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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Life Of Pi

Recently finished reading Life Of Pi by Yann Martel, this book won the Booker Prize for 2002. One of the more interesting books I’ve read in a long, long time.

It is about an Indian teenager, called Pi Patel (short for Piscine Molitor Patel) whose father happens to be a zoo-keeper. They plan to immigrate to Canada, and set sail on a Japanese steamer with a consignment of animals. The ship sinks in a storm, and the sole survivors on a lifeboat are Pi, a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a 350 pound royal Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. What unfolds is a bizarre tale of survival, and the sheer, gory detail with which life at sea is described makes you believe that the author actually went through the ordeal himself.

The writing gets heavier as the book progresses, and the end is a totally unexpected twist, which makes you challenge all that you have just read. I hated the ending at first read, but a little thought over some days made it sink in, and made me appreciate it all the more. Few books have the capacity to torment the reader for days after you’ve read it. The imagery is too haunting to forget easily. You keep referring to earlier passages to ferret out the broad hints/red herrings. You either like the ending, or you don't.

The book is full of metaphors, and throws up some very interesting views on Religion and God.

A must-read if you are looking for something out of the ordinary, and something which makes you think and question, rather than blindly accept.
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