Oakville Reads discussion

13 views
Life of Pi > Question #2: Writing Style

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

How did you feel about the writing style of the book? There's a lot of description and a lot of detail given to people and events, especially as the book goes on. Did you enjoy this? Do you prefer books with lots of description or ones that are a little more to the point?


message 2: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Valevicius | 81 comments It's harder work to read so many details, not to mention time-consuming when you can't speed through it; however, if you surrender to this style, I feel it's far richer & more fulfilling, and you learn a lot about stuff you didn't know. So, definitely worth it , for me, in the long run. But I do enjoy a variety of writing styles.


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
I think Life of Pi is beautifully written. On almost every page, I found a little gem that I wished I could save somehow, just to ponder. I found it a little too long when I was about 3/4 of the way through Pi's ordeal at sea, and couldn't wait to find out how the story ended. But I wouldn't cut anything out of it. I can't say I prefer either type of book - lots of description or more to the point - because so much depends on the writing itself.


message 4: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Dominato | 21 comments Oakville wrote: "How did you feel about the writing style of the book? There's a lot of description and a lot of detail given to people and events, especially as the book goes on. Did you enjoy this? Do you prefer ..."

I guess I can't say I like this style or dislike it. As long as it works in the story I'm okay with it. I read another book "Jamrach's Menagerie" by Carol Birch which had a similar scenario of being lost at sea for a long time. At times I found the day after day descriptions a bit tedious but I think it is essential to the story in both these books. It portrays the long endless feeling of dissolution, the monotony of having to carry on day after day clinging to the thread of hope you might survive.


message 5: by Allison (new)

Allison | 396 comments Sylvia wrote: "It's harder work to read so many details, not to mention time-consuming when you can't speed through it; however, if you surrender to this style, I feel it's far richer & more fulfilling, and you l..."

I feel very much like you, Sylvia. I love descriptive works for the richness and personal rewards of reading such books, but I also like to mix things up a bit and read lighter or more spare or poetic works in between.

When I think of my absolute favourite books, the ones that have stayed with me through the years, they are prominently descriptive or character-driven works: Life of Pi, for me, falls into more of the character-driven kind (I'm not sure I would describe its prose as especially descriptive). But, for me at least, it is a magnificent feat in storytelling...and this kind of literary power is what I love the most...I am never bored with a writer who can sweep me away to another place/time/etc. and make me become so invested in a character and his plight. As another bonus to this book, I think Martel really captured the flavor of Indian writing and expression, too. And I am an adoring fan of many Indian writers!


message 6: by Kate (new)

Kate (arwen_kenobi) | 100 comments Mod
I also like both and find that it depends on the book. In this case I thought it was really important to get into details since Pi was alone for so long at sea. It's also been really interesting re-reading it (this is my third or fourth time reading it) to see which bits I still remember and which bits I totally forgot or maybe even missed from the previous readings.


message 7: by Allison (new)

Allison | 396 comments Laurie wrote: "Oakville wrote: "How did you feel about the writing style of the book? There's a lot of description and a lot of detail given to people and events, especially as the book goes on. Did you enjoy thi..."

Laurie, I absolutely loved Jamrach's Menagerie too!


message 8: by Sylvia (new)

Sylvia Valevicius | 81 comments Allison wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Oakville wrote: "How did you feel about the writing style of the book? There's a lot of description and a lot of detail given to people and events, especially as the book goes on. Di..."

Like you, I, too, Allison enjoy being swept away to another place or time by a character-driven work of art. I also love Indian authors. Have you ever read 'The Death of Vishnu' by Manil Suri? Or perhaps the better-known Rohinton Mistry's 'A Fine Balance'? Great reads!!
And as you and Laurie mention, I also enjoyed the sea-faring novel 'Jamrach's Menagerie'.


message 9: by Allison (new)

Allison | 396 comments Sylvia wrote: "Allison wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Oakville wrote: "How did you feel about the writing style of the book? There's a lot of description and a lot of detail given to people and events, especially as the ..."

I have read Mistry, Adiga and Rushdie (my favourites!) and Lahiri too (who I think is solid). But I have not read The death of Vishnu ... I will have to seek that one out. Thanks for the recommendation!


back to top