1. Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

Yann Martel: Life of Pi

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

  1. Ashlea

    Ashlea New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,228
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    Princes of Ireland, Edward Rutherfurd
    I found them adequate for a quick read but not as good as the 1st one. As with many sequels, the 2nd was pretty good but not quite as good as the first, the 3rd was good but not as good as the 1st 2, the 4th was merely OK.

    Also, you can use the "search" function, just pick the button from that bar up there, put in "clan cave bear" and you should be able to find that thread.
     
  2. Rogue

    Rogue New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    0
    The life of Pi by Yann Martel
    ... and I loved it. Nobody ever told me, that this is a wonderful book about zoos and animals. As a biology student I have to say that it is adorable!!!!
     
  3. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    Was it, really?

    Cheers
     
  4. Rogue

    Rogue New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sure. Life of Pi gives a lot of explanations about the behavior of animals and zoos in general. Pi's dad owns a zoo and so Pi grows up with all this animals and there are a lot of descriptions about the cages and zoo stuff like the flight distance of various animals.
    When Pi gets stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger, a zebra, a rat, an orang-utan and a hyena he has to survive by tricking the animals to not eat him. He has to apply all his knowledge about animals and their behavior to stay alive.
     
  5. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    I know, I read the book. But, in the end, was it really about a kid stranded in a boat with a zebra, a hyena and a tiger?

    Cheers
     
  6. Rogue

    Rogue New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    0
    Probably not, but I prefer the version with animals, 'cause the other one is so incredible cruel.
     
  7. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    True, very true.

    Cheers
     
  8. Jazzman

    Jazzman kickbox

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Opinion

    Hey all, just came across this site and thought this thread is as good as any to post my first ...um... post.

    I read Life of Pi about a month ago and I wrote a personal review of the novel after I had finished it. I do this after all books I read for comparison reasons.

    This is what I thought:

    "Life of Pi was a good story. Not in the sense in that it had plenty of action, lots of violence or contained an exorbitant amount of plot twists but because it contained a very original story, on a setting that has been literarily exhausted over time; the castaway.

    Despite this, I’m quite surprised that the novel was awarded as much critical acclaim that it has gotten. For a self-toted theological novel, it is quite weak on the religious aspects of Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, of which, I myself am almost totally ignorant of all but the latter. The story didn’t show me any insights on the religions themselves or even delve deeply into the finer points each religion in question has, respectively.

    The bulk of the story, where Pi is adrift, is quite good on the whole. Martel writes in detail almost everything that could possibly effect and affect Pi on his journey and explains how Pi reacts and deals with each situation. It brings a sense of survival that all good castaway stories should have. Yet, at times, I found some of his description confusing. Some of descriptions of the lifeboat and raft interaction were tipsy (pardon the pun) and left me wondering what it actually was he was writing about.

    The strongest part of the novel, in which most people should pay close attention to, is the interaction between Pi and Richard Parker. Martel obviously spent a lot of time trying to deal with and plan this relationship throughout the novel and it came off very well in the end. I am not able to say whether or not he accurately portrayed a relationship between different creatures such as these, but his explanations and details were very logical and practical.

    The novel wasn’t difficult to read. The linguistic level of the story wasn’t high, there weren’t a lot of suggested philosophical points being brought about, you weren’t expected to understand adverse emotional troubles between many characters. All the signs of a mainstream novel these days. Despite what many critics and people say, this novel is not the quality of a classic. Yet, Martel may well be on his way to being a fine writer. This, his third novel, is certainly a step up from his previous work, so, keep an eye open for him in the future."

    If any of you had the courage to read all this I would love you to share your opinions.
     
  9. murphyz

    murphyz New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Brian, welcome to the forum - and an excellent post to start you off with.

    It's been a while since I read Life of Pi, so can't recall everything in detail, but I pretty much agree with what you have written.

    As a theological novel I don't think it was expecting to delve deeply into any specific religion. I thought the point of it, and of Pi, is that you don't have to be true to one faith in order to believe. Pi did not want to choose one religion, as he could not see one being better, or worse, than any of the others. This was reflected in the lessons taught by his father in the zoo stressing the importance that no single animal is more or less dangerous than any other.
    Also, skipping to the end of the novel and the twist on reality that is provided, Martel once again places the belief into the hands of the reader. He offers us, and the Japanese transport authorities, two stories and it is up to us which one we find the most suitable to please ourselves. I'm personally quite thankful that it didn't try to do anything too indepth and offered us theology at it's roots instead of delving into the scientific minutiae.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on other books you've read. Again, welcome.

    Mxx
     
  10. Ledley King

    Ledley King New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Surely at the end he spells out that the animal story is not true:
    "Mr Okamoto: 'We'll be careful when we drive away. We don't want to run into Richard Parker.'
    Pi Patel: 'Don't worry, you won't. He's hiding somewhere you'll never find him' "

    Surely this implies that the other story is true: that he was "the tiger" and he has put that violent edge away for good now.

    Thoughts?
     
  11. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    8,575
    Likes Received:
    1
    Currently Reading:
    The Fry Chronicles
    He doesn't exactly spell it out, but he does hint at what you're saying. It's never spellt out, though. He never, beyond any shred of doubt, say that one story is true as opposed to the other.

    Cheers
     
  12. Jonathan

    Jonathan New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Catch 22
    Hello, this is my first time on these forum and I was immediately attracted to this discussion. I noticed some of you are commenting about the end of the book, it boils down to a question of "what/who do you believe?" My friend brought up the interesting suggestion that the story that a reader might believe in really reflects his or her religious beliefs. The book was a great example of what faith is..you choose what you want to believe..and what you choose to believe is dependant on you personality. Does one want to believe the cold hearted "truth" or the "fantasy" that was given to us. It raises a question of what state of mind we are in, also whether we are pessimistic or optimistic. I always that the very interesting ending of "Life of Pi" was a litmus test for a persons personality, I found this made sense to people I have discussed the book with, atheists always tend to see the "unromantic side" while religious people likfe to go with that fantasy. Does this book say something about religion through the sides people take when they close the book?
     
  13. Nosferatu Man

    Nosferatu Man New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Gabriel García Márquez' 'Of Love and Other Demons'
    OK, I haven't read the book yet, but I'd just like to make a quick point. People have said that Pi accepts all religions (and I respect that in him, because I think if you want to accept one religion, you have to accept them all. Likewise, if you don't agree with one religion, you have to disagree with them all) but he doesn't seem to open up the possibility of living without a religion. I would respect him a lot more if he came to the conclusion that all religions are based on rubbish, and he can live his life without any of them.

    Sorry that was a very unwise opinion, but I'll probably read the book soon and get to know Pi a little better.
     
  14. fluffy bunny

    fluffy bunny Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    World War Z - Max Brooks
    Don't worry- he comments on agnostics and atheists ;)
     
  15. Ledley King

    Ledley King New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    To be fair, he doesn't embrace Judahism. I guess because there are few Jews in India?
     
  16. Nosferatu Man

    Nosferatu Man New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Gabriel García Márquez' 'Of Love and Other Demons'
    Oh right, blimey... I don't know, Ledley.

    Fluffy Bunny: oh right. I don't really know if I'd call myself agnostic or atheist. I'm certainly not an atheist because I don't think anyone can say that God definately doesn't exist or that it definately does exist. I don't really think I'd call myself agnostic either - even though I technically would be called agnostic (maybe). I think God does exist though, and that it basically is 'The Universe'. And also I reckon we all have a spirit and that the Universe is one a 'big' spirit. So when I think of God, I don't think of it as a big old guy sat on a fluffy white cloud in 'heaven', I think of it as the Universe, and also as a part inside you. It's certainly got nothing to do with any man-made religion. That much I know. If you understand my meaning...
     
  17. Ou Be Low hoo

    Ou Be Low hoo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Number9dream
    I'm not sure that I do...No religion claims to be 'man-made', they all hold their creation to be as a result of divine providence...

    As for the bookety-book-book, I loved 'The Life Of Pi'...At first, I thought it was going to be too religious in tone...The beginning certainly gives that impression, but after wading through that, I was lovin it...
     
  18. chaos421

    chaos421 kickbox

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    i really enjoyed this book. this is also my first post on this forum.

    the whole way through the book, i was very enthralled with the story. for all of you who say the original story is implausable, what were you thinking the whole time you were reading? a tiger on the life raft, spending so many days out at sea, encountering a floating island. all things i am able to believe. the teeth in the plants, and the part about bumping into the other blind man's raft... those i'm confused about. in the end, it seems as though martel wants us to believe that the original story is a fake. then again, perhaps it's only pi who wants us to believe him as a way of entering society again.

    i want to believe the original story. having said that, i keep having to remind myself that this is a novel. which is a sign that this was such a moving book.

    i look forward to your comments...
     
  19. Laurah

    Laurah New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Green River, Runs Red. Ann Rule
    Loved It

    I loved this book. I thought the symbolism was fascinating and the story/plot philosophical. Though not heavily theological, it is a religious based allegory examining the relationships of the largest religions and challenging the origination of our beliefs - much as The Cave allegory by Plato.

    Its simple enough of a book that my teenage sons have read it and of course they enjoyed the adventure but it has proven to be a great book to introduce them to critical analysis, philosophical debate, symbolism, etc.

    The only thing holding this book back is its poorly announced plan to make one believe in God. I can only assume that Yann felt it necessary to throw that right out in the beginning to set up the allegory, as to not let his readers miss his point.
     
  20. Ou Be Low hoo

    Ou Be Low hoo New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    0
    Currently Reading:
    Number9dream
    I totally agree with your concise understanding of this aspect of the story. The beginning is totally bogged down in the religious base of the story. I know many friends who, when I recommended this book to them, were put off by the opening chapters...I have told them to get through it and let the magical story fly, but some people don't like the dirty taint of religion - no matter how good the story is...
     

Share This Page