Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Life of Pi

Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
336 pages
High School+

Pi Patel is the son of a zookeeper, and knows everything about the animals they care for.  When all the animals are sold to America, Pi and his family journey with them across the ocean. When the ship sinks, Pi's life changes.

Stuck aboard a boat a tiger, a hyena, an orangutan, and a zebra.  After the tiger dispatches the others, Pi must figure out how to co-exist on a small, floating refuge with a 450-pound carnivore.  Not only does he have to survive confrontations with the tiger, he has to provide water and food for both of them.  As they float, they see amazing things...

So, this was made into a movie recently, which I haven't seen yet, but really want to.  I really enjoyed the book.  It's been a little while since I read it, but I remember having a hard time putting it down.  Pi is endlessly creative and resourceful, yet doesn't come across as arrogant or prideful.  He loves the tiger, wants him to live as much as he wants himself to live.  Such an interesting situation!

I did feel a little cheated with the ending.  I love fantastical stories, bigger than life with unexplainable elements.  The ending seemed to reverse almost everything that happened in the book.  Or does it?  That little uncertainty kept me thinking about the book long after I finished it.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable book.  The story telling was great, Pi was an amazing character, and all the symbolism gave depth to the book.  High school students should do fine with it.  If you haven't read it, read it!  Even though I haven't seen the movie, I would say read the book before you see the movie- you always understand things a little better!

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