The Life of Pi
January 8, 2003 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Then the elderly man said, "I have a story that will make you believe in God." Piscine Molitor Patel is the hero of Yann Martel's prize-winning novel, "The Life of Pi". This interactive promo is unusual and beautiful and has made me want to read the book. The first chapter can be read here.
posted by essexjan (14 comments total)
This book has been discussed here before, though in a different context.


Having finished the book since the last thread, and having had two months to digest what I've read, I must say that it's not all that it's been cracked up to be. It won the Booker Prize and has been touted as some deep, revelatory work, but it's almost pedestrian in its aims and execution.

That's not to say that it's a bad book; far from it. Martel writes well, and develops some interesting characters, but ultimately his story is -- for me -- uncompelling, almost trite. (Not to mention there's some question whether or not he plagiarized the plot in the first place. Or maybe I should say little question.)

If you're at a stage in your life where Daniel Quinn's Ishmael is pushing you to new intellectual heights, then The Life of Pi is a good choice. Both are good books for a certain stage in life.

For more literary treatment of similar subject matter, though, I'd recommend Maugham's The Razor's Edge or Forster's A Passage to India.

posted by jdroth at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2003

I enjoyed the book, jdroth. Although I agree it seemed a bit "dumbed down for the masses," I found it to be interesting and entertaining reading for a quiet weekend.
I have not read Max and the Cats, of which the author freely admits drawing inspiration from... anyone out there read this AND Moacyr Scliar's novel? I would be interested to hear from someone who has, and could point out the similiarities between the two works from that angle.

Also of some interest, Tolkien played a large part in The Life of Pi becoming widely accepted for it's literary merit. In his speech "The Life of Pi - The Tigers and the Critics," Tolkien argued that it DID indeed hold literary and historical merit, contrary to the writings expressed by many critics beforehand.
posted by bradth27 at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2003

at my stage in life, the book that I feel most comfortable with is The Book of Job, from the Old Testament. Runner up: Book of Ecclesiastes, which, to sum up,says: been there, done that. Now what?
posted by Postroad at 11:27 AM on January 8, 2003

Song of Solomon, of course. It's where all the dirty stuff is at.
posted by bradth27 at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2003

did anyone find anything interesting to do in the promo? it's pretty, but i at first i thought i was missing something because the interaction never really went anywhere. after repeating various scenes, however, it seems that there's nothing extra to find. or do i just need to look harder?
posted by andrew cooke at 11:40 AM on January 8, 2003

The promo didn't do much for me.

However, I liked the book and didn't think that it was anything like Quinn's 'Ishmael'. It was told in a simple and gentle fashion but that doesn't necessarily mean that it was 'dumbed down' for the masses.
posted by batboy at 12:21 PM on January 8, 2003

bradth27: which Tolkien are you talking about? The Life of Pi was written in the last year or two, and the one famous Tolkien I know about died long before that.

re: Life of Pi, got it, never got past the third or fourth chapter. Like other Booker Prize winners, it seemed to be written under the influence of heavy doses of Valium.
posted by alms at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2003

dear Bradth27:
I couldn't get hot on the Psalms....some babe talking about taking a shower with apples and other stuff. Seemed a lot of foreplay and not much action. I will wait for the film.
posted by Postroad at 12:44 PM on January 8, 2003

alms - it's a joke.
posted by andrew cooke at 12:57 PM on January 8, 2003

I read it last year, and have to say I enjoyed it immensely. A worthwhile excursion.

I can't say it made me believe in god.
posted by Quartermass at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2003

Ok, not that I want anyone giving any spoilers away, but could someone please inform those of us who have no idea what's going on - what is this book about and how does it purport to make us believe in god?
posted by PigAlien at 1:53 PM on January 8, 2003

Looks interesting.
A boat?
A long time there?
Japanese people?
I have no idea.
posted by Espoo2 at 3:49 PM on January 8, 2003

Did Tony the Tiger make you believe in God or just buy more Frosted Flakes?
posted by rushmc at 5:09 PM on January 8, 2003

There's nothing more enjoyable than reading "The Life of Pi" and drinking an ice cold Pepsi Blue. Mmm... Pepsi Blue.
posted by LimePi at 5:56 PM on January 8, 2003

« Older The Before and After Museum   |   Promoting Democracy and Fighting Terror Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments