My most recent Audible read was Life of Pi by Yann Martel. In the simplest summary, this book is about a boy who becomes trapped on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a 450-pound Bengal tiger. But of course, it’s so much more than that.
The beginning of the book focuses on two main themes: animals and religion.
As the son of a zookeeper, Pi has learned much about animal behavior. I was fascinated by many of the things discussed through the first person narrative. At the time, I wasn’t aware that his father’s teachings and the things Pi observed growing up would play a larger role than reader entertainment, but the author did a great job of bringing everything full circle.
Pi practices Christianity. And Hinduism. And Islam. Not being a religious person myself, I found his outlook on faith and religion interesting. Shoot, I don’t even practice one and he does three.
In classic Jill style, I completely forgot the entire premise and reason for wanting to read this book (A boy trapped in a lifeboat with a tiger? That sounds awesome! *buys*), so I was completely taken by surprise when the boat sank. Also, with a name like Richard Parker, I didn’t realize until the very obvious was stated that Pi had helped the tiger into the lifeboat. However, I am happy to say that when Pi thought Richard Parker had jumped ship, I knew all along that he was hiding under the tarpaulin. Because, well, I wasn’t about to be fooled three times in a row.
The remainder of the book focuses on Pi’s voyage across the sea and how he manages to survive. The author spares no details; everything from killing animals to pooping is covered. Some things I found fascinating, others churned my stomach. It made me wonder just how dire my situation would be before my pure survival instincts kicked in, before it didn’t matter what I was eating as long as I was eating something. I’m going to be completely honest right now. Even without the tiger, I probably would have died. I would have curled up in a little ball and ceased to exist. If you’re ever in a life and death situation, pray that you don’t get stuck with me.
Overall, I loved this book. Listening to it was the only thing that held me back from finishing it sooner, as I typically only listen in my car. There were a few occasions in which I listened outside of the vehicle because I just couldn’t stop without knowing what happened next. The only time I found my attention waning was during the religious section. Other than that, it held my attention completely. Also, the narrator read it in an Indian accent (as Pi is from Pondicherry, India), which was a really refreshing change.
Read this book. You will love it.