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Book Review: Life of Pi

Posted by Lissa on February 7, 2012

The book: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The short review: Wonderful! I loved it!

The long review: …. wow. Just wow.

I feel a bit like the movie promoters who were trying to advertise The Princess Bride. I mean, it’s got everything. Zoology! Spirituality! Swimming pools! Religion! Atheism! Tigers! Indian food! Adventure! Miracles!

The book starts out by exploring the life of Piscine Molitor Patel, whose family owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India. I thought it was going to be a light, dryly humorous account of boyhood – you know, Coming of Age type book with rather large hints of whimsy. Then suddenly halfway through the book it morphs into a fantastical Robinson Crusoe type epic and you’re riveted.

One might find the abrupt shift unsettling. For me, the author’s “tone” matters more than anything else. I can read about all sorts of different subjects involved in many different plots. Historical fiction, romance, drama, comedy, whatever; if I like how the author turns a phrase, I’ll read him/her. As such, it didn’t bother me; but it might bother you.

For this book more than most I’d recommend downloading the sample chapter first. If you like how the author “sounds”, I think you’ll be very pleased by the book. If it’s not your style, then don’t shell out the $8.

But me? I loved it. One of those books that I put down after reading the last page and just murmured, “My god. Oh, my god. Wow.”

May you get as much pleasure out of it!

One Response to “Book Review: Life of Pi”

  1. wrm said

    Yes. Well written and a good read.

    But just like _Only Forward_ by Michael Smith I was left trying to figure out how much was “real”.

    Maybe I should read them both again :-)

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