[Yann Martel] free Life of Pi epub

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227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Park I read this book two years ago but when we discussed it this month for book club I remembered how much I liked it A good discussion always ups my appreciation of a novel as does an ending that makes me reuestion my givens in the story I find myself reading contradictory interpretations and agreeing with both sides That s the beauty of symbolism as long as you back up your cause it s plausible Initially it took me several weeks to get into the book The beginning reads like a textbook with inserted clips of the main character s future self While the knowledge I gained about zoology and theology was interesting it wasn t intriguing enough to keep me awake for than a few pages at a time and often I found the tidbits a confusing distraction But with distance I enjoyed the backdrop information it offered If you re struggling through the initial background jump ahead to the second section Yeah it s important but it s not vital And maybe once you ve read the story you ll want to come back and appreciate his analysisI highly enjoyed this strange journey at sea and found it almost believable until the castaways encounter the island at which point I wondered how much of his sanity wavered Being shipwreck is one of a plethora of phobias I have Throw on top my even stronger fear of tigers and this was a story straight out of a nightmare one that kept me intrigued for a resolution How could a boy keep the upper hand shipwrecked with a tiger I had a picture in my head of Pi clinging to the side of the boat to avoid both the salty water infested with sharks and a foodless boat housing a hungry carnivoreI found myself stuck in the unusual place where as a reader I find a story plausible with full knowledge that had this story been presented in real life I would have doubted its authenticity I wanted to believe the story and all its fantasy The end initially annoyed me but if you look at the rich metaphors in the story it becomes delectable for a story analyst like me There is nothing I enjoy than tearing apart a story and pulling out the intentions and symbols buried inside Instead of just a fantastical story you find a fable with a moralSpoilers hereview spoilerI want to reread the story now and analyze Richard Parker as Pi s alter ego seeing that alpha and omega struggle as an internal one Even the name Richard Parker is a hint at cannibalistic roots since it is the true account of a sailor who died at the hands of his cannibalistic crew members I keep going back to that moment when Pi calls for Richard Parker to join him on the ship and then is appalled at what he has done Once Richard Parker has joined his voyage there is no banishing him If they are one and the same they beautifully represent that internal battle between the civilized vegetarian and the animalistic instinct to survive showing the compartmentalization he needed to prevent madness You would not expect the small boy to conuer the beast whether animal or himself and yet he keeps the upper hand for an unimaginable 227 days Had the cannibal overrun his pysche he would have lost his battle and landed a madman When the duo landed on the beaches of Mexico Richard Parker took off never to be noted by civilians again but alive and surviving Thus the horror of the incident will always live in Pi s memory but he chooses to repress it as it has no part in civilizationI enjoyed the portrayal of the characters on the boat as animals I could envision the uiet maternal sadness the orangutan gave his mother Since the crew would be blamed for the demise of the ship the wounded sailor as the zebra lying as prey to a demented and angry foreign chef who is just as crazy as we view the viscous hyena The symbols were perfect and I think a second read would bring out their traits even stronger Some of the richest symbolism comes from the cannibal island and sailor I think Pi s childlike mind could not deal with the cannibalism of a loved one and lets this theme leak into other story elements The blind sailor is a second portrayal of the French chef a character too big and conflicting to fit into one projection At first he is the mean animal thinking only of his own survival but as the journey progresses Pi is conflicted with his friendship for the man A bond is bound to happen between the only two survivors in limited space and Pi could not come to terms with his human feelings for the barbaric man So he invents a second character one whom he can make human worthy of connection but in the end is still untrustworthy and Pi must kill or be killed So what of the strange island In his hallucinating state it serves as a mirage where life is not as sweet as he suspected The island parallels his own problems at sea with rich religious symbolism of the Garden of Eden No matter what one s ethical code the will to survive trumps one s moral haven These vegetarians person and island don t want to harm but are killing to survive Something happened out at sea that his waning mind and blindness both real and spiritual could not substantiate and like all else he twisted it to a socially accepted tale Since the island is discovered just after the sailor dies maybe finding one of the chef s tooth on board turned him Or maybe Pi happened upon a pile of garbage infested with rats and this boy starving and demented enough to have tried his own waste sees it as a heaven His civilized nature knew he should scorn the filth but his barbaric needs were grateful for the nasty feast The bones in the boat proof that his experience was real could have been rat bones Whatever the cause of his epiphany he had to enter the depths of his own personal hell to realize this was not a heaven or Garden of Eden and a return to civilized behavior was vital for his own survival Richard Parker was winning as he felt completely detached from civilization He almost wished to stay and die at sea to live at a level of base survival instead of have to emotionally deal with his ordeal to progress But his innate need to survive wins out as he realizes that as the lone castaway if he does not fight his mind s descent into madness the sea will eat him mentally and literally One of my favorite interpretations of the island is a religious fork in the road Whatever truly happened the island cements your belief in the first or second account Either you see the meerkat remains as proof that the beauty of the first story is true or the island is the point at which you start uestioning the credence of his tale and believe he threw in this unbelievable turn of events to ready you to accept his alternate ending As readers we are given the choice between two stories We can pick the miraculous version of the first story an icon of those who believe in God or we can pick the grim atheist view of the pessimistic although reasonable second story as do those who believe science disproofs God In section one Pi references religion to not only show where his beliefs give him strength but to give backbone to the religious allegory He shows disdain for the indecisive agnostic see uotes below and bids you chose your path The island serves to uestion your own religious devotion but you have to pick what you think it represents which story you care to believe Pi states this is a story that makes you believe in God As a believer in God and the second story I don t think there is merely an atheist interpretation to the second Either you accept God with a leap of faith despite dissenting controversy or you take the bleak realism and see God saved him from death at sea and even protected him from mental anguish by healing his soul from the horrors he experienced Both stories can justify the belief in God or justify your belief in nothing Just as I don t believe people who buy the second story are atheists I do not believe people who chose the first story follow blindly or idiotically It s a matter of interpretation The story isn t going to make you believe or disbelieve God any than you now doAt first I was annoyed he recanted his story because I wanted to believe his original story It is imaginative and well written and I didn t like being called out for believing fantasy from the fantasy itself But how could I not love an allegorical explanation to a literal story So now I love that he presents both stories the imaginative far fetched one and the plausible horrific one and leaves you the reader to decide which one you want to buy into and let you ponder what it says about you That is the point of the story hide spoiler


Life of Pi

El a Tamil boy from Pondicherry explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age He survives Big Bois Everyone s heard of them The Libraries are full of them But are they worth itClick the link for my video review of the big bois in my lifeThe Written ReviewThe beginning is roughIt s all like Why do we keep going on and on about religion Where s the boat Where s the tiger Stop and enjoy the roses The book will get to the tiger part when it wants to Young Pi Piscine Pi Patel spends the first part of the book joining the Christian Muslim and Hindu faiths It s not a matter of he can t choose a religion it s that he is able simultaneously believe in all of them The philosophical musings and religious prose provide an extremely interesting insight on how these religions intersect If Christ spent an anguished night in prayer if He burst out from the Cross My God my God why have you forsaken me then surely we are also permitted doubt But we must move on To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation And thenyou get to the tiger partPi Patel s life uickly shifts from one of religious philosophy and animal care at his family s zoo to one of great uncertainty His family is closing their Indian zoo and they need to travel by boat to a new county Whatever animals they couldn t sell or trade are on the shipOnly something goes wrong Very WrongThe ship is capsizing and it looks like neither human nor animal will make it out alive Soon Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a menagerie of animals and within an adventure he will surely never forget Dare I say I miss him I do I miss him I still see him in my dreams They are nightmares mostly but nightmares tinged with love Such is the strangeness of the human heart Note view spoilerWas I the only one who was upset with the ending I was so mad that we were given the two scenarios at the end of the story It was like the rug was being pulled out from under me According to Pi either we are to believe the tiger adventure happened or it was the alternate version cannibalism and watching his family die in the boat I felt cheated and turned what was a huge triumphant moment into a truly giant downer hide spoiler


Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001 The protagonist Piscine Molitor Pi Pat It is not so much that The Life of Pi is particularly moving although it is It isn t even so much that it is written with language that is both delicate and sturdy all at once which it is as well And it s certainly not that Yann Martel s vision filled passages are so precise that you begin to feel the salt water on your skin even though they are It is that like Bohjalian and Byatt and all of the great Houdini s of the literary world in the last few moments of your journey after you ve felt the emotions endured the moments of heartache yearned for the resolution of the characters struggle that you realize the book is not what you thought it was The story transforms instantly and foreverAnd in those last few chapters you suddenly realize that the moral has changed as wellYou feel Martel s words lingering suggesting and you find yourself wondering whether you are his atheist who takes the deathbed leap of faith hoping for white light and love Or the agnostic who in trying to stay true to his reasonable self explains the mysteries of life and death in only scientific terms lacking imagination to the end and essentially missing the better storyThere is no use in trying to provide a brief synopsis for this ravishing tale of a young boy from India left adrift in the Pacific in a lifeboat with a tiger who used to reside in his father s zoo in Pondicherry There is no use because once you finish the book you might decide that this was not indeed what the book was about at all There is no use because depending on your philosophical bent the book will mean something very different to your best friend than it will to you There is no use because it is nearly impossible to describe what makes this book so grandRead this book Not because it is an exceptional piece of literary talent It is of course But there are many good authors and many good books While uncommon they are not endangered Read this book because in recent memory aside from Jose Saramago s arresting Blindness there have been no stories which make such grand statements with such few elements As Pi says in his story Life on a lifeboat isn t much of a life It is like an end game in chess a game with few pieces The elements couldn t be simple nor the stakes higher It is the same with Martel s undulating fable of a book about a boy in a boat with a tiger A simple story with potentially life altering conseuences for it s readers As Martel writes The world isn t just the way it is It is how we understand it no And in understanding something we bring something to it no Like Schroedinger s cat in the box the way this book is understood the way it is perceived affects what it is There has been some talk that this book will make it s readers believe in god I think it s a uestion of perspective To behold this gem of a novel as an adventure of man against the elements the dry yeastless factuality of what actually happened is certainly one way to go about it But to understand this piece to be something indescribable something godlike is by far the greater leap of faithOh but worth the leap if the reader is like that atheist willing to see the better story

10 thoughts on “Life of Pi

  1. says:

    It is not so much that The Life of Pi is particularly moving although it is It isn’t even so much that it is written with languag

  2. says:


  3. says:

    I found a lot of this book incredibly tedious I tend to avoid the winners of the Man Booker – they make me a little depressed The only Carey I haven’t liked won the Booker Oscar and Lucinda I really didn’t like the little bit of Vernon God Little I read and I never finished The Sea despite really liking Banville’s writing So being told a book is a winner of the Booker tends to be a mark against it from the start unfortu

  4. says:

    It's not that it was bad it's just that I wish the tiger had eaten him so the story wouldn't existI read half of it and felt really impatient the whole time skipping whole pages and then I realized that I didn't have to keep going wh

  5. says:

    I was extremely surprised by this book Let me tell you why it's a funny story On the Danish cover it says Pi's Liv Pi's Life but I hadn't noticed the apostrophe so I thought it said Pis Liv Piss Life and I thought that was an interesting title at least so perhaps I should give it a go So I did And what I read was not at

  6. says:

    Big Bois Everyone's heard of them The Libraries are full of them But are they worth itClick the link for my video review of the big bois in my lifeThe Written ReviewThe beginning is roughIt's all like Why do we keep going on and on about religion Where's the boat Where's the tiger Stop and enjoy the roses The book will get to the

  7. says:

    Sift a pinch of psychology with a scant tablespoon of theology add one part Island of the Blue Dolphin with two parts philosophy mix with a pastry blender or the back of a fork until crumbly but not dry and there you have Pi and his lame o cheesed out boat ride to enlightenmentActually I liked the beginning of this book loved Pi's decleration and re naming of himself his adding religions like daisy's to a chain and was really diggin on the

  8. says:

    Life of Pi was a fairly engaging story in terms of plot and character but what made it such a memorable book for me at least was its thematic concerns Is it a story that will make you believe in God as Pi claims I'm not sure I'd go that far b

  9. says:

    I read this book two years ago but when we discussed it this month for book club I remembered how much I liked

  10. says:

    On the surface Life of Pi is a funny little book heart warming and audacious but dig a little deeper and you’ll see how complex the story a

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