When I first read The Life of Pi several years back, here’s how it was pitched to me: “It’s the story of a boy named ‘Pi’ and a tiger stuck in a boat together.” And without fail, pretty much everybody who has ever tried to describe it to me since then has used some variation of that statement. The thing about that is that it’s a completely true statement. True, but not fair. The Life of Pi is so much more than just that.
It’s a story of spirituality, a story of adventure, a story of fear, a story of faith, a story of losing, and a story of finding. It’s also the story of a boy who was already searching before he was ever actually lost. Aren’t we all? This is one of the reasons that the richness of The Life of Pi is more merely than the adventure at sea. In fact, the book is almost half-way through before young Pi finds himself anywhere near that life boat or the amazing journey he is to discover.
You’ll learn much about India, about religion, about animals, and hopefully even about yourself. Perhaps this is the true beauty of The Life of Pi: Discovery. And what shall you discover in the pages of this novel? Well, that’s truly and completely up to you.
This novel has been described by many as “unfilmable,” but director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Brokeback Mountain) seems to have disagreed. The Life of Pi is now also a major motion picture, coming to Philippine cinemas in January 2013. My suggestion? Watch the trailer below. After seeing what magic Ang Lee has wrought, ponder this: if the book truly is “unfilmable” and probably better than the movie — and the movie already looks that awesome — should you really miss out on either one?
You can order a paperback copy of The Life Of Pi here for around Php300.