Number of pages: 319
Started: 8 January 2008
Finished: 17 January 2008
Summary (taken from blurb):
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years.
Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God. Can a reader reasonably ask for anything more?
I thought Life of Pi was a pretty entertaining read, but there was nothing that really knocked my socks off or that will stand in my memory for a long time (other than a few slightly gruesome scenes).
There was quite a bit of background story leading up to the lifeboat section, which got a little tiresome, but mostly I found Pi's comments on animals and religion to be quite interesting, even if I didn't completely agree with what he was saying. Like others have said before me, the whole island part was most puzzling - it seemed very out of place! (Although probably not as out-of-place as the short incident with the Frenchman that preceded it!)
I know the ending has come as a disappointment to some people but luckily I knew beforehand how it would end so I wasn't disappointed. Highlight to view spoiler: Which story do I believe? Well, of course we'd all like to believe the version with the animals, but I'm inclined to think his second story was true. If you had spent 227 days at sea, it would certainly give you ample time to think up a story to explain away your actions (which in other circumstances would be atrocious), and perhaps it would also help you to maintain your sanity.
Perhaps I enjoyed it more than some people because I didn't try to read too much into it and find symbolism everywhere. I took it at face value and enjoyed it as a good story, well told.