Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life of Pi

Life of Pi first us edition
After months of struggle, I am finally done with Life of Pi. And yes, I am actually relieved.

This book comes with big words, mind you. I had to reread some paragraphs to let them sink in and at times I had to rely on Dictionary.com to give me a clearer picture - can't imagine it out if I don't get the meaning in the first place, right?

The start was pretty slow. I'd expected it to jump right into the middle of things straight up and have me in its tight grip from the beginning till the end. But nope.
Things only picked up somewhere in the middle when religions, a boat, a Bengal tiger, a hyena, a zebra, and an orang utan got involved. I was horrified reading some of the events that occurred. The words weaved good but often gruesome and tough images of life as a survivor on a boat.

What I really liked about the book is all the zoology terms and animal behaviors explained. How animals have no problems living their lives out in enclosed places as opposed to living wild and carefree in the jungles. Interesting points and perspectives indeed. And if you ever wonder how a ringmaster is able to tame those animals on show and made them do stunts like jumping over rings of fire, the book kinda touched about that too (A little along the lines of Freud & Pavlov...)

However I did not quite like the ending. Somehow things seemed a tad too bizarre and odd. I felt they didn't really make sense. Perhaps my logical mind was what caused the downfall. But come on, [spoiler alert] another castaway (what are the odds?)? A carnivorous island? I guess as a fiction-fantasy, anything can happen.

So it's down to a case of science vs faith. If you are the person interviewing Pi, would you choose to believe a fantastical but seemingly irrational story (according to the book, Pi is afterall an irrational number) or an alternative, far more rational version? For me, yes, Pi may be an irrational number but well, Pi is one of the mathematical constants that plays an important part in science...

Confuse yet?

Well, I guess sometimes faith and science go hand-in-hand...

At the end of the day, Life of Pi is one of those famous books - with a movie in-the-making - that grabs your attention with a neon-sign that says "YOU HAVE GOTTA READ ME!". But perhaps don't set too high an expectation when reading it. Anyway, I am glad I've read it and that's that. ☺
My Rating:

4 tots:

Tan Shu-Yin said...

I also bought this book and boy, it was really a struggle to read it. Until now, i havent finished reading it. :P

Catherine said...

hahah, do you plan on finishing it? :P

Soo Huey said...

wow. some pretty harsh reviews, from both you n shuyin here. its such a famous book. i've been curious. now you make me wonder if i should bother...

i read an interesting book recently - The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng. the backdrop is in Penang! pretty interesting reading about weld quay, penang swimming club, the temple near meiying's old hse, tok tok mee seller, etc.
Check it out!

Catherine said...

Haha maybe the book ngam u leh? To each her own :P

On the other hand that book of urs sounds interesting. Would check it out. Afterall it's time to start collecting my 2011 worth of book quota XD

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