Thursday, 22 August 2013

Life of Pi Review

5 Stars

"Doesn't the telling of something always become a story...

Isn't the telling of something - using words, English or Japanese - already something of 

an invention? Isn't just looking upon this world already something of an invention?"

The best things about this novel were the writing and the twist at the end. I'm not going to say anything more about the latter - in fact, I'm going to try to say very little on the plot as I think that the less you know about this novel before you start, the more you will enjoy watching the narrative unfold.

The writing was what really sold it to me from the beginning. I loved Pi's insightful observations on life, which make him seem wise beyond his years and also often made me laugh. I particularly enjoyed his initial views on different religions and the way he summarised each in a few neat points.

Life of Pi explores big themes of overcoming extreme adversity and keeping your faith despite the challenges which come your way. It also explores the idea of living in isolation and, of course, has lots of information about animals. These technical details about the life of animals, with lots of 'case studies' thrown in, was another feature of the book that I really enjoyed. Pi was an extremely realistic character; you could see a clear parallel between his upbringing in the first section of the novel and his actions in the second.

As much as I loved this book while I was reading it, once I put it down to do something else, I would often forget about it for a few days and wouldn't feel compelled to pick it straight back up. It just didn't seem as gripping as a lot of the other books I have read and the pace was very slow. Although this did allow for the beautiful language and detail which made me like the book so much; as much as a quicker pace probably would have made me read the book more quickly, I think the message and point of the novel would have been lost.

I haven't seen the film yet - I usually follow a pattern of 'Oh, that book's going to be made into a film. Let's read the book first, but wait until the film is no longer out before doing so, ensuring that I am stuck once I finish it'…

When I finished Life of Pi, I felt as though I had just read something really special. Something that I needed to sit ant think about for a little while, before starting to do anything else. I would really, really recommend it. It would also have been a brilliant novel to read while I was completing my 'Origins of the Modern Novel' module at Uni, due to the way it explores the nature of storytelling - if you are studying anything like this, at school or Uni, you should definitely read this book! 


  1. Have you read The Elegance of the Hedgehog? From what you say here about the Life of Pi, I think you would enjoy it.

  2. Thank you for the suggestion - I have checked out the synopsis on Amazon and it definitely sounds like something I would enjoy so I will have to get hold of it.