Happy Monday! We had a wonderful weekend in London. Yesterday was sunny and we stayed outside for most of the day. I have a minor sunburn to prove it. I’m more pink than red and it doesn’t hurt. This morning the fog has rolled in and I don’t think we’ll see the sun much for the next few days, according to the weather report. Of course, the sun is making an appearance as I write this, so maybe the forecasters are wrong!
Today I’m writing about the novel, Life of Pi. This will not be like my normal reviews. The Guat and I read this together, but life conspired against us and delayed our discussion for weeks. This post will be filled with spoilers. If you haven’t read or seen the movie and plan to, please stop reading now. I’m not kidding. Major spoilers coming up.
When this book first came out I never planned on reading it. A boy and a tiger stranded in a boat together in the middle of the ocean … that sounded too depressing and boring to me. Then the book appeared on my 1001 books you must read. Dang it! I had to read it. The Guat mentioned this summer that she wanted to read it and we decided to read it together.
What struck me was how the author sucked me in right away. I enjoyed the parts about the zoo and all the religions that Pi learned. Then when they got on the ship to move I started to get nervous. Would I hate the rest of the story?
I won’t lie, there are depressing parts. And occasionally I got somewhat bored. Maybe bored isn’t the right word. You see, I’m an animal lover. So when a hyena is attacking a zebra, that’s upsetting for me. Reading about killing and eating turtles—upsets me as well so I tend to zone out. It’s like covering my eyes during a horror flick. Parts of this book are difficult to read. Parts of this book are hard to believe. Then something happened. I did believe. I really started to believe. And I was cheering for Pi and for Richard Parker.
Then something else happened. Near the end, it’s revealed that maybe the story didn’t happen the way it was told. Instead of being stuck on the boat with animals (most of the animals don’t last long except for the tiger, Richard Parker), Pi is actually on a boat with his mother and a couple of the crew members. This kinda ruined the book for me. I didn’t want to think that people were killing each other to survive. It’s much easier to read about a hyena attacking a wounded zebra. That’s in their nature. But a crew member killing another to eat—that’s much harder to take.
Of course, the fact that I cared so much about the ending proved to me that I really liked the story. I didn’t want the “truth” to come out. And since I completed this book weeks ago I’ve tried hard to bury the “truth” and only think of the fantasy. I don’t think I’m alone. And if I ever stumble upon a Bengal tiger in Mexico I’ll say, “Hello, Richard Parker.”
The Guat will be posting her thoughts later today. She’s on California time and I’m located in London. Don’t you just love the power of blogging. An international book club!
If you’ve read the book, please join our discussion. And if you’ve read this far, I hope I didn’t ruin the book for you, but I did warn you.
Have you ever liked a book you thought you would hate?
Before I go, Hilary Grossman, author of Dangled Carat, interviewed me today on her blog. Also, she has a giveaway on her blog. Hop on over and sign up!
Update: Hop over here to read TG’s post.