Sunday, May 06, 2007

Book Review: Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel is a delightful piece of literary work. I can't put it down; with every turn of the page, I became curious-er and curious-er. Martel came up with an utterly imaginative story -- uplifting, hilarious and totally amusing.

Life of Pi is about a sixteen-year-old Indian boy, Pi Patel whose full name is Piscine Molitor Patel. He was named after a swimming pool in France.

Pi is a religiously-inclined boy and his curiosity in various beliefs led him to embrace all three: Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. He is also very observant and since his father is the director of a zoo, he gets plenty of animal education. He is a smart and fast learner.

One thing led to another and his father decided to close down the zoo and sold the animals to other zoos worldwide. And so they travelled together with the animals onboard the ill-fated cargo ship Tsimtsum. Pi's family perished in the tragic sinking of the ship in the Pacific ocean. He survived the wreck along with a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Can you imagine what it is like to have such creatures as your company in a LIFE BOAT?

What follows was the story of Pi's survival in the vast ocean over many, many uncertain days. More than 200 days, to be exact. Very graphic. So much so, I couldn't stop reading. I just went on and on. Check out the clever conversation with his Japanese inquisitors at the end.

I must say, I'm totally bowled over by this must-read novel. DON'T miss it.

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