

Claire Dobson I thought I would get bored with this book but instead found myself gripped. I thought the imagery was extraordinary and the story devastating yet heart warming. It made me yearn to re-read Robinson Crusoe though! Looking forward to seeing how the book translates to the screen.

Laura at first i didn't enjoy the book, though once i was in the middle section i did start to like it but didn't think it deserved the praise it received. it wasn't till i finished the book completely and thought about it that i actually liked it and considered rereading it. i recommend anyone who thinks of giving up on it, not to!

message 23: by Kate (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kate | 10 comments I'm about halfway--Pi is on the raft and just Richard Parker remains alive. I'm enjoying the book so far, but it is easy for me to put aside.

Carly (clgreve) | 15 comments I don't know about anyone else, but for me part 1-boring, part 2-very interesting, & part 3 did NOT see that coming! Definitely not for the weak-stomached.

message 25: by Kate (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kate | 10 comments Carly wrote: "I don't know about anyone else, but for me part 1-boring, part 2-very interesting, & part 3 did NOT see that coming! Definitely not for the weak-stomached."

Carly, I agree. I gave it 3 stars--it just didn't rivet me, even though I enjoyed it. The ending caused a chuckle and a "duh" moment, then I moved on to the next book on my shelf without shouting to the masses about how good it was.

Elena | 109 comments Carly - I agree!
part 1 = boooring, part 2 = very interesting, part 3 = wow! what?!

I was torn between loving and hating the ending... Especially when Pi asks the Japanese engineers which story they like better - the one with the animals, or the one without - to which they answer "the one with the animals". Pi's response and the final line of the book is: "And so it goes with God." I took this to mean "this is the case with believing in God as well" -nothing can be proven, but people like nice stories...

I was left wondering - is the author mocking religion saying how people prefer a completely false but nicer, less gruesome version of the reality itself (story of "God and heaven" vs. "you die and that's it")? Or is the author embracing this (religious) view himself, and actually saying "you cannot prove either that God exists nor that he doesn't, so why not go with the nicer story!"

Beena Joseph | 1 comments This book to me was a testament of the tenacity of the human spirit. I believe the story without the animals because it is the only really plausible one. The other was a story that his fractured, traumatized mind created in a way to survive unbelievable trauma. His mind disassociated and became the tiger his whole time on the boat was a struggle between his nonviolent, religious self from the vicious, man eater self that he became....something that he never could think of being if he was in the right state of mind. To survive, he needed to be the tiger...Richard Parker gave him the will to live and survive. He would have perished long ago if he had accepted the reality and brutality he witnessed. I believe the whole island is a hallucination, after he had lost all his supplies, it may have been a short dream or a few days of unconsciousness due to dehydration. The moment he hit land and was evident he was saved, his mind did not need Richard Parker part of his personality...he left him without saying goodbye. Richard Parker was a part of his personality that came out only after severe trauma to see him through that event. Like multiple personality disorders that occur after a person experiences severe trauma. I loved the whole psychology of this book.

message 28: by Orena (new) - added it

Orena Beqiri | 1 comments This story bored me at the beginning - but I never understood the ending; that is until I saw the film when it came out. And only then did I see the importance of the story fit for the Japanese men insurance company. I must say, I completely believed the wonders of the adventure eagerly until the reality that it could have been either of them out there hit me. Then, as most of you have rightly said, I wanted to keep believing the nicer animal version - the alternative seems too gruesome. And yet, a part of me feels the alternative is also most realistic. Whether Yan wanted is to question our own belief about religion or not, I think he has achieved this with this story.

Alana (alanasbooks) | 730 comments Mod
Finally started this one and I'm over halfway through it already, it's fantastic! I don't know why I put it off so long! Anyway, I'll go back and read everyone's comments when I'm done.

Alana (alanasbooks) | 730 comments Mod
Just finished. Wow!

Alana (alanasbooks) | 730 comments Mod
Ok, here's my review, if anyone's still reading this thread :)

(view spoiler)

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