Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Off the Nightstand: Life of Pi

I read alot. I usually deduce where most modern novels poach their ideas from and have catalogued common and obscure plot origins in the recesses of my brain. Life of Pi has created its own category in my sometimes-overwhelming library as a rare story I haven't encountered before, one that will not soon leave my thoughts.

Life of Pi covers alot of ground, but the early and late life events of the main character bookend an extraordinary, almost unfathomable journey: A teenage Indian boy named Pi is the lone human survivor of a shipwreck in the Pacific ocean. "Human" is notable, because stranded with him on the lifeboat is a wounded zebra, an orangoutang, a hyena, and a Bengal tiger. The course of events soon whittles down the lifeboat's occupants to just Pi and the tiger, and the description of the incredible 200+ day strand from shipwreck to rescue, while seemingly ludicrous, is one of the most honest and true to life chronicles I've had the pleasure of reading.

There is so much more to the book than the insanity and desperation of open sea survival-- with a tiger-- that the addictive narrative of the events sometimes obscures the deeper meanings and metaphors. But they are there, and it is left to the reader to decide which were paramount to both the characters and oneself.

Life of Pi at Amazon.

Post a Comment