Weekend Review

I've decided to wait a bit and come back to The Life of Pi. I read it over the course of this past week, wanting to read it before the movie comes out.

I don't know how I feel about the book. My mind gets all boggled up with making meaning: religions, zoos (which are man making a physical reality for animals and in a way making a meaning out of that physicality), the meaninglessness of life - real life - and our desires to make stories both to give meaning and to hide meaning. I was left with sorrow.

But out of all the story - a boy who survives being shipwrecked in a boat with a 450 lb. Bengal tiger, an island of man eating algae populated by fishing meerkats, a blind cannibal - this tied up everything it seems...

Where we can, we must give things a meaningful shape.

Where we can, indeed.


Tim said…
I didn't understand the book either. Essentially, Pi becomes a Unitarian. Or did I not understand that part of the novel? It's what happens, even though the author doesn't say that.

The whole "cannibal algae island" (it sounds like a bad SyFy movie) bit is incomprehensible to me. In the end, I don't care if he's a traumatized youth who witnessed human cannibalism or a magical kid who lives with a tiger a al The Black Stallion. In the end, I find Martel's synthesized religious beliefs to be silly, inconsistent, and illogical.

My religious friend with a degree in systematic theology says that theologians think the book is a comedy, akin to Candide or Parliament of Dunce. Anyone who takes religion seriously can't take the book seriously.

I myself found Everything Is Illuminated to be written with greater clarity.
I read the book several years ago and was left feeling the same way. I didn't know there was a movie coming out. That will certainly be interesting. I can't imagine pulling that off!
becca said…
the movie looks interesting though a bit confusing
Writer said…
Tim, I totally see the Candide in it...especially the meerkat island. As for Everything is Illuminated, I've not read the book yet...it is on my list, but the movie...OMG...I sob uncontrollable when the old woman ask about the war still going on. :(
Writer said…
Mitchell, that is why, I am excited about the movie, regardless of my ambivalence about the book: it's directed by Ang Lee. I hope he does something good with it.
Writer said…
becca, I wasn't confused by the movie til after I read the book. The trailer only covers the middle section of the book.

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