Yann Martel, I don't know what to think about you and Pi's life.
Basically, Pi is a person, not a number. He grows up in India where he secretly practices three religions--Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Pi's father runs the city's zoo, giving Pi a chance to observe and learn from the various animals. Political problems in India force Pi's parents to pack up the family (and some zoo animals) and hop aboard a cargo ship headed for Canada.
The ship sinks. Pi is the sole survivor--besides a Bengal tiger (as if the cover didn't give that away). Our little hero uses all sorts of intimidation, restriction of food and water, and poop touching (yes...) to show the tiger who's boss. In the end, Pi spends over 200 days in a lifeboat with Richard Parker (the tiger) before washing up in Mexico.
- The book is written as if author Yann Martel were writing a biography of little Pi. He goes on about interviewing Pi and whatnot. It's fiction, though. This irritates me. I understand it's a different literary style than I'm used to...but let's just say I had a traumatic and childhood-memory-ruining experience with a book written as if the author were telling someone else's story.
- You're all-What's she going on about?
- Let's just say that certain authors *coughWilliamGoldencough* wrote books with prolouges about the book being an abridgement of some superawesome and romantic story from years ago. I was completely devastated when I read the abridgement and discovered that it was actually complete crap. The abridgement is the original--and only--version. I'm still angry about being mislead.
- Even Baby Fred Savage's part was written into the book. And notes about how Golden was cutting out a 700 page description on the trees in the area. (This was the root--Har!--of my suspicion. People like trees. I don't know anyone that likes them enough to write a 700 page description, though.)
- I'm a little bummed. Martel is a really great writer. He didn't give me anything to mock. Maybe that's a good thing.
- The first third of the book details Pi's life in India. It really stresses Pi's practicing of three religions. After the first third, all we hear about the religions again is a mention of Pi's religious studies in college and how he prayed each morning in the lifeboat. Why was there such a stress on the religion, then? Pi doesn't credit his survival to religion. Instead, he mentions his skills as a zookeeper's son as keeping him alive.
- Pi's family is en route to Canada when the ship sinks. I think that means something. It means that he was given the chance to escape Canada. For whatever reason, he still wants to go to Canada.
- As a Midwestern Irish-Canadian girl, I think I have the right to tell Pi that I'm sorry. I'm sorry you have to move to Canada. It's a lot like Michigan (except our cops drive cars rather than horses) (and we don't have doofy accents. Sometimes.) except it's Canada.
- And, yes, Pi. If we ever met, I would totally look down on you for voluntarily moving to Canada. Much like I would look down on anyone else in the world for moving to northern Michigan. The negative wind chill screams So. Not. Worth. It. and yet you still did it. Stupid.
- The entire book centers around Pi and his battle with this tiger on the life boat. Hate to break it to y'all, but the tiger is seasick the entire time. Basically, it doesn't move from the bottom of the boat. There is very little battle involved.
- The last section of the book---Whoa. Shit just starts going down left and right. I won't even go there because if someone did choose to read this bad boy, it would completely ruin the book.
- If nothing else, Pi is a determined kid. He survived well over 200 days in this boat. I don't think I'd have that kind of perseverance or the stomach for all the raw fish and turtle. Nope. I wouldn't survive.
- A couple friends read--and loved--this book before. I read reviews about it being a literal page turner. I came in with these high hopes. To be honest, though, I wasn't blown away. I was a little concerned about how Martel was going to get 401 pages out of sitting on a life boat.
- The last chapter, though, completely made the book for me. It's definitely worth it.