Saturday, September 08, 2007

Life of Pi

Life of Pi is the story of a 16-year old Indian boy adrift at sea for 227 days with only a dangerous Bengal tiger for a companion. Pi Patel's journey, and survival through the use of his wits and sheer determination, is one that grabs you and never lets go.

First published by Knopf Canada in September 2001, the novel won the prestigious Man Booker Prize the following year. It was also chosen for CBC Radio's Canada Reads 2003 competition.

A couple of interesting quotes from the last chapter when Pi is being interviewed by a couple of Japanese shipping investigtors, trying to determine why the ship sank. They do not believe his story of the being in the lifeboat with a tiger:
"Don't you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?"

"We're just trying to be reasonable."

"So am I! I applied reason at every moment. Reason is excellent for getting food, clothing and shelter. Reason is the very best tool kit. Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater."
p 328-9
Pi Patel: "You want words that reflect reality?"


"Words that do not contradict reality?"


"But tigers don't contradict reality."

"Oh please, no more tigers."

"I know what you want. You want a story that won't surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won't make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality."

p. 334
Sounds a little (make that a lot) like some Christians. They want a version (maybe that's a perversion) of Christianity that is reasonable and flat and dry and confirming of what they already know. In such a view, there is no room for mystery, there is no room for the unknown, there is no room for God. Because they have him all figured out.

Links / Reviews:

1 comment:

michael lewis said...

I absolutely enjoyed this novel!

Isn't there a film adaptation being released at some future date?