301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently


A Second Piece of Pi

I first read Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi (Vintage) in my grade 12 English class—which may explain my lack of appreciation for an adventure fantasy about a writer who seeks out a man named Pi Patel in order to tell him a story that will make him believe in God.

Life of Pi

When I heard they were turning the book into a movie, I had serious doubts, and apparently I wasn’t the only one. Before Ang Lee’s film won Oscars for best director, visual effects, original score and cinematography at the 85th Academy Awards, the director himself had admitted to thinking that Life of Pi was “unfilmable.” To me it seemed even more impossible that I would ever want to reread a novel that devotes 211 of its 354 pages to the 227 days following a shipwreck that leaves a sixteen-year-old boy stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with only a tiger for company.

Whether it was the film’s visual effects that finally brought the book to life for me, or the fact that I had now graduated from high school, on rereading the novel I was able to suspend disbelief and to appreciate the story of Pi’s loss, his survival, and his indiscriminate faith in God.

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