As I have mentioned before, I like to review an author rather than a specific book. Because I have always found my enjoyability (of reading anything) is closely related to an author’s style of writing rather than the plot. Therefore, if she has consistently written in that particular style, then, all her future books would be as enjoyable, and there is no need for me to review every single books of hers. (Writing reviews can be quite a heavy work, you know. Really tiring!)
But in the case of Yann Martel, I have only read ONE of his books and that is Life of Pi. So, I could not very well review HIM, just yet, until I have read several of his works so that I would be able to form an accurate judgment of his style.
Anyway, back to Life of Pi.
If I were to describe this book in 5 words or less, I would say, “What a damn good read!”
I no longer doubt the correctness and the fairness of this book winning The Booker Prize 2002. The Plot: you can read it from Wikipedia, if you want the real detailed account of everything from start to finish. I don’t have any such patience for summarizing such a beautiful work into my own clumsy string of sentences. All I am going to give you is a very brief (VERY BRIEF, I repeat) plot summary and then, since this blog is ABOUT ME (yeah I am a self-centered bitch, sue me), the rest of this post would revolve around why I like it
BRIEF Plot Summary:
Pi is the name of a boy who found himself deserted not in a desert but at sea, when the ship that he and his family boarded sank tragically in a large out-of-nowhere ocean, leaving him as the only survivor together with a tiger, a hyena, a zebra and an orang-utan in a small lifeboat. This is the story of a small boy with impressive survival skills, to have survived months of chronic starvation and water depletion (details in the book on how he overcomes this), to have tamed the wild tiger into his companion rather than his predator, to have conquered the scorching heat and the stormy weather….all alone in a small lifeboat . This story is humorous, adventurous and inspiring.
(What an efficient summary!! ROFL)
Why I Like This Story:
1)Fantastic style of writing. It is humorous, funny, sarcastic! All the spices of what makes a book enjoyable are there!
2)It highlights the miracle of human survival. It gives me the reason to be convinced that God has created us, human beings, to be His Khalifah in this world. That if we use our God-given brain (the very reason we are said to be God’s finest creation), we can conquer everything in this world. It’s the reason why human can tame animals but never the other way around.
My friends had told me about an amusing encounter with a vegetarian. How the vegetarian were saying that human beings should stop thinking that we are superior and could eat other animals since we too, are animals. What a load of bullshit.
If you want to eat everything green, it’s your choice, surely. But don’t propagate such a ridiculous notion to all and sundry for the simple reason that it’s a stupid and false notion. Allah has mentioned in the Quran that the animals, the plants and the fruits, the rain and the sun are created to keep the world in balance, for the benefit of the human beings.
But if you are averse to religious reasoning of any sort (seeing you are soo intellectual and everything, right), the scientist explains this well-balanced phenomena between organisms, this prey-predator relationships between all Allah’s creation, as the food chain! Simple! Something that we learned in the primary school.
But, just as my friend had said, if you are still thinking that animals should be more superior than you, then ask yourself, “How come an orang utan or a tiger or a lion isn’t among any of your uni lecturers?”
So that’s the reason I love Life of Pi. You can see quite clearly why human beings is NOT like animals! And the reason is because we are given the mind, the ‘akal’ to be used to administer this world we live in. We are part of the food chains, but we are also more than that because in our case, we rely on more than just instincts.
3)It talked a bit about religion and philosophy, which is always something that I am interested in. In this novel, Pi is a very deeply religious boy who practices Hinduism, Islam AND Christianity. He believes that each has something to offer and he doesn’t want to miss out on any of them.
In case I haven’t made my self crystal clear in the above paragraphs, allow me to do so now. Go to your nearest book store and obtain a copy!!
I read this book from my uni library and I didn’t own it yet. And knowing me, I always felt a bit reluctant to buy a book that I have already read (even if I enjoyed it so much) because I kept thinking about buying the other books on my wish-list that I haven’t yet read! (yeah, go ahead and pity me, an impoverished final year uni student)
Besides, I want to buy his latest book “Beatrice and Virgil”! So as you can see, I am in quite a dilemma here.
We shall see.
But you out there, if you haven’t read this book yet, you can buy it because it is worth staying on your bookshelf.