Life of Pi, written by Yann Martel is one of Canada’s most acclaimed books. It tells the story of sixteen-year-old Pi Patel’s journey while he discovers religion and his own determination and strength. This book is highly recommended for many reasons including the insightful views expressed on religion and life, the interesting facts on zoology, and the author’s unique talent in making something that at first glance seemed totally unrealistic to become reality – humor inserted along the way!
First of all, it is obvious that Pi Patel learns to have a very open mind when it comes to religion as he has embraced three of them, resulting in a unique Hindu-Christian-Muslim boy. His interesting views on the different religions lead the readers to broaden their horizons and have an open mind to different religions. His analogies were also quite humorous, for example, when comparing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to his father feeding him to the lions because the latter killed two llamas, a blackbuck, a camel, painted storks, grey herons, and “who’s to say for sure who snacked on our golden agouti?”.Order now
In addition, Pi Patel’s journey helped him have a great view of life and its value, allowing him to give many anecdotes that make the reader stop and think. For example: “I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he’s not careful.” Secondly, this book is packed with zoological information including mating, hunting, and sleeping habits of a variety of animals from hippopotamuses to “meerkats” (small African carnivorous burrowing mammals).
Also, it includes many circus trainer tactics for lions and tigers, such as using foreign surroundings, having an erect posture, a calm demeanor, a steady gaze, a fearless step forward, a strange roar, etc. Also, Pi Patel’s very original view on how animals are indeed happy in a zoo was very enlightening for anyone who has ever felt sorry for the entrapped animals, feeling that the latter were not “free”. According to this boy, animals in the wild are driven by necessity in an environment where the supply of fear is high and the supply of food is low, whereas the environment in a zoo is quite contrary.
Also, animals are quite territorial (no matter what the territory is) and they protect it, not because they are prisoner of it, but because they are landholder of it. Finally, whoever would have thought the story of a sixteen-year-old boy trapped on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orang-utan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger would ever be plausible?
However, the way Yann Martel has written the book, with the author;’s note in the beginning, explaining how this novel came to be written, the inserted chapters told from a journalist’s point of view (possibly the author himself) visiting an older Pi Patel, and the third part of the novel with the taped inquisition from two members of the Japanese Ministry of Transport really make the reader search time and time again for the phrase “A True Story” written on the front cover.
In conclusion, Life of Pi is a brilliantly written book full of insightful views, humorous analogies, and anecdotes on religion and life, interesting facts one would probably never learn in their lifetime unless they majored in zoology or circus training, and an intricate, unrealistic, yet believable, plot. This novel is highly recommended to any person, young or old, as reading it will truly be a life-altering experience.