Book Review: Life of Pi

Life of Pi Cover

Jen and I do not share the same interests in books. Not even close. I believe that was demonstrated quite well by our blog post, “What’s On My Nightstand?”. Hence, when Jen told me I absolutely had to read this book, that it was amazing, etc…I had my doubts. But I agreed to read it, because I was curious and frankly, probably needed a break from reading whatever non-fiction book I was reading at the time (probably Paret’s Makers of Modern Strategy…those of you who know that book will understand me).

So, filled with high expectations from Jen, who had read the book not once, but twice, in quick succession, I began reading.

I must say that initially, I was quite pleased. The opening chapters of the book deal with religion, a subject that has always fascinated me. It explores how a boy, growing up in a land where multiple religions competed with each other for adherents, was simply trying to understand God from the viewpoint of Islam, Hinduism or Christianity. I have to admit that I was amazed! I was really enjoying this book!  Jen was right…for once!

I should have known, however, that it could not last. I mean, the tiger, flying fish and waves on the front cover should have given it away. But how often does one go back to look at the cover after you have begun reading. Not me. Unless there is a scantily clad lady on the cover. That might draw my attention. But, I digress.

From an exploration of religion, the book quickly turns into a story of survival. And not your typical survival story either. Marooned in a life boat with animals, Pi must quickly adapt or be eaten. This he does, and within a short period of time, he is left alone with a Bengal tiger (because, well, the tiger ate the other animals). In the lifeboat. Sailing the ocean blue.

I turned the page. They were in the boat. I turned the page. Still in the boat. Another page. STILL in the boat. Next chapter. AGAIN with the boat. I skipped ahead by about 30 pages. Yep, the boat again. It was at this point that I began yearning for Paret’s chapter on The Economic Foundations of Military Power (chapter 8, if ever you want to read it – you know you want to). But like a good soldier, I pressed on.

Eventually, after a painfully long time, Pi reaches the shores of Mexico. The tiger runs off in the jungle and Pi meets up with some investigators. He tells them whatever story they want to hear (was it really a Tiger, or the cook from the ship) and then life goes on. The sad part was, I simply did not care at that point. The book lost me not long after they were marooned at sea.

Jen was well aware that I did not enjoy the book. My constant eye rolls and heavy sighs as I read made sure of that. Maybe I overdid it a little. Ok, a lot. The upshot of all this is that Jen has not recommended me another book since. And we have lived happily ever after!

See Jen’s review of Life of Pi!


2 Responses to “Book Review: Life of Pi”

  1. I agree with Jen, but I’ll give you a like anyway. One of my favorite books — primarily for the very reason that you don’t know what happened and I remember having such a visceral reaction when I first read it.

  2. very nice.. hv a look at my film review of life of pi…hope you like it

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