What I Read This Week – Life of Pi

I’d remembered this book being a big deal a few years back and it had recently come up in a few discussions at my book club meetings. I hadn’t read it myself, so I thought I would check it to see what the fuss was about.

The book is separated into three parts. First the main character, nicknamed Pi, reflects on his childhood in India, as a son of a zookeeper. This leads up to plans to immigrate to Canada with his family in his teen years.

Then in part two, plans go horribly wrong as his family makes their way across the Pacific on a Japanese freighter. The boat sinks and Pi finds himself the only human survivor on a lifeboat, along with a zebra, hyena, chimpanzee and a tiger. As the days wear on, nature takes it’s course and before long, only Pi and the Tiger remain. This part of the story seemed to go on for so long I almost jumped ship (see what I did there).

Finally, in part three Pi attempts to explain his incredulous story to maritime investigators who are trying to determine why the shipwreck occurred in the first place. Part three got weird.

Life of Pi was one of those books that just didn’t quite live up to the hype for me, although I wonder how my opinion would have differed had I not heard so many people rave about it, elevating my expectations. It was defiantly original and interesting, yet I struggled to stay present throughout the bulk of it. I know there were all kinds of symbolism and insights about spirituality (Pi embraced all modern gods) interwoven in the story that I’m sure I was supposed to find profound, but I was mostly just bored.

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