- "I remember reading this book for summer reading for high school and at first I couldn't get into it and after the first chapter I didn't want to put the book down." in 6 reviews
A few years later Pi's father decides to sell his zoo and emigrate with his wife and sons to Canada. Pi survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Both the book and the movie will make you laugh, cry and will melt your heart all at once.
However, where my problem lay is that the main plot of the book is his survival on a life boat. It seemed too Robinson Crusoe for me and I hated that book. That is one thing I typically don't like about survival stories, no matter what length, no matter what audience. They are all typically the same:
"Today I did inventory of my supplies. I have ## of this, ## of that, and ## of these."
"I fished and was able to get a fish after hours of trying."
"I tried a new food I never thought I'd eat, but I'm starving, so I have to."
"My life was almost ended today because of ____ but I was saved from death for some unknown reasons to me."
"I miss my life and my family."
It's a little repetitive and boring to me. I liked his interaction a lot more with Richard Parker and his attempts to train the tiger, than I did Pi recounting what he did to survive. It was a very slow-paced book, but at the same time, an easy, quick read.
I did really like the end, when the two Japanese workers came to interview Pi. They wanted a "real" story, and Pi gave them a parallel story with human survivors rather than animals. Almost immediately after the first paragraph, I was able to identify each human survivor with the animal and realized, it may or may not have been true, and Pi may or may not have envisioned this alternate reality to deal with all the trauma he'd been through. I really, really liked that. Then, after his story ended, the Japanese talked among themselves and explained the whole parallelism to us. I was able to figure it out on my own--it wasn't that hard. I don't think it was needed to spell it out for us.