Life of Pi is a fiction novel that was written by Yann Martel. One of Martel’s most famous works, Life of Pi, which was published in 2001, is about an Indian boy, Pi, growing up and navigating his way through life first as a boy in India, second as a teenager drifting out to sea for 227 days and third as a survivor. Pi states in the beginning that his is a story that speaks on the existence of God. The novel shows how one might survive on a lifeboat with only himself, his beliefs in God and a Bengal Tiger to depend on.
There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and even more when the movie came out. Because of that, I was hesitant to give it a try. When Forrest Gump came out, my mom, brother and I went to see it and really liked it, so we told my dad that it was a great movie that he would really like. When he finally watched it at home on VHS, he was a bit let down because of all of the anticipation. But, everyone knows that Forrest Gump really is a good movie. When I finally got around to reading this book and then watching the movie, I was surprised to find that I was not all that disappointed. With the exception of one aspect of the novel, there was a lot that I liked about the book. The descriptions in the book were very intense so much so that some parts were difficult to get through. The emotions described by Pi were palpable to the point where I was almost in tears when the tiger walked into the jungle.
An interesting part of the story, to me, was that, even though I didn’t know how Pi had survived, I knew that he had indeed survived. It was the same feeling I got from reading Unbroken. I knew that the Olympic runner had survived but kept reading because I couldn’t imagine how it was possible. Whereas the book Unbroken is non-fiction account of what happened to Louis Zamperini, this book is a work of fiction. It is a work of fiction made to seem like a non-fiction account of Pi surviving at sea for 227 days. There were a number of occasions in the book where the narrator assured us that the story was true and that the account given was accurate. This was not at all the case, of course. In college, we watched an Oliver North film about the “desparecidos” of El Salvador called Salvador. The movie came across as a non-fiction account of what had happened and even included script at the end of the movie explaining what happened in the country after the story ended. While many atrocities did occur in El Salvador during the period, the movie was actually fiction, which I felt cheated us from learning about really happened, and I felt tricked. I don’t like feeling tricked and that’s why I only really like this book and don’t love it.