I recently finished reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It was amazing and I immediately reccommended it to everyone. One friend said “I dunno. It’s about a boy stuck in the middle of the ocean with a tiger. That doesn’t seem very exciting.” I conceeded to her point. When I first read the summary on the back cover I wasn’t to excited about reading it either. But it had been reccommended to me and once I started reading I was hooked. So, if you are like my friend and don’t see a reason to read a book about a boy, a lifeboat and a tiger, allow me to give you 5 compelling reasons.
- Exquisite Language– Martel is a literary artist whose words paint amazing pictures in the imagination of his readers. Although his main character is stuck in the middle of the ocean for half the book, he finds such beautiful ways of describing sea creatures, storms, sunrises and water that it feels as if the story changes settings with every chapter.
- A surprising amount of action and suspense– You might be tempted to think that this book will be similar to the movie Castaway. There is a major difference, however. Pi, the main character, is not stuck at sea or on a deserted island alone. There are animals onboard with him and each of them have distinct personalities that cause conflict, action and suspense. Plus, he is at sea for an insane amount of time and overcomes the most challenging obstacles. His day to day survival is a continued source of suspense.
- The ending will make you want to read it again– I liked the book until I got to the ending, then I loved it. I won’t say much on this point because I don’t want to give anything away, but honestly the ending was a complete surprised and changed my outlook on the whole book. When I’m done going through my book bucket list, I plan on reading Life of Pi again. Knowing how it ends will give me new insights into the rest of the book.
- You’ll fall in love with Pi– Martel invests a good hundred pages or so at the beginning of the book introducing you to Pi and his family. He pulls you into Pi’s life and gets you emotionally invested. One way he does this is by writing as if the book is a true story. He even includes excerpts of his fictional interviews with Pi. By the time it gets to the part where Pi is at sea, you will have fallen in love with him and won’t be able to put the book down until you know his fate.
- Its a philosphical book that’s easy to read– I love books that make me think about themes: relationships, humanity, morality, religion, society, etc. I don’t like books that use complicated sentence structure and hundreds of words that I have to look up in the dictionary. Life of Pi is an easy read that is also compelling and thought provoking. Martel impresses with his story, not his pompous language.
Have you ever read Life of Pi? What did you think? What reasons would you give someone to read it or not read it?