“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

Life of Pi

(Author: Yann Martel) + (Year: 2006) + (Goodreads)


“As an aside, story of sole survivor, Mr. Piscine Molitor Patel, Indian citizen, is an astounding story of courage and endurance in the face of extraordinarily difficult and tragic circumstances. In the experience of this investigator, his story is unparalleled in the history of shipwrecks. Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.”


Yann Martel tried to get “Life of Pi” published in the UK numerous times, to no avail. The book was later published Canada and became very successful worldwide. Then came the issue of the movie. It was considered “unfilmable”. No one wanted to undertake the task. Until Ang Lee created his 2012 masterpiece. Now, the “Life of Pi” movie was absolutely brilliant, in my opinion. It was a feast for the senses, visually astounding. It was claimed that the book is “unfilmable” – I think it’s quite the opposite. The book without the movie is not was powerful. There are so many things that are described in the book but if you are not familiar with them you cannot grasp the beauty of it.


Richard Parker: every one of us knows how a tiger looks, right? But can you, in all honesty manage to imagine how a tiger looks through this sort of a journey? His might and glory is beautifully woven into the narrative of the book, but can you imagine him at his weakest, at his greatest moments of distress and wonder?


I was completely underwhelmed by the description in the book. Maybe the reason is that I first saw the movie and I expected the true glory of Lee’s creation to be mirrored in the book.

Overall, I liked the language, aside from the scenes where Pi actually speaks while on the boat. For unknown to me reasons his speeches are lavish and pompous and make him look very foolish.
I was once again deeply disturbed by the other story – it is the one thing about “Life of Pi” that will never leave me. I know that maybe I’m supposed to be touched by the adventure with the Bengal tiger, but I can’t help imagining that event and the absolute and utter horror of it. The shipwreck has nothing to the rest of the story. I was chilled to the bone by the narrative in the book, even though I already knew what was going to happen.
My feelings are mixed, because I like the story, in general, but at some moments I didn’t feel sorry for the character, actually, I felt nothing at all, I just had to read on. That’s why I’m giving it the three stars.


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