Review: Life of Pi – Yann Martel.

Everyone surely knows the basics of the story by now, but I’ll recap: a cargo ship sinks, and all that remains is one lifeboat in the Pacific, inhabited by a hyena, zebra, orangutan, a 450-pound Bengal tiger and sixteen-year-old boy named Pi.

As a general rule, I don’t read many reviews before reading a book – I usually just scour the ratings to see how books fare when deciding whether to read them – but I came across this one a long time ago, when I first got the book, and it sprung back to mind as I finally got around to reading it. I feel like I’m going to mirror a lot of people who commented it in saying I can’t do it as much justice as her. So if you want to spare yourself my attempts, just head over there.

I might not have been quite as swept up in it as others have been, but I still couldn’t put the book down. It seems a clear-cut story, but between all his background and religious leanings and exploration of ideologies and life, you get to the end and realise there might be one narrative, but there’s several different potential meanings. The beauty of Life of Pi is not that you find closure at the end of the book, more that it leaves you to think and try pinpoint your own take on the story. As it stands, I’m still kind of at a loss.

But one thing I do enjoy is reading theories on books, whether it’s well-read series or one-offs that really stood out, so now I get to delve into further reading to find out just quite how many interpretations of this book there are.

It was a generally unexpected twist to find this story was not exactly as I’d expected from years of seeing the movie posters and book covers, but I do like the unexpected.

Canongate Books

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