Reccommendation: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

21 Jan

The plot of Life of Pi by Yann Martel is not neccessarily thick- it’s structure is simple and not necessarily new. It’s plot is familiar, a castaway lost in the Pacific Ocean- facing untold dangers and the insanity of solitary survival. What sets Life of Pi apart is it’s depth. Rather than a simple Robinson Crusoe-like survival-adventure story (Pi, a 16 year old boy is lost at sea with a Bengal tiger as his primary companion) it is a full exploration of humanity and specifically, the spiritual nature of our existance.
What is truth? What is it to be human? What is it to be alive?
What connects us to each other? How are we connected to a higher power?
Do we have a choice in shaping our reality?
“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways”
“There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if ultimate reality, as if the sustaining frame of existance were something weak and helpless….These people fail to realize that it is from the inside that God must be defended, not the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves for evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.”
“I am a person who believes in form, in the harmony of order. Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape”
The world isn’t just the way it is, it is the way we understand it”
A final note on the author: Yann Martel, as the name suggests sounds like a a supremely interesting man. According to his bio on the back cover of the book “Yann Martel was born in Spain to Canadian parents in 1963. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, and Canada. After studying philosophy at university, he worked variously as a dishwasher, tree planter, and security guard. Then he began to write. When he’s not living somewhere else, he lives in Montreal”

One Response to “Reccommendation: Life of Pi, by Yann Martel”

  1. who, me? January 23, 2010 at 4:11 am #

    I've never read this book, but just from the description I think you might like this book that I'm reading for my great ideas class – it's called Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, and it's all about the myth of culture and the affect humans have on the planet – it's more than a little mind-boggling, but in a way that makes you think that you should have had your mind boggled like that a long time ago. :)

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