Disclaimer: I’m afraid this isn’t going to be an objective review of a book. I think, with the risk of sounding like a cougar or a kook or both (& possibly fickle), I’ve fallen in love with the central human in the novel The Life of Pi, the young man known as Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi).
This novel, by author Yann Martel, won a number of awards when it was first published, and it has also made its way on to high school reading lists and read by book clubs so I’m not the only reader who’s been swept up (swept away) with this character and his tale of survival. For me it wasn’t until the latter pages of this story that I realized how emotionally wrapped up I had become with Pi and his story.
Full disclosure: In light of how I feel about cats, both big and small, I believe this aspect of my personality and emotions was also tapped while reading this story. At one time in my life I had a cat I named “Tiger Moon.” At another time in my life I had a cat whose survival and my ability to take care of this animal became very very important to me. I also believe that meerkats are fascinating creatures.
Here is one of my favorite passages from this novel Life of Pi: “There were many skies. The sky was invaded by great white clouds, flat on the bottom but round and billowy on top. The sky was completely cloudless, of a blue quite shattering to the senses. The sky was a heavy, suffocating blanket of grey cloud, but without promise of rain. The sky was thinly overcast. The sky was dappled with small, white fleecy clouds. The sky was streaked with high, thin clouds that looked like a cotton ball stretched apart. The sky was a featureless milky haze. The sky was a density of dark and blustery rain clouds that passed by without delivering rain. The sky was painted with a small number of flat clouds that looked like sandbars. The sky was a mere block to allow a visual effect on the horizon: sunlight flooding the ocean, the vertical edges between light and shadow perfectly distinct. The sky was a distant black curtain of falling rain. The sky was many clouds at many levels, some thick and opaque, others looking like smoke. The sky was black and spitting rain on my smiling face. The sky was nothing but falling water, a ceaseless deluge that wrinkled and bloated my skin and froze me stiff.
There were many seas. The sea roared like a tiger. The sea whispered in your ear like a friend telling you secrets. The sea clinked like small change in a pocket. The sea thundered like avalanches. The sea hissed like sandpaper working on wood. The sea sounded like someone vomiting. The sea was dead silent.
And in between the two, in between the sky and the sea, were all the winds.
And there were all the nights and all the moons.
To be a castaway is to be a point perpetually at the centre of a circle…”
I finished reading this book last nite and today am realizing I miss Pi. Some characters have the ability to draw the reader in and Pi, for me, is one of them.