“It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse.”
Life of Pi is a challenging read, but it is a great one nonetheless. Piscine Molitor Patel, known less formally as Pi, is a bookworm who is extremely curious about the world around him. His family owns the dream of every child—a zoo—and because of this, he is able to spend time with goats, hippos, bears, you name it. Beyond the fact that he has a brother that picks on him (can’t let him be a spoiled only child, can we?), his life is relatively good. His parents are open-minded and allow him to practice three religions: Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. All is well for Pi, as he is able to live and be free.
Throughout India, things are not so wonderful. The political changes disrupting the country when Pi turns 16, forces his family to escape to Canada (Of all places… maybe because of the healthcare? Who knows…) With their animals they travel via ship, a vessel named Tsimtsum.
The ship, heavy from the weight of a tiger, zebra, orangutan, and hyena sinks, and Pi is the only survivor. For 227 days, he and the animals sail across the Pacific Ocean.
In order to survive situations like this, one must be able to use their natural skills or quickly acquire some, and Pi is able to do so. What makes this book fantastic is not because it reminds people of “Cast Away,” but because it is detailed account of the human spirit and mind. Martel is a religious man, and the book provides constant religious undertones. If you’re not into spirituality, this book likely isn’t for you.
The author does a good job of keeping the reader nose-deep into the work—while it is a challenging read, pushing through this book pushing through provides an accomplished feeling.
For a 16-year-old boy, Pi is deep. He makes you wonder. I give this book 8 out 10.
One More Page is an original RASCAL feature, written by our newest columnist Tania Lanensburg. Keep your eyes peeled, as she’ll be taking you through both contemporaries and classics throughout our future.