Initially when I heard of the book, i thought 'The Life Of Pi' would literally have something to do with math,or some kind of a child prodigy. I couldn't have been more wrong.This Booker Prize winning material by Yann Martel is about this teenage boy from Pondicherry who's thrown overboard when the ship he's travelling on with his family sinks. With a male bengal tiger in tow,he manages to survive 277 days at sea on a lifeboat. The kid calls himself 'Pi' which explains the title(anyone would considering he was named Piscine Molitor Patel by his parents!)Speaking of names, why would parents choose names for their offspring that would definately give rise to a good bout of teasing,name calling and the like? I mean,seriously.What about the kid who's name is Fakir?(no prizes for guessing what his nickname at school would be) or Balaji who's always Bajji,Madhav becomes maddie,Nikhil to Nikki, Srikanth to Cheeky,cheeku,so on and so forth...aarrgh.digressing.back to the book.So Pi's dad is a zoo keeper who's immigrating to canada with a veritable menangerie on the ship.Needless to say after the ship sinks,a couple of creatures climb in.A tiger, a zebra and an orangutan. A battle of strength follows and Pi is left with the Tiger.
The book is about survival, which tells us a lot about human nature.He manages to land on an uninhabited island for a few days.The place is filled with these arboreal beings called meerkats. They reminded me so much of those creatues in the movie 'Madagascar'.The ones in the middle of the wild dancing and partying! Im not sure if Martel intended it that way, but hey,its my imagination and its a free world.
I really liked the book.Especially the detail and research that went into it..like the part about the sloth and its habits(no im not talking about my brother here.im referring to the animal.no no...not him.but then again...*grin*) The inital part of the story is of Pi and family's life in Pondicherry and general south indian stuff. Usually when foreigners talk about India, they tend to mix up the facts about the South and the North. Like people's names, and food. Here, there is no mistaking the effort that went into detail. A good, refreshing change. In this same way,in a grotesque manner he goes on to explain bloody fights between the animals and how Pi is forced to eat raw sea food.I almost threw up. But that dint stop me from reading. I guess thats what a good author does.
I am not saying i TOTALLY loved the book. But it was definately much better than above average. I cannot judge if it was a worthy winner of the Booker prize for that year since i'd have to read the other nominations to comment.
Neha's rating :
The Life Of Pi by Yann Martel : 8/10
The next review will be of 'The Home and The World' by Rabindranath Tagore. An english transalation of "Ghare-Baire". But for now, a little chick lit is waiting for me. Oh, and I finally got a copy of Shantharam. A good haul from the library this time. :-)