Where do I begin with this one? I've been contemplating the book, the symbolism of the story, Martel’s writing, so on and so forth since I started the book. Here is the deal: I wanted to LOVE this book. I've heard numerous readers rave about the book (since finishing I've also found that not everyone loved it – thank goodness - I was starting to feel like a pariah). It has been touted as such a moving and inspirational tale that I was sure I would love it. Alas, it was not so. Actually, I struggled very, very hard to even complete the book. I wanted to quit, but couldn't because surely a book with so much assumed merit would turn things around, right? Um, NO.
First, I will tell my followers that Martel can write. He creates beautiful prose and his words just melt in your mouth. What a talent for writing vivid scenes! Specifically, this writing and true talent is what kept me from making this a one-star read (YIKES)!
Second, I will tell you that the story had potential. I really think it did. I get the point the author was trying to make (you can’t miss it really). I understand all the symbolism and the spiritual paths, and I understand the underlying questions that still remain upon finishing the book.
Third, I will say, even with the talented writing and the promising story, Life of Pi never caught me. I was bored with most of the story (I hadn't thought that was even possible when reading of a stranded, young man in a life boat). This is definitely a good example of the fact that readers need both good writing and a great, engaging story. When one side is unbalanced, or maybe completely missing, things just fall flat and that is what happened during this story for me.