Nov 1, 2006

One Paragraph Book Review: The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The last 280 pages of Yann Martel’s critically acclaimed novel, The Life of Pi, were highly entertaining. But if I hadn’t been obligated to finish the book for my book club, I never would have made it past the first 120 pages, which didn’t advance the plot and left me bored and mildly irritated. Starting at page 121, however, when the protagonist, Pi, finds himself stranded in the middle of the ocean with a Bengal tiger, I found the story of survival compelling. (I have to acknowledge that I read fiction primarily for content and plot development, and not so much the nature of the writing - I like a good story, and it doesn’t really matter to me if it’s told poetically. That said, the quality of writing in this story is quite good.)


Anonymous said...

That was one book I picked up and couldn't get past the first 10 pages. Don't know if I could read 121 pages just to get to the good stuff.

Unknown said...

I'll admit that it was long and really more like two books with the first part primarily about the zoo and Pi's foray into each of the world's major religions. I thought that was more realistic than spending all that time in the ocean surviving with the tiger. I do tend to look at things the other way around.