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Life of Pi
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Feb 2013 -Life of Pi > Part 3, Chapter 95-100 *Might Contain Spoilers*

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Karena (karenafagan) Please keep comments within Chapter 95-100.


Robert (rdowens) Interestingly, I bought into the author's story that this was a true story. Because of that, I was willing to accept Pi's version of his adventure. I thought the Japanese "report" ended marvelously!

The way part three completed the story I think is just fantastic.


Michelle (goneabroad71) | 43 comments The Japanese report was funny -- the side conversations translated from Japanese kept it from getting too heavy.


message 4: by Michael (last edited Feb 04, 2013 05:41PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michael Colwin | 18 comments Interesting ending a "twist" but not really. Who saw the movie? How does it compare? Did this change anyone's belief in God? :)


Michelle (goneabroad71) | 43 comments I'm a little puzzled by all the claims that this book will make you believe in God! I enjoyed the story, and I loved that the main character was seeking god and enlightenment. But I can't say it was belief-changing...


Sonia (stixaz) I really enjoyed this book, will definitely catch the movie this weekend. The first part was great watching Pi explore the various religions but once he's shipwrecked there really isn't a whole lot of mention about God/religion not like in the beginning. I wish the author would've had Pi continue his quest for God throughout the story, perhaps even question it. I did like part three and how they wrapped up the story, very clever.


Michael Colwin | 18 comments The second part is all about the complexity of his faith under the circumstances and his struggle with it. Remember there isn't a "real" tiger on the boat.


Jess :) | 26 comments Well, I don't know what to think! Last night after reading Part 3, my very strong and immediate reaction was, "oh my god! I wish I had never read this book!" It is quite depressing---truly, the Bengal tiger version is the better story! (Was I very slow here, or was this a surprise to most everyone?! I did guess that some of the tale might be an allegory.. but never, ever did I think that in this case the gruesome details such as the leg being cut off of the 'zebra' actually part of the "real" story! and I did not guess that Pi was also the tiger!)

But today, everything from the tale is running through my head again.. and I am beging to appreciate the novel. The story was truly a unique way to depict Pi's struggle with holding onto his faith & morality while coping with the extreme circumstances.

As for belief in god, I can't say that this changed much for me. Though you may want to ask me tomorrow...perhaps this warrants further reflection ;)


Rhonda | 15 comments So, which was the true story? That he rafted with a hyena, orangutan, and a tiger.....or the other horrible story? I know which one I want it to be, but suspect that his vivid imagination was what kept him alive. otherwise. ...really....who could survive that?

No. It wasn't a faith-changing story. ...but it was a doggone good one. I couldn't put it down.


Marilia Silva When I started to read this novel I didn´t like it at all, and gave up right away. But I decided to give the movie a go, and absolutely love it. Because this book was also in this month list, I decided to give it another try, and this time I really liked it. I was able to apreciate the point of view about religion and the animals, wich I found so beutifiul, with a diffenrent perpectives and ideas that I have never thought. I suposed I started to read the first time thinking it was a story about a boy and a tiger on a bout. Since this part doesn´t happen until half of the book, i gave up. Shame on me. I think the parts I will remember the most about it, and possible reread again and again, are those inicial points of view of young Pi, the Zoo and religion.
(Sorry my grammatical mistakes. English is not my first language)


Brittany Massey Perhaps, the different stories were meant to parallel the different religions mentioned earlier. Whether you believe in one story or the other, one religion or the other, they all arrive at the same place.

Interesting read. You could take it many different ways and the book will definitely be on my mind for a while.

The story itself was captivating. The end really elevated it as a whole for me to where it was more than a simple survival story.


Chahrazad I love the whole story from the beginning to the end :)
Pi is a unique character, I don't think there's any castaway who had the same experience even in fiction.

I guess that Pi found love in times of bliss (love of God and His creatures) and it was precisely this love that saved him in the times of despair


Jessica | 464 comments When I got the point where Pi was being interviewed, I was really reading in disbelief. While I know what I want to believe...neither story is easy to accept. An animal lover like me will have trouble with both.

As for a story to make you believe in God, I don't know. In my opinion, if you really sit and think about all of the events that played out, it could be life changing. I think people forget who amazing it is that this person survived, no matter how he got there. July to February...and that's not amazing? For me it was/is.


Thomas Aylesworth (thomasaylesworth) | 19 comments Wow. The ending really made this book. I was enjoying the story but as Part 2 neared the end, I was becoming more incredulous and feeling my suspension of disbelief slipping away. Good story, I thought, but ultimately just a feel-good fantasy. I suppose, in one sense, I was right but having that illusion shattered by the author was very powerful.

Thanks so much for picking this book to read. I'm looking forward to reading more books with this group!


Chahrazad one of so many favorite parts:

“Don’t you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”

“We’re just being reasonable.”

“So am I! I applied my reason at every moment. Reason is excellent for getting food, clothing and shelter. Reason is the very best tool kit. Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater.”

there was a scene in the movie that I loved very much and that goes with the same train of thought!

I watched the movie right after I finished the book which made a whole experience... Some scenes made me cry indeed :)

As to believing in God, I don't know how to explain it except to say that it's hard to explain it with words. I could relate to Pi in his awe and amazement in front of this universe that is most of the time hard to explain or to believe!

I'm really looking forward to reading more with this amazing group, and I'm so happy "Life of Pi" won the poll and I hope they win Oscars as well :D


Gosia | 10 comments Michael wrote: "The second part is all about the complexity of his faith under the circumstances and his struggle with it. Remember there isn't a "real" tiger on the boat."

A teacher in me would say then that the tiger is a symbol. A symbol o what? Pi`s struggle to maintain his faith and will to carry on?


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Jeane (Pinkbookdragon) | 323 comments Michelle wrote: "I'm a little puzzled by all the claims that this book will make you believe in God! I enjoyed the story, and I loved that the main character was seeking god and enlightenment. But I can't say it w..."

Totally agree with you Michelle, if anything this story might make you question your belief in god. I don't know, it's hard for me to say because I don't believe in god.


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Jeane (Pinkbookdragon) | 323 comments Minne wrote: "The third part was very nice but I still prefer the second one, mostly because I prefer the first story. And I agree that it was not a belief-changing...

What were the island and the meerkats?"


The Island and the meerkats happened after the story was completed, so the island and the meerkats were technically in both stories.


Jennifer | 17 comments This idea that the story will make you believe in God was proposed by one of the characters. But later I thought I remembered a character saying something like, "He says that about many things... or he would say that." Maybe someone could find that passage. I wonder if the author was just trying to engage the reader.

As to the question of which story is true I would like to propose that this question mirrors the question of which religion will you choose to believe.

Clearly the author is daring us to choose for ourselves. What's more is if we choose nothing, we mirror the agnostic. I find this to be a highly engaging tactic and a little cheeky.


Michael Colwin | 18 comments Just read the interview with Yann Martel and found it fascinating. Didn't see the whole argument from design aspect to the island story.
I thought it was smart to add the island part to the first story. It gives it an unbelievable element to it like any religion. How someone can leap over that crevice of credulity I will not know.
Now I thought the author was daring us to choose but I thought it was more a choice between the rational/revolting and irrational/ fufilling. Which reflects some old arguments about religion vs. science.
Yann says in the interview he hopes the reader thinks the animal story is the "better" story but I think most people are more curious as to which is real. I wonder why anyone would choose to believe the animal story. Better seems almost irrelevant or am I wrong since neither story can answer how the boat sank?


holly rose | 41 comments Michael wrote: "Just read the interview with Yann Martel and found it fascinating. Didn't see the whole argument from design aspect to the island story.
I thought it was smart to add the island part to the firs..."


Michael, I agree that better seems irrelevant since neither story can answer how the boat sank, BUT if a story had to be told, which would YOU want to hear/believe?


Jessica | 464 comments Michael wrote: "Just read the interview with Yann Martel and found it fascinating. Didn't see the whole argument from design aspect to the island story.
I thought it was smart to add the island part to the firs..."


From what I have gathered, in my own further study of the book, this story within a story is there for a purpose. One story shows the facts, reason, and logic. While the other story is more fantastical and mythical. If you go back to the first part of the book, we learn that Pi does not side with rationalists (actual story). He finds it easier to believe a story that inspires a listener or gives a call to act upon (animal story.

If you look at his views on religion in the beginning, it is a true mirror to this ending. Chirtianity, Muslim, Hindu are all stories about what a higher power has done out of love for its creation. He is inspired to love God. While, the more "rational" way of looking at religion is we are simply here and exist. We do not really have a purpose in that case. In both instances we exist, we live, and we die. Which story do you believe? One where you have a purpose and are inspired to live, and believe there is a place to go after death? Or a story where you live only to exist?

I think all of this also has to do with how one was brought up...nature vs. nurture would come into play as well.


Sarah The ending kind of surprised me and I was a little disappointed. I had to suspend my disbelief and then in the end he tells the other story. I loved it still. The beauty about the ending is that it made you think.


message 24: by Marwa (last edited Feb 23, 2013 10:17AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marwa (_MIA_) If you ask me about my favorite part of the story, I'll tell you it's when he asked the interrogators a moment and made up a more believable story from their point of view that carried the same facts. In my point of view, this carried the essence of our views on God and Religion.
The thing is Reasoning is limited. It is bound by what we know so far. It's oblivious to what remains until this day unknown, undiscovered and as a result unbelievable. While Faith on the other hand is elusive, yet it is to trust in the unknown. Faith is what you have when you act against all odds. God is known through both reasoning that aknowledge his creation and through faith in the unknown scheme of things. I guess that's the conclusion Martell was trying to reach. Believing in God does not contradict with reason, if reason aknowledges that there are aspects of life and creations still unknown to us. On the other hand, faith does not clash with reason because it deals with the more elusive facts of life. Hope is a fact. Love is a fact. So are all other facts that defy reason yet exist.


Michael Colwin | 18 comments I must say many a great theologians have contemplated and argued the case for god and I don't think many would cede that the argument for god isn't a rational one.
This seems to be an argument for the irrational though. I think there is some famous quote about this in the christian tradition "credo quia absurdum" - I believe because it is absurd. I was just wondering if anyone found this argument persuasive.
I understand that Pi thinks his story will make you believe in god but I personally don't see it. I love/admire that after his horrible experience at sea he can still face life with that wonderful attitude of his but I miss something about the persuasiveness of his argument.
It seems to me Pi is saying one story is slightly fantastic and makes me feel better and one tells something realistic yet is horrible. The fantastic is the better story because it makes me feel better. Am I missing something because I don't find this compelling?
Pi chooses to tell the uplifting story in an engaging way and then goes on to tell the horrific more realistic story in a straight forward manner. This says more about Pi's opinions than it does about anything else. There are wonderful stories abound that are pessimistic, realistic, and disturbing but they make us want to read them over and over again because they are so well told. Which is why I like the book. I revere good story telling but am cautious about it revealing truth about the world versus truth about human nature.


Margaret Michael wrote: I understand that Pi thinks his story will make you believe in god but I personally don't see it. I love/admire that after his horrible experience at sea he can still face life with that wonderful attitude of his but I miss something about the persuasiveness of his argument. "

Perhaps it is because of his strong belief in God that he is able to face life with that attitude.

I was stunned by the ending - I just finished a few minutes ago. I wasn't prepared for the brutality of it at all.


Andrea | 6 comments It's interesting to see everyone's comments on the book, I didn't really get suspicious of the "fact's" of Pi's story until the carnivorous island. I finished the story a few moments ago and I choose to believe the animal story as the "real" one. Not just because it's a better story, but because this is a fictional book, and why can't it be real?

But if the author wants us to see the tiger as a part of Pi, it's still a good story. You can interpret the first animal story as his way to cope with the facts of the void of the ocean.

I believe in God, and Pi's faith is strong. Stronger than most. I love the quote that someone already mentioned earlier:

“Don’t you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?”


Elizabeth Moffat | 36 comments I agree, that's a great quote. I think Martel is leaving the reader to make up their own mind also, as all religions could be seen as "stories," its just a mattter of which story you choose to believe.


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Angie (adowns) | 520 comments Jennifer wrote: "This idea that the story will make you believe in God was proposed by one of the characters. But later I thought I remembered a character saying something like, "He says that about many things... o..."

I found the same to be true. If you choose not to decide, you are acting as an agnostic, which seems to be worse than anything to Pi. As an atheist, I understand that the second story is most likely true. However, I do not like to think that it means he tried to eat his own poop, so I am going with the tiger. lol


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Angie (adowns) | 520 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I agree, that's a great quote. I think Martel is leaving the reader to make up their own mind also, as all religions could be seen as "stories," its just a mattter of which story you choose to beli..."

So true!


Alana (alanasbooks) | 208 comments Gosia wrote: "Michael wrote: "The second part is all about the complexity of his faith under the circumstances and his struggle with it. Remember there isn't a "real" tiger on the boat."

A teacher in me would ..."


It more makes me think of "Castaway" with Tom Hanks. Richard Parker was Pi's "Wilson," although he didn't have a physical object. He created the personality in his mind to sustain him, so yes, "Richard Parker" did in fact save his life, but him running off into the jungle symbolized that he was here on land now and did not need him anymore. There was no need for a true goodbye.

I was horrified at first at the "real" version of events, but honestly, especially after reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (which is incredible, by the way, I recommend it to everyone!) it just seems plausible and human. It's sad, but very true to human nature. We seem to devolve into animals when all hell breaks loose, so in a way, that's exactly what Pi saw. What a vivid, beautiful imagination, though! He had all the time in the world to come up with such a story and wow, what a great job! And yes, it's the story we would WANT told, if we had the choice.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 208 comments Michael wrote: "I must say many a great theologians have contemplated and argued the case for god and I don't think many would cede that the argument for god isn't a rational one.
This seems to be an argument fo..."


well said


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