EXPeriencing ‘Life of Pi’

I’m not one to belabor seasons. As much as I love the warmth and long days of summer, I look forward to crisp leaves and the nip in the air that comes with fall. But as much as I’ve been looking forward to fall this year, it’s felt like a long time coming. September was more like August Part Two, and just this week it was still in the 80’s. But today, finally, it was cold and raining, and leaves were hitting the ground almost as frequently as the raindrops.

Which made me think back to the books I read during summer’s end, and I realized that I haven’t talked about them at all. They’ve been hanging out in my head for more than a month at this point, and if I don’t write about them, I might go crazy. Or maybe I’m just itching to write and this is my excuse.

Either way, I need to write about LIfe of Pi, which I read at the end of August. What an unexpected story. I recognize I’m over a decade late to this book, and at this point most people have probably seen the movie, too, but wow. This story surprised me from page one, and the ending has kept me living with this story for months.

If you haven’t read this book yet, you may be like me and think it’s about a boy on a lifeboat with a tiger. But there is so much more to it than that.

The book doesn’t start on the lifeboat with a boy and a tiger. (Actually, once we get to the lifeboat it doesn’t even start with a boy and a tiger, but a boy, a tiger, a hyena, an orangutan, and a zebra.) Well before we ever reach the Pacific Ocean, the book details Pi’s backstory–which makes sense why the book is called Life of Pi and not Pi Trapped on a Lifeboat with a Tiger.

Pi’s story in itself is fascinating, but what I enjoyed most at the beginning (surprising even myself) were the long, nuanced religious musings about Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Pi considers himself Christian, Muslim, and Hindu, and it was interesting to read about how Pi came to participate and appreciate all three of those religions.

While the beginning of the book isn’t about Pi drifting lost on the ocean, a majority of the book is just that. It, too, was fascinating. It actually surprised me how much of a page-turner this was. I often set the book down at night wondering what was going to happen next. Towards the end of Pi and the tiger’s journey, things got a bit magical realism for my taste. The story eases into it, but I still raised my eyebrows a few times. I’m not big on magical realism, but it didn’t deter my enjoyment.

Which is a good thing because omg the ending. The ending of this book is… it left me speechless. I don’t know how to write about it because I can’t give it away but I want to gush about it so badly. You have to experience the whole journey to appreciate the ending. The payoff is just perfect.

If you haven’t checked out Life of Pi yet, definitely go pick it up from the library and give it a read. It’s well worth it.

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