Life of Pi

Such a famous book! I have been meaning to read this one for a long time. Ashlee chose it for our book club book this month, so I finally read it.

A far cry from Pi's circumstances!

Life of Pi is a book about a young man named Piscine, who goes by Pi. His father is a zookeeper, and when the family decides to move from India to Canada, they emigrate on the cargo ship that is bringing some of their animals to zoos in the U.S. and Canada. Disaster strikes and (as shown on the cover of most editions of the book) that's how Pi ends up stranded in a lifeboat with a tiger. But as the title suggests, there is more to the story than just Pi's time on the lifeboat. It's really the story of his life.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The writing was very well done -- I was surprised, disgusted, moved and provoked to deep thoughts. Knowing that I was going to get to discuss the book with friends was icing on the cake. 

Our discussion was rich - there is plenty of meat in this book (pun intended!) for talking about the human experience and I can see why its considered a classic. Ashlee, who chose the book, has read it many times over and always finds something new in it, which I can relate to! I've only read it once, but already in our discussion I was finding new things to think about and angles I hadn't considered. 

The book was also made into a movie in 2012. I hear they did a really great job, but that of course the book is better. So, I might watch it now that I've read the book. 

In some ways this book reminded me of The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, and the Odyssey. All three  stories have direct applications of the hero's journey specifically to life's journey in general.  

Levi (who is in 7th grade) said he was interested in reading it, and I wouldn't have any problem with that. I don't think it would appeal to readers much younger than 7th grade, but I could be wrong. The book has a high vocabulary and plenty of survival violence and peril. The story incorporated more religion than I was expecting, no swearing or sexual content, except to talk briefly about animal's needs to reproduce. It's definitely the sort of thing I could see English teachers enjoying teaching and book clubs enjoying discussing! We had a good time -- and Ashlee brought bananas and coconut cream pie. 

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