Friday, 24 March 2017

Life of Pi

My review 

Novels about animals run the risk of over-anthromorphizing the creatures, which can make the book sappy or manipulative (emotionally speaking). Yann Martel's "Life of Pi" manages to craft a story built largely around a 16-year-old boy and a Bengal tiger. Not a fluffy, Tigger-like companion, but a real-life 500 pound, hungry tiger. You're stuck with it on a 23 foot long raft in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. What do you do?
Martel packs quite a bit into the book: Are zoos awful places? How do you tame tigers? How do you catch fish in the middle of the ocean? Do animals get seasick? Can you be a practicing Christian, Hindu, and Muslim at the same time?
Not only that, Martel writes with a true wit. In describing how the main character's dad ended up going from being a hotelkeeper to a zookeeper, Martel writes: "In many ways, running a zoo is a hotelkeeper's worst nightmare. Consider: the guests never leave their rooms; they expect not only lodging but full board. . . . One has to wait until they saunter to their balconies, so to speak, before one can clean their rooms, and then one has to wait until they tire of the view and return to their rooms before one can clean their balconies; and there is much cleaning to do, for the guests are as unhygienic as alcoholics."
The book sparkles with observations like that, making it very difficult to put down. Once I got into it about a third of the way, I keep reading until I finished it. And that was while I was on vacation in Las Vegas!

Release date   may 1,2003
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Book Description 
The beloved and bestselling novel and winner of the Booker Prize, Life of Pi.
New York Times Bestseller * Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Washington Post Bestseller * San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller * Chicago Tribune Bestseller
"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction."—Los Angeles Times Book Review
After the sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan—and a 450-pound royal bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years.
Universally acclaimed upon publication, Life of Pi is a modern classic.


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