A couple of weeks ago my spiritual friend Heather suggested that I read the book Life of Pi by Yann Martel and I highly recommend it. It’s a very quick read, but thought provoking none the less. The movie is coming out in 3D this coming Wednesday.
Piscine Patel is a teenage Indian boy who lives with his father and mother who are zoo owners. Often typical of ones childhood he decides to change his name to Pi because the other children ridicule him by calling him Pissing Patel. The first part of the book covers his life with his family, growing up around animals and most importantly his adventure into religion where he becomes a practicing Hindu, Christian and Muslim because he likes some of what each of the religion has to offer.
In the second part of the book Pi’s father decides the family should immigrate to Canada for a better life so they board a cargo ship bringing with them most of their animals to sell in North America. Unfortunately the cargo ship sinks, but Pi survives floating in the Pacific Ocean for two hundred and twenty seven days along with a hyena, a zebra, a orangutan and a tiger named Richard Parker. His efforts to survive and his interactions with the animals are quite interesting as he makes his way to the Mexican shoreline.
Toward the end of the book Pi is interviewed by Japanese maritime officials who are investigating the ships sinking, but they find Pi’s story with the animals almost too incredible to believe. So Pi’s offers these officials an entirely different version of the story and they are left to ponder which of the two versions are true.
Based on what I have read about the book on the internet the story in meant to have some religious underpinnings. The author, Yann Martel leaves the reader with the choice of believing Pi’s animal version of the story which would make them a religious believer, Pi’s alternative version which would make the reader an atheist or an agnostic if the reader can’t choose between the two versions.
Where do you come down ? I know where I do !