Life of Pi by Yann Martel

piI figured today would be the best day to share this review since it is in fact Pi day.

Life of Pi is required reading for my English class, but I was glad that it made me pick up this book once and for all. I had been hesitant to read it since my mom and brother both had such differing opinions on this book, and I figured that, like my mom, this book just wouldn’t be for me.

After finishing this book, I feel such a mix of emotions. Part of me appreciates the storytelling, another feels irked at the over-the-top philosophical thinking and religious elements, and still another has a love-hate relationship for the conclusion.

Life of Pi was harder to read than I expected due not only to its heavy religious messages but also the awful things Pi must do to survive. I really didn’t think it would get to me like it did, but there is only so much talk of butchering turtles I can take before I start feeling a bit queasy.

As I’ve mentioned, the story is pretty well-written. I didn’t ever really feel that the pace dragged, and Martel does a great job of using imagery to tell this story that could have easily been much more drab. However, for those who have read the book, they will understand why the story was told with such care, which made me like the novel a bit less.

It’s important to know upfront that the whole point of this book is to make you believe in God. That point is repeatedly pointed out several times. The biggest problem I had with this book was how things weren’t left for the reader to pick up on; instead, they are repeatedly pointed out with metaphor after metaphor. It felt like as soon as Martel said something remotely clever, he would point it out again and again to make sure no one missed out on what he was implying.

Now, that ending! I knew there would be some twist at the end since my teacher told us that for a fact, but I didn’t see it coming like it did. I know I shouldn’t be surprised it took the direction it did, but still, it bothers me. I have to stop myself from saying anymore because I know I will ruin the ending for others. 

Have you guys read the book? What do you make of the ending? Beware: spoilers may be found in the comments.

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