Twelfth book of 2004 finished!

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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.


That sounds interesting, it makes me want to read it anyway.

Thanks for reviewing. I've always felt out of the loop by not having read it, and it's very interesting to read St. Blogger opinions (I think Amy reviewed it last year too).

Dear Terry,

I agree, and I think moreover it raises some very intereting questions about syncretism and postmodernism (among other things). In our discussion group we spent a lot of time on the Island because we felt its point was particularly important given the relative plausibility or at least remote possiblity of the remainder. It was a fascinating read! Thanks for talking about it.



Terri do you plan on "releasing" The Secret Life Of Bees for that book crossing thing? I want to start doing that and I figured a book I plan to read would be a good start. You could release it to my van on Sunday :) And yes, I looked you up over at Your URL in your profile is wrong, left out an M & an A.

Somebody I know couldn't get through that one. I might pick it up after I finish Middlesex.



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