Awards: The Man Booker Prize Winner
‘Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel claims that it will turn you into a believer of the Almighty. With a young boy stranded at sea with a Bengal Tiger on board, the book can swing from wonderfully good to horribly bad. Thankfully for us, this book inches towards the former.
Piscine Molitor Patel, named after a French swimming pool is a zookeeper’s son in the picturesque town of Pondicherry. The first part of the book highlights his upbringing, as a good Indian boy. We see that Pi is quite ingenious, like most protagonists. He manages to spread the mantra of “Three! Point! One! Four!” and become Pi. Originally born a Hindu, Pi displays interest in each religion he comes across and this is definitely the most crucial and well-handled part of the book. Martel here introduces each religion as a seed and leaves it to grow in the reader’s hands. This part of the book is deftly written. At this time, Pi learns much about the animals of the zoo, a part that is of great significance. And of course, this would come of great use to Pi later. Then, Pi and his family are shifting to Canada and also transferring the zoo by way of ship.
In part two of the book, we see that the ship has sunk. And Pi is stuck in the middle of the ocean with a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker, an orang-utan, a zebra and a hyena. This is main part of the book at Pi highlights his 227 days of survival at sea with the help of a humble survival kit and the sense of animals that Pi has acquired over the years. Here, we see the Pi is torn. Between his belief for God. At one point, he is in despair – emotional and physical, and at other times he is in awe of the creations on the planet. But he doesn’t give up, and at the point that all seems lost, hope comes out to him and his conviction is strengthened.
You know that Pi is going to survive, of course. But you need to know how and that is what keeps you hooked on to this part. It maybe a little dragging at points, but not unbearably so. Yann Martel narrates the story dazzlingly and leaves you hooked. You are left at the mercy of his storytelling and often cannot help but be sucked in. This book is not just
about the survival story of a boy lost at sea after shipwreck. It is much more indeed. Questions like, are the sky and sea wonderous creations of God or are they just simply sea and sky? Is the big brute beast Richard Parker simply that or does this animal too have feelings and attachments?
The young Pi sounds too old to be true, but then again the story often strains to a point beyond credulity. This is where Martel questions your trust. And leaves you enriched with a great story at the cost. ‘Life of Pi’ claims that it will turn you into a believer of the Almighty. Because, this can either be a just simply a great story or much more. It is all about your
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
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