Finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel last night. It is our book club book for NEXT month--May--so in at least one area of my life, I am AHEAD! Believe it or don't.
The book is about, let's see, a teenaged Indian boy, son of a zookeeper. He is Hindu, Muslim and Catholic. (Yes, that's what he says.) His parents decide to emigrate from India and move to Canada. They sell the zoo off, pack up some of the animals and take a ship from India. Just a few days out of port, the ship is sunk (by what we never know), and all hands are lost, including Pi's whole family. Pi Patel, the boy, makes his way to a lifeboat, along with a (yep, this is the story) a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and the other major presence of the book: Richard Parker. Oh, and Richard Parker just happens to be a 450 pound Bengal tiger.
Or maybe not.
The book is fascinating, and reminds me in many ways of reading Charles Williams. You find yourself buying into the most outrageous stories, or gasping for air thinking "What? What? What on earth is he *talking* about?" Only to have the images flash back into your mind time and again later.
This is THE most different book I have read in a long, long time. I usually have no patience for genres like "magical realism" but another reviewer caught it just right. This isn't magical realism, it is mystic realism--like C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Charles Williams....
I'm glad I read it. And I will read it again.