Thursday, October 05, 2006

Life of Pi

Life of Pi by Yann Martel is one of my favorite books. I don't recall how I came across it but I remember reading it on a holiday in Mozambique. The reason that I wanted to read it was twofold. The first because I like the idea of the story on the back cover. The second because it was a Booker Prize winner. I don't believe that I have ever been disappointed with a Booker Prize winner book. Another of my all time favorite books is Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle. The only reason that I picked up that book was because it was a Booker Prize winner and it was fantastic.

MikeR recently sent me an email that (in part) read:

in the book life of pi what was the point of the meerkat infested island that turned into an acidic flesh eating ball at night? was it a figment of his imagination as he was drifting in and out of consciousness, or did he actually stumble upon this island? it is so ridiculously unbelievable to imagine an island like this, so i presume it was a figment, but i welcome your views.

To which I replied:

Couldn't you argue that about the whole book?
BTW: The island was real.

A meerkat infested island that turns into an acidic flesh eating ball is obviously not fictitious. You have not been watching the Discovery Channel enough. Stay in more and watch more telly. Stop getting out.


Anonymous said...

Guy, we do have more in common than is obvious. Life of Pi is a classic and right up there in my top 10 books.

The ending keeps discussion going with myself and the wife along with my friend and his wife. Was he telling the truth to the investigators? We all have a unique opinion.

Guy Ellis said...

Well he told both stories to the investigators and one of them was the truth and so yes, he told them the truth.

But then you have to remember that both stories are fictional and so neither is really true anyway and so can a fictional story count as the truth if the story is told from within the story.

i.e. If a fictional character at the end of a story (the book) recounts what happened in the book does he have "fictional immunity" in which his re-telling of the story counts as the truth? i.e. two fictionals make a truth? Just like two negatives make a postive and two wrongs make right?

Anonymous said...

Exactly... I think. :)

You hit the discussion on the head though. Which of the stories that he told the investigators is true, of course assuming that the book is based upon fact and his travels really did happen.

Guy Ellis said...

Then it would have to be the one about what the story was about. i.e. Not the one about his mother.