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message 1: by Raymond (last edited Aug 19, 2009 10:16AM) (new)

Raymond (byraymondarturo) Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Well, I joined this group awhile back. I'm enjoying the Summer Reading Challenge alot! It's the most books I've ever read in such a short time!! I know it's probably nothing compared to some of the people (most of the people) on here, however about ten books in two months, SHOUTS volumes to me. But on this book splurge I've dove into, I remembered what I'd been putting off - Summer Reading Project. School's around the corner for me and so I read my first School Summer Reading Book which was How to Read Literature Like a Professor A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster. Great stuff, but sometimes the way he presented his points was a bit repetitve for me. Then my second book was Life of Pi, which I'm currently reading right now. We were assigned the book, at least in what I'm taking into consideration, to apply what we read in Foster's book which is to look for signs and meanings and symbols. Well I'm only on page 70, and were supposed to be jotting annotations, and I've only jotted down a small handful of annotations. I intend on finishing the book tonight, then re-reading it tomorrow, seeing as I might get more out of it. But I was just wondering if I'm perhaps missing something MAJOR in those 70 pages.

Digressing from that though, how many of you guys read the book, enjoyed it, found not just a good read, but perhaps something unique about the writing style that your perhaps thought was interesting, loved a certain sentence or two, I've found quite a few sentences that I just absolutely could not get over, which I will add on to this thread soon.

One more thing, I read The Road this past year, and I fell in love. This is totally random, but I just had to mention it in here somewhere since I just mentioned writing style.

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Quotes from the Book
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"I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he's not careful (Life of Pi 6)" — Yann Martel

"I don't know if I saw blood before turning into Mother's arms or if I daubed it on later, in my memory, with a brush (Life of Pi 36)" — Yann Martel

"'Yes! Practice-singular!' the wise men screamed in unison. Three index fingers, like punctuation marks, jumped to attention in the air to emphasize their point (Life of Pi 68)." — Yann Martel



message 2: by Lu (new)

Lu | 37 comments Buddhaflakes wrote: "Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Well, I joined this group awhile back. I'm enjoying the Summer Reading Challenge alot! It's the most books I've ever read in such a short time!..."


Hi Buddhaflakes,
I read Life of Pi while traveling through Italy.
I remember being in Cinque Terre (favorite place) while totally engrossed in the angst between the characters. Great book that stays with you long after the read.


message 3: by Tara (new)

Tara I just read Life of Pi this summer and I loved it. I totally agree with Lu that it is engrossing. I read it on a long flight, and when I was getting off the plane, the lady who had been sitting next to me said "Oh, that is such a good book, I loved it!" I think you'll find that there is a lot of symbolism and meaning when you finish and then reconsider the book. A lot of reviews talk about the spirituality of the book, and I think you'll see that by the end.


message 4: by Rauf (new)

Rauf for me Pi was a bit disappointing.
I didn't know when I picked it up that it's going to be all religion-y.
I thought 'twas a straightforward adventure tale!


message 5: by Lydia (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) WHRauf wrote: "for me Pi was a bit disappointing.
I didn't know when I picked it up that it's going to be all religion-y.
I thought 'twas a straightforward adventure tale!"


WHR - how did you see it as "religion-y"?


message 6: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I loved The Life of Pi and even though the main character was very spiritual, I didn't feel it was preachy at all. Or even overly religious. I didn't feel as if it was an attempt to convert me or anything, just showing us how Pi's spiritual beliefs colored his perceptions of what was happening to him.


message 7: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 193 comments WHRauf wrote: "for me Pi was a bit disappointing.
I didn't know when I picked it up that it's going to be all religion-y.
I thought 'twas a straightforward adventure tale!"


Though, the book was a a bit weird, nevertheless it was fascinating. I didn't get religion at all but I did get spirituality.


message 8: by Hayes (new)

Hayes (hayes13) I've just finished reading it and I have very mixed feelings about it. I was at about page 80 and ready to give up (nice, interesting, well written, but no great shakes... )

I did like the image that you picked out - your last quote - of the three religious leaders with their fingers raised in unison. I was a little puzzled by the Hindu boy getting involved in the three religions, but then it reminded me of The Decameron, which I studied at university: (Day 1, third story, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23700/... )

The middle part was better, and I loved the interaction of the boy and the animals, and what he did to survive. As for symbolism, I don't know. I tend to take things pretty much at face value, but then the symbols are kind of forced on you at the end.

***********spoiler alert***********



The ending didn't please me, and I still can't figure out what exactly gets to me. I think in the end it felt like a cop out, the typical dream thing: "And then we all woke up and realized it was a dream." I think I wanted something more conclusive to happen, but I think the conclusion is at the beginning, the foretelling parts. I'm going to have to re-read the first part again.

As I said, mixed feelings, but I agree with Tara about the reconsidering process. It will interesting to look back on this one.


message 9: by Sybs (new)

Sybs | 4 comments Gosh I must have missed the 'spirituality' themes that other people saw. I read it as Fear is a Paper Tiger theme - Roger Parker being the paper tiger haha. I liked it - I read it first about 3 years ago and then I reread it earlier this year and I have just finished listening to it as a book reading on the radio.

I didn't see it as 'dream ending' I saw it as a way of putting a traumatic experience into some kind of experience that he could cope with. An incredible migrant's story in many ways.

I've read heaps of sea adventure stories and I guess Life of Pi easily fell into that - the whole fishing, days of boredom, hallucinating way of life.

Must be a good book though b/c it stays with you - gets into your head so you are thinking about it all the time.


message 10: by Hayes (last edited Aug 25, 2009 11:16AM) (new)

Hayes (hayes13) Sybs wrote: "... I didn't see it as 'dream ending' I saw it as a way of putting a traumatic experience into some kind of experience that he could cope with. ..."

*****spoilers*******

I totally agree with you that it's Pi trying to put the experience into perscpective, etc. but I couldn't quite understand how the island with the meerkats and the strange tree with the teeth fit in... I guess it was a way to introduce the idea that maybe everything wasn't as it seemed and that Pi was really starting to fall apart mentally.

In the end I thought it was okay, but it's just not my kind of tale.


message 11: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 266 comments Hayes wrote: "Sybs wrote: "... I didn't see it as 'dream ending' I saw it as a way of putting a traumatic experience into some kind of experience that he could cope with. ..."

*****spoilers*******

I totally..."

MORE SPOILERS
I read this a long time ago, but from what I remember, when the officials come to investigate the sinking of the ship, they find meerkat bones in the life boat, which is proof that the animal story is the true story. You're right Hayes, that part was very strange.


message 12: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 12 comments I read the Life of Pi several years ago and really loved it! It did have spiritual influence that is for sure, but I dont see why that is a bad thing. I dont think that the author tried to force one view down your throat, but introduced many different views. I feel that the point of reading is to broaden your views and expose you to things that you may not be exposed to on a general basis.


message 13: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) The only thing that really stayed with me was the carnivorous island. I'm interested in reading it again, tackling it from the India-as-seen-by-a-Western-author.

I'm a little surprised that a lot of people didn't "see" the religion aspect of the book; it came across as very obvious to me, what with the religion(s) of Pi established early on in the book. I can only paraphrase what one of my friends told me after reading it: "He's in a boat... with a fucking tiger... and he doesn't get eaten? That's a case for God if there ever was one!"


message 14: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Angie wrote: "The only thing that really stayed with me was the carnivorous island. I'm interested in reading it again, tackling it from the India-as-seen-by-a-Western-author.

I'm a little surprised that a lot ..."


I was puzzled by the carnivorous island as well. I read somone's take on that in another group, but can't remember exactly what it was since it didn't make sense to me. I think the reason that part confused me so much was there was physical evidence of something that just couldn't be real. If his mind was "dealing" there should not have been any evidence.

I certainly felt the religious tone of the book, but didn't see it as preachy at all. Yes, Pi had a religion, but it never felt that he was trying to convince us to share that religion, or denounce our own.


message 15: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) Kandice wrote: "Yes, Pi had a religion, but it never felt that he was trying to convince us to share that religion, or denounce our own. "

If Martel wanted to convert us, he wouldn't have cast the protagonist as a boy who, at one point in time, attended the religious ceremonies of three different religions, hehe. :P




message 16: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I read this over the summer and in the beginning I LOVED it. And then they got in the boat, and it went downhill from there. While I enjoyed the adventure/survival part of it, I thought to myself, this would be a great story if that's all it was, and adventure story. But my hopes and expectations were SO escalated from the beginning of the book, that - that this amazing young boy's tale was going to change my life, or confirm my faith, or SOMETHING. But that stream of thought was just completely dropped. It felt like this should've been two different stories. One for the adventurous soul, and one for the contemplative, searching one.

And the end, the end just ruined it for me. I was stunned, and disappointed.


message 17: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 266 comments Yes, Kaliki, I was stunned by the ending too - but not disappointed. It made me think and think about which story was true and then I thought here's the message: Life is a story, you get to choose your story, and the story with the animals (religion), is the better story.


message 18: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Perhaps it was just my expectation. Because I really do believe this could have been a profound story. And I love a book that leaves me thinking. This one certainly had me thinking at the beginning.

But I felt like the question at the end just cheapened it. I'm glad it didn't for others though. That's the beauty of all different kinds of written word. What works for some may not for others.


message 19: by Kandice (new)

Kandice My husband teased me for days, because I truly believed the animal story was the "real" one. He's not a big reader, and I think non-readers have smaller imaginations!


message 20: by Ikra (new)

Ikra Amesta (ikraamesta) | 2 comments a good book,
i like the debate between three major religion in India (Islam, Christian, and Hindu) from the first chapter, it's kinda fun and alternately giving me some point of view about each religion.

i don't believe the ending, and i read it over and over just to make sure and get to the point, even until now. But overall, i admire the imaginative side of the author and how he recited a great adventure into words.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

This book was really good, and has a place on my Keepers Shelf. I found the twist marvellous! I haven't gotten around to seeing the movie yet, but plan to soon.


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