"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Life of Pi

I've been meaning to read this little gem of a book for several years now, and put off seeing the movie so that I could enjoy the book first. (Still haven't seen it yet. First things first.) We recently read this as part of our literary discussion group.

While it fell short technically, the story was so fascinating on its own that it carried the novel to a good place. There were several discourses I found interesting, like the religious explorations and nature of animals as evidenced by zoo life. (This book totally gave me a new perspective on the lives of zoo creatures, which I found surprisingly enlightening.)

Other themes I found interesting were:
  • the cycle of life, the drive to remain alive, self-preservation, survival
  • hierarchy, alpha and omega citizens
  • territory, environment, habitats, and the adaptation thereof
  • the interconnectedness of religions with one another and with nature
  • humans placement with other animals or as part of the animal world
  • "The measure of madness that moves life in strange but saving ways."
  • individual survival vs. empathy for others' suffering
  • the importance of family relationships
  • pain, suffering, discomfort as seen relatively
  • storytelling, passing time, imagination vs. perception
  • humans' preference for stories of animals with human traits instead of animalistic humans
There was a lot of good material to sift through. I'm sure I'll read this book again. I appreciated the ending the most, though. Stroke of genius, that.

Have you read this one yet? What were your ponderings on the ending?


  1. I loved that book. It was so powerful. It's one that I think I need to read again. I loved the ending. When I finished it I was like, "I don't know what's real anymore."

    1. When I was finished, I was like, "Dang. I'm pretty sure I know what's real, but I don't like it as much as the alternative."

  2. I liked the authors note at the beginning which stated that he as a writer struck out on every novel he wrote until he met and interviewed the real Pi. The structure of the writing in this book is weak but the story is spectacular. Martel should thank Pi for giving him a one hit wonder.