Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Enchanting World We Live In: Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Harcourt, 2001

Yes, I know that I was 14 years late to the party, but let's just be happy that I got there at all. Actually, a big part of me is grateful that it took me so long - I'm positive that had I read this book when I was younger, I wouldn't have fully appreciated it. So in that sense, this book was worth waiting for the right moment.

In this modern classic, Yann Martel crafts the story of Pi Patel, a man who may seem ordinary at first glance, but has actually lived an extraordinary life. Growing up in India where his family owned and operated a zoo, Pi was always a bit of an outsider. After all, how many people do you know who are Christian, Hindu, and Islamic all at once? Well, Pi is. He just loves God, simple as that. And all of Pi's faith is put to the test when a storm destroys the ship he and his family and their animals are traveling on to Canada. Somehow Pi makes it into a lifeboat, along with a fully grown Bengal tiger.

Martel's writing is rich and lush, and considering how much of this book revolves around discussions on religion and faith, I never found it to be preachy. It was conversational yet poetic prose, opening my mind and heart to a simultaneously eloquent and simple look at God, giving a much-needed boost to my personal beliefs. In the survival sections of the book, Pi's hallucinations, trials, and struggles are raw and gripping - even though the structure of the narrative meant as a reader, I knew things would turn out, I was still invested in Pi's safety and

If you are looking for a novel that will challenge you, that will you push you to look at the harsh world we live in through magical, loving, compassionate, and courageous eyes, then pick up Life of Pi if you haven't done so already. I know I'm glad I did.

Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

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