I finished reading Yann Martel’s ‘Life of Pi’ yesterday and I can’t not write a post about it. Of course, a warning about potential spoilers, etc and possibly points that some people may disagree on but that’s ok, I guess.
Firstly, I’d like to say that, for a book about a boy stranded in a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it’s quite incredible and captivating. It’s a great novel. I like novels that are different – not just in terms of the story, but also the way it is written. I actually like that ‘Life of Pi’ was written in a way that made it feel like it was a true, researched story. Usually I don’t read the “author’s note” or introduction to a novel, but I read the one of ‘Life of Pi’ out of curiosity when I was only a little bit into the book. And good thing that I did, since it’s kind of important for the “true story” impression of the rest of it.
I’d say most of the stuff in ‘Life of Pi’ is plausible (referring to the animal story, here). I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was actually a true story – amazed, yes, but not surprised – except the part about the carnivorous island. A floating island that’s harmless by day but dangerously acidic by night? No way! I can’t believe that the teeth of the previous castaway would have survived when everything else didn’t. And why wouldn’t the acidity have been activated when Pi ate the algae? I mean, it still dissolved the rope he used to tie a bundle of it to the boat after he’d cut it up…
As to the big question at the end: I prefer the main story, with the animals. It’s much more interesting and much less gruesome. I’d rather not get into the religion side of things too much, so that brief comment will have to do.
I remember when the film came out earlier this year, some people (critics? can’t remember who exactly) were saying that ‘Life of Pi’ was a novel that could not be filmed. Well, clearly it could be filmed. Don’t know what part(s) of the novel gave them the idea that it couldn’t be filmed. They must have underestimated modern cinematography.
Anyway, I’m getting quite sleepy. Trying to go to bed earlier hasn’t exactly been working.