Life of Pi

Today was one of those lazy days. I slept in until 11:30am until L called. She was telling me about the luncheon she was having at the conference that she was attending. I tried to fall back to sleep afterwards, but I couldn’t get the sunlight out of my eyes.

I ate breakfast, slipped back into bed, and started to read Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I’ve been reading that book all day. I finished the entire book a few minutes after eight o’clock this evening.

The story was more interesting than inspirational, although I can see how a survival story of a 14-year old boy lost at sea with an adult Bengal tiger can be uplifting – even a bit thrilling. I can tell that Martel put a lot of research into this book. It’s evident from his descriptions of animal behavior, zookeeping practices and religious ideas. As a whole, the novel was a great read because it told a great story with thought-provoking ideas.

By the end of the story, I was confronted with a choice: should I believe Pi’s account of his 227 days lost at sea with a Bengal tiger, or with a cannibalistic French cook? Should I believe that this story was real, that there really was a Piscine Molitar Patel, a Japanese vessel that sank on July 2nd, 1977, and a huge zoo in Pondicherry, India? Or, was this account a work of fiction? What’s “the better story”? Should I believe in a universe created by a God, or one that is scientifically explained in “dry, yeastless factuality”?

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