Monday, 11 March 2013

Book Club - Life of Pi by Yann Martel

 “I was giving up. I would have given up - if a voice hadn't made itself heard in my heart. The voice said "I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen everyday. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen.” 

If you haven't yet read Life Of Pi, chances are that you have at least heard of it, and you may well have seen the film which has had such great success. I am one of the few that hasn't seen the film yet, but I found the book to be fantastic and am eagerly anticipating my chance to get to watch it at long last!

The book is written mainly from the perspective of 16 year old Pi. An intelligent boy who finds happiness in religion, so much so that he practices three of them! He is not only a Hindu, but also a Catholic and a Muslim! Much to the horror of his three religious teachers when they eventually find out!

“Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat wearing Muslims.” 

I found this part of the story really interesting and enlightening. Pi's love for God knows no bounds. Now I am not really a religious person, but this kind of faith makes far more sense to me than any one religion. After all, the holy books were all written by man and therefore are surely prone to error? Pi chooses to love god in all his forms, in every story that is told, taking morals and lessons from all. Anyway, the point of the fact is that religion is an important subject throughout the book.  The way it is implemented alongside the need for survival reminded me of Robinson Crusoe. Another shipwrecked soul doing his best to survive in unfamiliar surroundings with the help of God.

“If there's only one nation in the sky, shouldn't all passports be valid for it?” 

Pi's companion is not so different from Crusoe's Man Friday in actual fact. He is a cannibal and the pair are not able to communicate easily. Pi's companion is a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker! What a delightful name for a Tiger!

"'I love you!' The words burst out pure and unfettered, infinite. The feeling flooded my chest. 'Truly I do. I love you, Richard Parker. If I didn't have you now, I don't know what I would do. I don't think I would make it. No, I wouldn't, I would die of hopelessness. Don't give up Richard Parker, don't give up. I'll get you to land, I promise, I promise"

You may wonder how exactly a 16 year old boy ends up with a Tiger named Richard Parker for a companion. Pi and his family are emigrating from India to Canada, when their ship sinks during the voyage. The boat is transporting many animals from the zoo which Pi's father owned.  With a stroke of luck Pi manages to get aboard a life boat before the ship sinks. But, once he sees his new crewmates he soon curses the fact. A zebra, a hyena, a tiger and an orangutang are also aboard! The rest of the book documents his survival upon the life boat, through many trials and tribulations.

“You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did. And as a result I perked up and felt much better.” 

This book is a heart wrenching, heart warming, tear jerker that is full of hope. Is it believable? Well, that is another thing all together, and I will let you make up your own mind about that... 

“If you stumble about believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?” 

Life of Pi is available to buy on Kindle from amazon at the bargain price of just 20p! You can find it here. Or you can opt for the good old fashioned book here.

Laura xXx 


  1. I saw the movie which is so fantastic and gripping and emotional. I really want to read the book, especially now from reading this :]
    ♥Emma Deer

  2. Absolutely loved this book, but haven't see the film. Great post, liked you comparison to Robinson Crusoe

  3. I haven't read the book or seen the film yet, but it is on my list and your review has made me want to read it even more know! Wonderfully written review, thank you.

    1. Thank you so much :) I am getting quite into them now I have done a couple!

  4. I haven't seen the film yet but oh goodness do I love this book! It has been a while since I read it, I should read it again! So captivating! :)

    This Lovely Little Day

  5. I loved this book, and really felt that the movie was a faithful representation. Glad you enjoyed it. I studied theology so his reflections on faith were so interesting to me :) x

  6. One of the best books ever.... Must read! Well written! Inspiring! Makes you laugh, cry and feel what they feel.

    russel of Renton Auto Repair


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