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Life of Pi
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June 2018: Magical Realism > Life of Pi by Yann Martel - 5 stars

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Joy D | 4614 comments Life of Pi by Yann Martel -5 stars

As a side note: I didn't understand the reason for the magical realism classification until about 3/4 of the way through the book. Can't believe I hadn't read it before now, as it is considered a modern classic. I have not seen the movie either.

My review:
At first glance, this piece of literary fiction is the story of Pi, son of a zookeeper, his spiritual development as a student of three religions and his memorable journey across the Pacific Ocean in the company of a 450-pound Bengal tiger, but it can also be read as a fable, metaphor, or commentary on the nature of humankind. Imaginative, compelling, at times gruesome, themes include storytelling, survival, and faith. The narrative provides a juxtaposition of animal instinct and transcendent faith, and how a person can inhabit both ends of the spectrum simultaneously. Each reader will likely have a different reaction to this tale, depending on his or her personal beliefs. At the very least, it provides much food-for-thought about the meaning of life.

Content warnings include detailed descriptions of suffering and slaughter of animals, eating items normally viewed as grossly inedible, starvation, dismemberment, and bodily functions. Recommended to book clubs for the discussion potential, and readers of literary fiction or modern classics.


Anita Pomerantz | 6743 comments You and I are in a minority in PBT on having liked this book. And I hate magical realism so go figure. I don't think it was five stars for me (pretty sure I read it before I actually really kept track of my reading), but I thought it was pretty interesting, thought provoking and very original.

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2299 comments Count me among that minority Anita! I like this very much.

message 4: by Cynda (last edited Jun 20, 2018 10:28AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cynda  (cynda) I liked this very much too 🤓 I totally get this story. (view spoiler)
There are other valid readings as well. This is just my reading. 🍃

Doughgirl5562 | 816 comments This was a 5* read for me also. Great review. I highly recommend the movie also. I thought the movie producers did an unbelievably good job with a book that I frankly thought would be impossible to put on screen.

message 6: by Booknblues (last edited Jun 20, 2018 01:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Booknblues | 6863 comments Nice review, Joy. I am always happy to see someone else who loves this book as well. It was a 5 star for me when I read it years ago. It remains one of my favorite books ever.

I realize that many people on PBT hate it, but I love it.

I'm pretty used to being in the minority when it comes to loving or hating books. :)

message 7: by Susie (new) - added it

Susie | 4488 comments I liked it. Until the island.

Jason Oliver | 2098 comments Susie wrote: "I liked it. Until the island."


message 9: by KateNZ (new) - added it

KateNZ | 2667 comments I loved this book. It lost me at the island too though. Still a 5* read for me. But definitely gruesome in places and I can understand why lots of people might not like it

Jgrace | 3109 comments I liked it. The 'island' confused me for a bit, but eventually the lightbulb lit up in my brain and I actually liked it for the shock value.

At least I think so. I didn't write a review of this one, so I'm relying on my memory. I also saw the movie, but I've forgotten that completely.

Diane Zwang | 485 comments I am in the love it camp also. A five star read and a favorite. I agree with doughgirl that the movie is fantastic and is as good as the book.

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6396 comments Loved this book ... I've read it a couple of times and my F2F book club had a great discussion / argument on whether we preferred the "alternate" ending.

message 13: by LibraryCin (new) - added it

LibraryCin | 9065 comments Anita wrote: "You and I are in a minority in PBT on having liked this book. And I hate magical realism so go figure. I don't think it was five stars for me (pretty sure I read it before I actually really kept tr..."

Funnily enough, Anita, although I'm not a magical realism fan, either, I also really liked this one! :-) I didn't really see the magical realism until the end, though, and I admit, that is the one part I wasn't crazy about in this one!

message 14: by LibraryCin (new) - added it

LibraryCin | 9065 comments Susie wrote: "I liked it. Until the island."

Yes, exactly!

Cheryl  (cherylllr) Huh. I did not like it, but I did kinda like the island. And the gore/ violence didn't bother me, though I'm by nature squeamish.

But then, I didn't like Jonathan Livingston Seagull, or Celestine Prophecies, or Bridge of Birds, or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. All huge sellers in their time.

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I rated it 4 stars. The island was a bit much.

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