‘Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel

I’ve seen this book around stores for years but never bothered to take a closer look how stupid of me. The german title sounded more like a children’s book and I’ve never been into them, even as a kid or teen. After it was turned into a movie and got nominated for several Oscars I decided I needed to check it it though and thank god I did.

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‘Life of Pi’ is so different from what I expected and in a good way. It’s been a long time since I read a book that made me grab the pencil on my nightstand to highlight paragraphs or sentences in a book but this one managed to within the first 10 pages. It didn’t make me believe any more in God than I did before but I have a very particular opinion of God and religion that’s not for this post do discuss.

The beginning is great even though sometimes a little bit exposition heavy, when Pi’s experiences with finding faith are explained or the zoo and the animals and all that stuff is explained. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading it. It’s not an easy story, Pi loses so much and he suffers a great deal. I ┬ákept wondering if I would have been as resourceful in his position or if I would have made it as far as he did and I don’t think so even though that’s almost impossible for me to answer since I’ve never even been close to a situation like his.

It’s a wonderful book and I kind of regret not having read it sooner but I believe in right times for books and this was mine to read this one. The prose is wonderful, it made my heart sing at times and cry at others. I applaud the author’s ability to put this man’s struggle into words that are equally beautiful and heartbreaking.

Here are some quotes I loved:

The reason death stick so closely to life isn’t biological necessity – it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.

All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways.

At the rate you’re going, if you go to temple on Thursday, mosque on Friday, synagogue on Saturday and church on Sunday, you only need to convert to three more religions to be on holiday for the rest of your life.

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  • AbsentElemental

    The fact that the book is overtly religious is part of what caused me to shy away from it in the first place, long before the movie came out. The previews for the movie were less than interesting to me, so seeing a positive review of the book was a bit unexpected. Glad to hear you liked it though, I may look into it a bit more down the road (once I finish my other reading projects).

    • The religious part is not that bad. Pi basically goes through all available religions making it less of an “God is great” thing. It’s just a thing of his personality but it wasn’t too bad and I think that says something because I hate glorification of any religion and am not that into it.

      I haven’t seen the movie yet and the trailers I watched looked very different from what I pictured while reading the book.

      • AbsentElemental

        As someone who’s dated women from multiple religious backgrounds, I find that so long as the religious views of the person in question aren’t shoved in my face, I tend to be alright with most anyone. It’s people who shove religion in my face, or who use religion for their own personal gain, that upset me.

        • Same here. You just summed up my own sentiments perfectly. Everyone can believe in whatever they want but I think it’s a private thing and not more.

          • AbsentElemental

            Exactly. That’s one (of a couple) reasons I choose not to talk about religion on my blog that often. When I do, I find that I typically manage to offend someone (usually family or my girlfriend), so I’ve found it best just to keep my mouth shut.

          • Yep, very touchy subject I shy away from in my blog and in real life conversations.

  • I loved this book, and I really wanted to see the film because I thought it had the potential for some amazing visuals. It didn’t disappoint on that front.

    But your review has made me think of another book entirely. What you said about there being a right time to read certain books.

    I was out shopping with a couple of friends one day, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo was on sale beside the till, for something like a pound. And my friend kept insisting I had to buy it because it was most the most amazing book ever, and everybody in the world ought to read it. So I bought it, just to shut him up, and when I got home I put it on a shelf and forgot about it because it didn’t look like my sort of thing.

    Fast forward a couple of years, and my friend died. And then I had the thought that, we’ll, I suppose I’d better read your stupid book then. And I did. And it helped. It really, really helped me to feel better about the whole thing. And that was the absolute perfect time to have read that particular book.

    • It’s funny how books can help us at certain points in time. I tend to buy a lot of books and then I don’t read them for a while because I don’t feel like it. I wait until I do because otherwise I know I would’t enjoy them as much.

      Thanks for reading :)