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Cannonball Read 2 #3: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

So it only took me a week to fall apart on NaBloPoMo--I guess spending 8 hours a day sitting at a computer during the week makes me rather disinclined to do it during the weekend. Humpf.

Life of Pi is the story of Pi Patel, a young Indian boy whose father owns a zoo in India. His parents decide to emigrate to Canada, and set off on a ship with several animals they are selling to zoos in North America. One night during the crossing, the ship sinks, and Pi is dismayed to find himself stranded on a 26-foot lifeboat with an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena, and a full-sized Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. The story sets up Pi's upbringing in India and his experiences with the various world religions, but the majority of the book concerns his 227 day ordeal on the open sea.

I read this on the recommendation of a friend of ours--this is The Bartender's favorite book, and after he'd be raving about it for weeks, the opportunity came up for me to borrow a copy. First of all, the story starts out VERY slowly. It was a struggle for me to get through the first 70 pages, really. I am not big on philosophy or theology, so I had to force myself to keep reading. Once the shipwreck happened, however, and Pi was left to try and survive while handling Richard Parker the tale picked up speed. Unfortunately, the story comes to a rather abrupt and disappointing end.

On the whole, it was not a bad book--I'd probably give it a 3 out of 5. Many of Martel's descriptions are beautiful, and some of the writing is lovely. However, I was not nearly as impressed as I expected to be.

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