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Life of Pi and the soul-searching power of fiction

Photo+courtesy+of+Canon+Gate
Photo courtesy of Canon Gate

Photo courtesy of Canon Gate

Photo courtesy of Canon Gate

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Life of Pi by Yann Martel is a novel about “Pi Patel” and his unique experience moving from a quaint town in India to Canada. When his ship sinks, Pi soon finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with multiple animals and a limited supply of food. Being the son of a zookeeper, Patel must use his technical skills and creative mind to save himself.

 

The novel’s brilliance begins with Martel’s introduction of Patel and his inquisitive nature. Martel seamlessly combines humor with philosophy as he molds Patel into the complex adolescent that appears in the second half of the book. A unique aspect of the book is the cloudiness between nonfiction and fiction that seems to constantly pick away at readers’ minds. The reason for this is Martel’s uncommon ability to seamlessly depict his own real-life experience through a variety of fictional characters that are present in the book such as Pi. In fact, this cloudiness between nonfiction and fiction has been a controversy of sorts with regards to Life of Pi.

 

Where the book begins to diverge from its brilliance is Martel’s transition from Pi’s zookeeper life. Unfortunately, Martel seems to dive too deep into the nature of certain characters that appear to have little to no connection to the second half of the book that details Pi’s journey from India to Canada. This can cause readers to become frustrated at the rather slow pace with regards to this transition.  

 

Overall, Martel delivers an expressive and dramatic adventure that is sure to bring a variety of emotions to readers.

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Life of Pi and the soul-searching power of fiction