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What We’re Reading: Life of Pi

Post by Kathy Stewart
Posted January 24, 2014 in NoveList Bookshelf

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Life of Pi by Yann Martel

ISBN: 9780151008117

"That's what fiction is about, isn't it, the selective transforming of reality?"

One evening, my husband suggested a movie, Life of Pi. Though I was burned out from the relentless barrage of TV sports, and had no other book to read, his question gave me pause. Unbeknownst to him, I had a history with Life of Pi -- my book club read it long ago -- but I didn't. Not for lack of trying.  Full disclosure: I-Just-Couldn't-Get-Into-It. This despite my club’s chiding that we were not a "chapter one club." And it seemed as though readers everywhere either fell in love with the book, or at least had strong opinions about it. So we watched the movie, and something unusual happened: the movie led me to read the book.  

On this second try, I found myself absorbed in the story, which is actually many stories -- a survival story; a story of faith, a story in which the reader can think about and decide what truth means. While reading, I pondered Pi's wrestling with interpreting religion and his journey to faith at the same time I was questioning his reliability as a narrator and the fantastical direction of the story.  I found the relationship between Pi and Richard Parker fascinating and thought-provoking. Did I love it? Did I have strong opinions? That’s another story… Recommended by Kathy Stewart.