My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have had a complicated relationship with this book before I ever even read it. It still grates on my nerves; not in a bad way but more like… it unsettles me. From the first time my cousin made me watch the movie with her it has bugged me. Despite not wanting to know anything about the Life of Pi by Yann Martel, (I am a warm, fuzzy, book kind of person, not a fighting for survival book person,) I eventually found myself with the book in my hand because it wouldn’t let me alone and I needed to know if it could offer me more than the movie had. I think all my problems began because of the ending.
I don’t say this often and do not know if it should be said with a smile or with tears but I didn’t feel that the book offered me anything more than the movie. There were some parts from the book that I don’t remember seeing in the movie; mainly in the beginning of the book. However, I don’t feel that loosing those few parts took anything away from the movie. For me the movie was more clear than the book; which often left me feeling unsure. At times I was confused though not enough to put the book down and never look back but definitely enough to be irritating. There were times it seemed to drag on. Maybe because it’s too foreign of a situation for me to begin to understand and picture clearly in my mind or maybe because I saw the movie first and was always trying to compare it with that. Either way, the fact remains that, I am not picking up this book again for a long while (I may retry it with a fresh mind in about 30 years, see if my opinion has changed). The movie, I may be persuaded in two years or so to re-watch it.
Believe it or not, I do recommend either seeing or reading it at least once because it is an intriguing story that Yann Martel made feel incredibly real. His ability to make a good story, I do not question. I found myself on Google late a couple of nights trying to find out if it really was fictional. I still am not convinced; it has a chilling quality to it that makes it feel lifelike; living and walking and as though Pi is a man I may one day bump into on the streets. The type of man one could tell has an interesting backstory but never would one be able to guess just how incredible and life altering that life story really is.
*Note the review is based on the book, not the movie.