This is one of the books on my list that I’ve always known of, but never had the chance to pick up. Well, I finally did over spring break (which I know is different here then it is from there, but bear with me). It was fantastic, simply put.
The story follows Pi Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry who is moving with his parents and their zoo animals to Canada when the boat suddenly sinks in the middle of the night; the only survivors being Pi and several animals in a pint-sized boat. The novel carries Pi and the reader through 227 long long days at sea, as Pi, a mere 16-17 year old boy, struggles to survive the harsh and barren conditions given him: surrounded by ocean for miles around while being trapped at the same time with a 500 pound Bengal Tiger. It addresses questions such as religion, spirituality, and animal consciousness in a fresh and very simply way. After reading Gravity’s rainbow (blog to come) I was more than relieved to find this book to be relatively simple, although no worse for being so. In fact, the book was lighthearted, fresh, and moving for its simple acceptance of life as-is.
There is plenty of action and adventure to keep the plot moving (the island of meerkats was my favorite part) and Pi’s inner philosophical wanderings keep the reader moving through the days of aimless drifting in the sea. The author, Yann Martel, does a great job describing the physical and psychological effects of being stranded at sea, adding an extremely poignant feeling of truth to the book. Definitely a good read for rainy day.