Thursday, January 06, 2005

Book Club Verdict: Life of Pi

The overall verdict was that it was better than both Wicked and Englishman, although it was a bit slow. There were parts we liked, and parts that weren't believable, and parts we didn't understand how they fit into the overall story. Basically, there were three areas that got the most attention:

The beginning, pre-lifeboat. The first part of the book describes how Pi goes to different religious institutions to find and worship God, and feels comfortable worshiping Jesus, Allah, and the Hindu gods equally. The confrontation between Pi's parents and the priest, Imam, and the ascetic was pretty amusing. However, it wasn't clear to us how it fit in with the whole being-stranded-on-a-lifeboat, except in a grand-scheme-of-things-metaphor way. I enjoyed it, though.

The floating island. Karen and Steph thought it was weird and strange, while I though it was cool in a surreal way. How did those meerkats get on there in the first place, and how had they survived long enough to thrive? Should Pi have stayed there or was he right to have moved on before the island killed him?

The *SPOILER ALERT* two versions of his account. We all found it sad, and somewhat disturbing. How did he survive, and which version was true? We spent much time discussing which version of events was the true one, and why he would have made it up.

In the end, we decided that it had been a hard book to get into, and was generally likeable. It wasn't beloved, and it wasn't anything I would have finished if I was reading it on my own. But a good read if you put in the effort.