Sunday, December 16, 2012

Michelle Reviews: Life of Pi

I have had this book on my shelf for so many years and could never bring myself to read it. I think this is partly due to the cover (I am an art major after all), but also due to what the cover portrays. A boy on a boat with a tiger. So boring right? WRONG! Well sort of wrong. Allow me to explain. 

The style of the book is an easy-to-read first person narrative. It goes quickly (up to the last 200 pages) and while it doesn't require much attention, will stimulate a great deal of thought. The voice of the book is Piscine Patel, or simply Pi.

Piscine Patel is a boy living in India with his mother, father and brother Ravi. Their family owns a zoo. From a young age, the boys father has taught the boys to fear animals. But when the family decides to relocate to Canada this important lesson is challenged by fate itself. Yann Martel expertly intertwines religion and zoology into one intricately simply philosophy. At some points, Life of Pi is like watching Animal Planet at others it's like reading the Bible. While Pi is young he has no lack of wisdom. He is fascinated by religion and becomes a practicing Muslim, Christian and Hindu to the chagrin of his parents and three religious leaders. When the religious leaders say he must chose only one religion to practice, Piscine sensibly says "Bapu Gandhi said 'All religions are true.' I just want to love God." Throughout the text many wise and thought-provoking quotes are written. The religions Pi explores merge in his mind with the zoo and the lives of the animals. To Pi both religion and animals are ways to know God more deeply.

While the book does get boring towards the last 200 pages, it is worth your while.

Life of Pi takes what you believe and forces you to defend it, as well as introduces the reader to new concepts that you will want to further explore. I implore you to journey with Pi as he discovers himself and the many forms of God.

So that is my take! 
Leave your opinions in a comment below! 



  1. I felt the same way about this book. It sat around for quite awhile before I read it but then loved it.

    1. I think its because its such a calm kind of book and all of these action/fantasy books always catch my eye.

  2. Would you be interested in reviewing my new self published novel "Reflection"? It relates to what you mentioned about human behavior and the study of their conscious and subconscious psychology. If you are I would love to send you a free copy as I am really liking your reviews so far.