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Friday, January 1, 2016

Life of Pi

I wasn't sure if I really wanted to write a review on this one but then I was like why not? So here I am! And this review is about the book that is a major hype: Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I don't really know what to think about the book to be honest.

Piscine Molitor Patel, also known as Pi, is a Tamil boy from Pondicherry. He explores different cultures and issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. His father is a zoo owner and he always loved the animals. When his parents decide they're going to move across the world, they sell their business and transport animals to another zoo by boat. 
Pi survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. This is his story...

So to be really honest, I didn't want to start this book. I have to read it for school and make a task. And as every book I need to read for school, they just aren't my thing. The genres that they want us to read are genres I absolutely don't like. I don't know why they keep doing it but they make sure that a reader starts hating to read. 

That said, I started reading it. I still don't know how to feel about the story. I didn't like it, I liked it? It's kind of a mixture, because I do feel appreciation for this book in some sort. In the beginning I didn't like it, at all. I couldn't connect with the character. I didn't always understand what he was trying to tell me. 

As we get to see more of his childhood, we see that Pi is very open for other cultures and other believes. He believes that there is a God. He starts checking out all sorts of different believes. That part I found really interesting, nowadays a lot of teens don't believe. Even kids don't believe but Pi was so focused on it and he really believed in it. It gave you no other choice than to believe a little with him. 

Then there followed a part that for me wasn't always clear and made it confusing until the part when they were on the ship. He explains a little bit when he's on the ship but the story developed really fast to where the ship is sinking. I did feel the horror he had when this whole event was taking place. Everybody is panicking, Pi doesn't find his family and get's on a lifeboat with uncertainty.

Now about that lifeboat, he describes it. Where he's sitting and were the other animals are sitting. Because yes, there are animals aboard, it kind of made me think about the ark of Noah but then a little bit more realistic. I found it very hard to understand how this lifeboat was build. English isn't my native language so that might explain why I didn't understand what a tarpaulin was. I guess not to everybody this story might be hard, but it was for me. 

After the shipwreck, I started to appreciate this book. I don't want to go into the details a lot because that'd spoil a lot. Let's just say that I really liked seeing how on such a young age, he managed to survive. What he did during those 227 days was kind of impressing! 

But I was very confused when the name 'Richard Parker' was said. I didn't understand it at all. Who was it? Why didn't he say something? Later we get to know that actually, it's a tiger. I was very dumbfounded but also a little excited. Excited because I like tigers so this made things look a little brighter. I was waiting on the tiger for a long time because I knew there'd be a tiger aboard. I only wouldn't have named him Richard Parker because that sounds very humanly. 

I also was really fond of the relationship, maybe even a friendship that's come out of this tragedy. Pi was all alone on the boat only with animals, only with Richard Parker. Richard Parker was also alone, in a total different environment. I think both got at least a little attached to each other and I found that really beautiful. 

For me this book also had a moral. Since Pi really believed in God, he talks about that a lot. He really believes that this is his only way to survive. Only if you believe in something, you'll find a way out. It doesn't have to be finding land on a boat. The lesson this book gave me can be tested on a lot of things. 

My teacher asked us the question if we'd like the book better without animals or with animals. If it would've been with other human beings on the boat? I would've had the same reactions as I did now, I think. I do guess that it'd be very interesting to see how people behave when they're on a small boat, trying to survive. 

But this story was with animals... Although many may think such things aren't possible, Pi made it seem possible. He was so convincing that I really can believe in the story and I wonder if that was the purpose of this book. To make you believe. If it was, it did make me believe in most of the story. 

Do I recommend the book? For me it'd be kind of a yes but also a no. I still don't know how I should feel about it. And because it gave me a lot of confusion, I gave it a 3.5 out of 5. It was something very extraordinary, I have to admit and yes some parts were written very beautifully. But it doesn't make it all good for when I was confused. I don't know if the film is better than the book, I haven't seen the film. If you have seen the film and read the book, which one did you appreciate more?

“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”

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