Monday, March 25, 2013
"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel
Seven years ago when my strapping 1st grade son was a tiny little newborn, I read "Life of Pi." I loved it. Fast-forward to a few months ago when my husband and I were in the movie theater and the previews started rolling. All I needed to see was a zebra swimming within the hull of a ship and I started bouncing in my seat chanting, "Life of Pi! Life of Pi!" and nearly ripping his arm off in my excitement. Then my book club selected it for this month's read. Then the person who was going to host the discussion forgot she was going to be in Mexico on vacation during our club meeting (how do you FORGET a trip to Mexico?!) and would be unable to fulfill her obligation, so I volunteered to take her place. And I just finished reading it during a luxurious soak in my bathtub.
There were a few details I remembered from my first read-through, but all things considered, I might as well have been reading it for the first time for all I'd forgotten. It's a story within a story within a story. Once you get through it and understand the conclusion of the tale, you'll want to go back and reread it to see the symbolism and symmetry you weren't looking for the first time. Unless you're incredibly intelligent and caught it all the first time, which I am not and did not. I loved the facets of the story of religion and survival. Being a religious person myself, I loved Pi's reaction to the different churches and perspectives on deity. The Indian culture, the boat sinking, the animals, survival, Richard Parker. This story was so inventive and dimensional and lovely. I hope this is one you follow through and read, then come back and tell me what you think.
No, I haven't seen the movie yet! It actually came out on video today (well, the day I'm writing this, not the day you're reading it, hehehe). I don't know when I'll get around to seeing it, but I hope it's soon. When I do see it I'll be sure to come back and let you know what I think, because I know that's important to you. When I present this discussion to my book club, I plan on serving...drum roll please...pie! (I can reveal that because by the time this publishes, book club will be long past and over with and no surprises will be spoiled. Although, I'm pretty sure pie isn't that clever for refreshments. I just revel in my own silliness.)
Long live Pi!