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Yann Martel: Life of Pi

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

  1. curiouswonder

    curiouswonder New Member

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    so many books, so few eyes
    I'll just add my "Yes" to the masses here. One of my favorite reads from last year.

    J
     
  2. Ronny

    Ronny Well-Known Member

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    It was very good, you should read it :)
     
  3. WoundedThorns

    WoundedThorns New Member

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    hm i kept seeing that book everywhere during the summer. it wouldn't hurt giving it a try :)
     
  4. ions

    ions New Member

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    Yann Martel's Life of Pi. No closer to believing in God than I was before. Still a great book. Tremendous ending. I'd say more but the Life of Pi Discussion is encompassing. I have nothing more to add other than to say I enjoyed it.
     
  5. bookslave102

    bookslave102 New Member

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    I know this thread is old but...

    I read 'life of pi' for an optional reading thing at work (they recommend a new book every few weeks and then there's a discussion after work, cheesy I know) -- great book.
     
  6. Sanitha

    Sanitha New Member

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    Pi Embarking His Place With Religion and God

    This was such a cute book and beautifully written. Pi is an interesting character that's been through so much-(exploring, confronting, etc.) The author brilliantly merged so many aspects of life and spirituality in the book. When Pi goes off to search for the truth of God, he's initially a Hindu but then finds about Christianity and starts contrasting it to what he was brought up on. Then, he spends time learning about Islam. He considers himself a devotee to all the religions but after being told that this can't be done, he says that he just loves God. They included Judaism in the book too, though he hadn't had time to convert into it. Funny book, a must read!
     
  7. Flowerdk4

    Flowerdk4 New Member

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    I have just finished reading the book and is trying to get my head around it. I have read all your comments and here is what I have come up with so far as far as understanding the book.

    I believe the story is about a man/boys struggle and understanding of what life and what religion is, what to believe in, how to live etc etc.

    His descriptions about the animals in the zoo and how humans tend to transfer human behaviour/emotions on animals, shows us the difference between animal and human. More importantly the difference between living like animals and becoming a human. Jesus talks about this in the bible, that we should not live like animals, we are spiritual human beings and we need to wake up and develope. So some animals on earth doesnt seem to have this ability but the human animal does. In case of us being the most dangerous animal on earth, then I think he is talking about us having a conscious, a skill to think, to choose, and therefor we are not to be trusted, where animals are very simple, his father knows whats wrong with the animals if they behave in a strange way etc. You dont always know whats wrong with a person or what their intentions are.

    I like the idea of the ship being God leaving. Actually throwing Pi into the world and find his own way. Dont we always say, you have a free will? That you can decide on your own if you want to believe in God, he will always be there and its up to you to open up your heart and believe.
    At one point Pi is struggling with God. In my book its on page 216. He talks about how hard it is to believe and trust in God. My translation:" Trust in God is equell with opening up, let go, en deep trust, a free declaration of love - but sometimes its so hard to love"

    This is something he has to figure out on his own. Its very exsistential. No one can do it for him. When leaving the ship, he talks about what it means to miss his family. His brother=vitness, father=guidance, mother=sun over his head.

    I believe that the 3 animals on the boat represent the 3 religons. Muslims=the fighter, Christianity=the heart/mother/Maria, Hinduism=exotic, non-violent, Ghandi.
    The tiger for me is the subconscious. Its beautifull, strong, takes úp a lot of space, and has to be tamed. At first he does not notice it=he has no connection/hasnt opened up yet. During his trip he has to find a way to live with the animal, fight for his own room. The tiger is an animal=instinct=subconscious, big, strong and not to be trusted, but can be tamed.

    The small island, I think, is a place where you go when there is only dispair left, nothing to believe in. Then you tend to grap whatever comes by. At first he thinks he is in heaven with food and trees etc. But the fish dies=fish=Jesus. There are no other animals on the place than the small (cant remember their names). No birds, no fruit, no flowers. To live like this and to have no solid ground, a base to stand upon and live from, will eat you up from the inside. What you think is good is only a veil, a temptension which is only a passing good.

    I am not so sure about the episode where he goes blind. I think it may have to do with something, he does not want to face/to see.

    When he comes to Mexico, he is sad that the tiger just runs out of his life. I think, his journey is done and he therefor doesnt need to have this close connection with the subconscious. It will live somewhere, it doesnt die.
    At the hospital he has reached a state in what I believe is something they talk about in buddhism. He realizes that the world is objective. Your mind and your feelings makes the world a subjective place to live, and thats what life is about. Man cannot live objectively. He needs to believe, come to turns with himself, what his mind and his feelings is doing and understand that what he believes is ONLY his subjective truth. It is his way of interpretating the world. There are many other truths. This is the reason why the story begins with "this story will make you believe in God".

    By the way, 3 is a magical number. It has appeared in the bible and is often used in fairytales.

    Flower
     
  8. Quenore

    Quenore New Member

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    An interesting take on the island and I think it could definately be an answer to it. The only other thing I really couldn't figure out was the significance of the other blind man in the other boat. Most likely a hallucination of the delerious Pi, it still has to mean something more than a test of faith, after all, his entire ordeal was a test of faith. At any rate the book was phenomenal. I don't believe in anything any more than I did before I started the book, but it certainly made me think.
     
  9. steffee

    steffee Active Member

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    I thought that too, the blind man on the boat was a complete mystery to me. I could see the significance of the island, and everything else, and could suspend disbelief up until that point, but being blind, and finding another blind man, what are the odds of that? (Aside from the odds of anything else that happened, happening, lol)

    And as for the religion thing, too. I don't believe in more or less than I did before either. I was interested in world religions before, but I think whether you were or not, it won't have changed (that much) for most people.

    But yes. it made me think to. It was quite an exhilerating read.
     
  10. steffee

    steffee Active Member

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    I thought that too, the blind man on the boat was a complete mystery to me. I could see the significance of the island, and everything else, and could suspend disbelief up until that point, but being blind, and finding another blind man, what are the odds of that? (Aside from the odds of anything else that happened, happening, lol)

    And as for the religion thing, too. I don't believe in more or less than I did before either. I was interested in world religions before, but I think whether you were or not, it won't have changed (that much) for most people.

    But yes. it made me think too. It was quite an exhilerating read.
     
  11. mpop

    mpop kickbox

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    Life of Pi was ok. I had a hard time geting into it, but after about 80 pages it started to make sense.
    I think the author is Indian. That explains a lot his religious beliefs. I travel through India two times, for 4 months each time and I became accostumed to their beliefs. Indians are very spiritual people. Hence you can understand why the author becomes so religious in his book.
    The book is an interesting read to analyze. I still don't understand the meaning of that book. I guess it has to do with finding your way to survive. the great lesson should be that you can be a survivor no matter what.
    I loved the island chapter in the book. it was magical.
     
  12. Baddie

    Baddie New Member

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    From www.randomhouse.ca
    Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963 of peripatetic Canadian parents. He grew up in Alaska, British Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Ontario and Mexico, and has continued travelling as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India. Yann Martel lives in Montreal. So he is considered as an Canadian author.

    I've just finnished Life of Pi and will make my comment on it later on.
     
  13. Emilia

    Emilia New Member

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    I find it surprising you guys didn't like the religious parts?! I just thought they were the best, I really enjoyed the part were it becomes clear that Pi is involved with three religions. But in fact I loved the whole novel, it had an original view on philosophy and an honesty about cruel nature.
     
  14. Wintergreen

    Wintergreen New Member

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    I enjoyed Life of Pi, but the structure was odd. For most of part one I was wondering when we were going to get a move on and get shipwrecked, and then for most of part two I was bored of the shipwrecked situation, which was strung out for far too long. Part three was a satisfactory ending, but it didn't make me belive in God as promised at the start. I would use the same main argument (that you should believe in the better story) to justify the story of the universe as revealed by the scientific method. It's a much more interesting story than the narrow-minded worldview of the Bible at least. (I haven't read the Muslim or Hindu creation stories, but I suspect they are not any more appealing.)
     
  15. Heckofarush

    Heckofarush New Member

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    Yann: Life of Pi

    I read this book about two years ago and I vividly remember thinking about the book even being consumed by it for days after reading it. It is definitely a book I need to put on my list of re-reads. I thought the story was unique and fascinating. I found the book as a whole was extrodinarily interesting even the parts about the religion. Here at work we have been bringing in more contractors from different countries and I was starting to learn about some of this religion/customs at the time so I found it very eye opening to read more about the specific beliefs.

    My next kitty will be named Richard Parker :D
     
  16. Dork

    Dork New Member

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    I loved this book, I cannot remember too much since I read in 03 I just remember feeling so happy and warm inside after I read it. awww.myspacesmilies.com_smilies_love0043.gif
    Total brain candy.
     
  17. jennifer1975

    jennifer1975 New Member

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    I went to the zoo just yesterday and had a totally different perspective towards the caged animals.

    AND, while looking at the bengals, I completely went over the whole goat in the cage incident with Richard Parker. I loved it!

    I loved being able to take the scene of an amimal in a cage and make it more exciting in my head and I couldnt help but look at the cage as the animals home and not a prison cell. I imagined myself in the "cage" with the rams or the bear, and found it so interesting to know and understand more of the animals instincts and behavior patterns.

    Great book and I'd love to discuss it!
     
  18. Maizara

    Maizara New Member

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    I've not read this thread fully yet but for your information, I've just abandoned Life of Pi. I love the beginning of the story. The description of the sloth is so adorable. That grabbed me to read further. And when it came to religion, -the part where I found out some other members had problems with- I actually didn't really mind. Since I do know of people who really embraced various religions, it would be interesting to see things in their perspective. But when the boat started to sink, I started to lose interest. It could be because I can't quite imagine the situation they are in? Or maybe the way it is written. The question I would like to ask is, does it get better? Is it worth trying to continue reading?
     
  19. imhere4beer

    imhere4beer New Member

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    Blaaaagh!!!
     
  20. imhere4beer

    imhere4beer New Member

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    One word: Yes. The ending really makes you look at the book in a completely different light; you may decide you don't like the way it ends (I didn't!), but it is definitely interesting.
     

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