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Yann Martel: Life of Pi

Discussion in 'Fiction Books' started by Darren, Mar 2, 2003.

  1. Darren

    Darren Active Member

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    Currently Reading:
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    March 2003 Discussion

    Life of Pi by Yann Martel
     
  2. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    Anyone else reading this?

    Just received it for my BD (requested) and started reading this a.m.
     
  3. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    Finished yesterday! Anyone ready to discuss?

    Will try to get around to a review in next few days.
     
  4. Kaz

    Kaz New Member

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    I am start to read this book and will let you know what I think of this book.
     
  5. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    Kaz, so glad you're reading Life of Pi. I liked it a lot and would love to hear your opinions.
     
  6. Bubbles

    Bubbles New Member

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    I finished reading Life of Pi a couple of weeks ago. I thought it started really well, but I struggled with the lengthy pages about religion, then enjoyed it as it moved forward. The ending was fantastic, really thought-provoking.:D
     
  7. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    Bubbles, I thought the ending was fantastic, too. It really pulled everything together.

    So, which story did you like better - the one with the animals or the other? Which was the truth?

    I recently participated in another discussion of Life of Pi and most thought the animal story was better, but the other was probably the truth - at least in the literal sense.

    Interesting to note that the insurance agents included the tiger in their report, despite their initial reaction to Pi's story.
     
  8. Kaz

    Kaz New Member

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    I finished The Life of Pi last Sunday. I really enjoyed it very much. I prefer animals story which are fanstasic. I liked middle and end of the story. I found the religion bit struggled.
     
  9. evangeline

    evangeline New Member

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    the agents were hilarious.. i don't get what they mean by "this book will make you believe in God"?
     
  10. Sharkgirl

    Sharkgirl New Member

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    I agree, Bubbles, I found the pages about religion hard to get through as well. It wasn't because I found them dull, it was just that I found the talk of the animals int he zoo far more interesting.

    I like the animal story much better! I thought the book was fantastic. A wonderful change from what I have been reading lately (detective novels). Has anyone read the book prior to 'Life of Pi'?
     
  11. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realise there was a prior book. What's it called?

    Ell
     
  12. Darren

    Darren Active Member

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    Yann Martel has written three books to date. I don't think they're related to each other though.
     
  13. Sharkgirl

    Sharkgirl New Member

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    Yes, one is called 'The Facts Behind Helsinki Roccamatios' and the other is 'Self'. It was the 'Self' one I was wondering if anyone read. It looks interesting, but I think I should give it some time in between 'Life of Pi' so I am not as tempted to compare the two.
     
  14. oloroso36

    oloroso36 New Member

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    My book club did this book this year and quite enjoyed it. I found myself fascinated by the day-to-day details of his survival.
     
  15. Sharkgirl

    Sharkgirl New Member

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    Forgot to ask....

    What was the bits in italics about? I am usually quite quick to catch things, but I don't remember them continuing through the end of the story and I am not sure what they meant in the beginning. Can anyone help?
     
  16. Ell

    Ell Well-Known Member

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    I'd forgotten there were italics, so had to go look at my copy.

    The italics are the writer/storyteller's voice - like an 'aside' in a stage play. It's where he's stepping outside the narrative. At the beginning, the italics show where he expresses his personal thoughts and feelings while interviewing the man in Scarborough (who turns out to be Pi). There are fewer italics the further you go along, as Pi's story takes over. He interposes italics, again, at the end when he introduces information outside of Pi's version of the story.

    Okay?? :) ;)
     
  17. jellybelly

    jellybelly New Member

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    i loved 'life of pi'. i like the exploration of story telling, focusing on what was important and what has been forgotten or misunderstood about the purpose of stories. religions are all different stories based around the same idea and pi just loved the stories, rather than the notion of what is true and what isn't. his own story of his journey demonstrates this. you can enjoy and take alot from his imagination rather than disputing what is real and what isn't about his story. that's what i got from it anyway.

    ***

    if you're going to read this, don't bother
     
  18. Earlyturtle

    Earlyturtle New Member

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    Lie of Pi is probably my favourite book to date(well out of my 10 or so favourite books), I read it in a day, I was hooked. I find I can relate to Pi's view on religion and so found those parts easy reading.The account of his irst drink of water in the lifeboat was so well described I could almost feel it.
    Mike
     
  19. Hollis

    Hollis New Member

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    Heh heh...what, 7 months later, I finally get this book! I'm about to start it today - a reading yahoo group is discussing it. I'm looking forward to it and will share my feelings when I'm done!
     
  20. murphyz

    murphyz New Member

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    I've just read this for another book group and thought I would copy this which I had written for it...

    Contains Spoilers and Questions

    My first thoughts about this book were that it was going to be a Dr-Doolittle style event with a sweet little Indian boy stuck in a boat with talking animals who mumble and moan and complain of a lack of food and such like.

    'Cute' I thought when I read what the book was about.

    The animals don't talk. The animals aren't cute. This isn't the Swiss Family Robinson by any stretch of the imagination.

    Personally, I loved it. As mentioned elsewhere, it really gets into its prime after the first 100 pages, but even they are enjoyable and easy to sail through (no pun intended).

    As I was reading it, especially as Pi cut his fingers attempting to drag in a rather large Dorado, the book reminded me of Hemmingway's 'The Old Man and the Sea'. Pi himself also compares his situation to several other maritime novels, such as Swiss Family, Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe - How do you think this book compares to the other maritime novels and films, especially as this one has the uniqueness of being the first to feature a lone child and a tiger?

    The interview with the transport ministers brings this into question though. Was he really in the boat with a Tiger, Hyena, Orang-Utan and a Zebra - or was he really in the boat with a cook, sailor and his mother? Is this second scenario at all plausible? (I think not)

    I loved the part where they first arrive on the island and night falls where Richard Parker comes back to the boat where he lays down licking his feet and meiowing (pg 262). 20 pages later and we find that the algae turns acidic at night time. I do like books that through in sentences that do not seem out of place, but bring something to the story when you know future details. This is one reason why I think this book would benefit greatly from a second reading and is, in my opinion, why books such as this and 'The God of Small Things' (1997) win the Booker prize.
    Judges must read these books several times in order to judge a winner, and the fact it is better the second, or the third, time is one reason why they deserve to win.

    We see from Mr Patel's parenting techniques at the start of the book that all animals are dangerous. Pi would, therefore, still have been in danger if his sole companion had been the Zebra, Orang-utan or the Hyena. Was the Tiger the most dangerous of the animals, in relation to Pi, on the boat? Would the novel have been drastically different if it had been one of the other animals who was featured instead of RP? Do you think this 'lesson in life' was valuable to Pi on his journey?
    As we know, the novel features many religious aspect. Pi even mentions that his brother would call him Noah. How similar is this story to that of Noah's ark where the tide came to cleanse the good and wash away the sinners?

    What genre of book is this? Would it be a drama, comedy, tragedy? Did the book have a happy ending?

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

    Mxx
     

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