I just finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I didn’t know much about this book before I read it, and for that reason I don’t want to share too many details here. It was nice picking this up and knowing very little about it, simply believing it was going to be good. I liked having nearly every part of the story being left to surprise, so I want to leave much of it a surprise for you too.
I will tell you what little I knew going into it though, in case what intrigued me might intrigue you.
There are two endings.
One ending “with animals” and one “without animals”. It’s left up to you the reader to decide which ending you believe. The Choose Your Own Adventure aspect of this was what first made me curious about it.
It’s now a movie.
Chances are good you already know this is currently in theaters, and I feel kind of dopey recommending a book that’s a new movie – but I didn’t know it was a movie until I learned of the book. (That disclaimer helps me feel a little less dopey.) My only point here is that learning it was made into a movie was another reason I guessed it was going to be a good read.
The cover gives something away too.
A person, a life boat and a tiger. OK, ok, I’ll bite.
Some of the story is about faith and religion. But also have faith that it will get good even though it starts out a little slow and felt a little dry during some of the religious parts. It’s well worth it to stick it out and keep going. Not surprisingly, the story ties together well.
I didn’t actually read it, but listened to the audio book (loaded onto my iPod) during runs and walks over the last two weeks. Not only is the story entertaining, but Yann Martel is a fantastic writer. His prose is so creative and imaginative, so satisfying (to my ears) – there were times that I was left feeling jealous that I didn’t come with up it myself.
(There’s one part where he’s describing his thirst and I happened to be right in the middle of a run, miles from home and no where near a water fountain. Listening to that part while running made me so thirsty I don’t know how I managed to make it home without needing to stop and slurp dirty water from a puddle or drop myself off a bridge into the Genesee River and just start swallowing.)
Once the story picked up, I found myself wanting to get back to it before my next walk or run. Soon, I was bringing it along in the car to listen whenever I found myself driving alone, even if it was just for the 10 minute drive to Wegmans. I also started listening while I nursed Kaz to sleep before naps and even in the dark at bedtime, fighting to stay awake and keep listening to hear what happened next. Having a great story to listen to is an awesome motivator to get out and exercise, but maybe bring a bottle of water along while you’re listening to this one…
Long story short, this was a great book. And so without any more details for you (oh the suspense!) I highly recommend this the next time you’re looking for a new book to read. I liked it so much that I have no desire to read anything else for a while, it will just make me sad that I’m done with Life of Pi. I don’t even want to see the movie any time soon, I’m afraid it will wreck the movie I cast, directed and produced in my own head right now. I’ve already nominated myself for Best Picture and Best Director.
Have you read Life of Pi? Have you seen the movie? Are you thirsty?