I don't think my mind could be any more conflicted than it is right now...my brain is trying to comprehend putting a rating on Life of Pi by Yann Martel. One star is "I disliked it" and I definitely didn't dislike it. Two stars is "It was okay" and I sure as heck didn't think that it was just okay...so that leaves three to five stars- "I liked it" to "It was amazing." Now the real conundrum is, did I like it, or love it?
I could absolutely see how someone would dislike, not care for, or even despise this book, but I could also see how one would be terribly infatuated with it. It has an incredible beginning, learning about Piscine "Pi" Patel, the main character; his passion for faith, religion and God, the intriguing and suspenseful middle, where he gets trapped on a lifeboat with a bloodthirsty tiger, and an end that...I...I can't even begin to describe.
And that's where I believe Life of Pi lost most of its readers, and where it almost lost me. Almost.
I'm not entirely sure what Yann Martel was trying to accomplish with this novel, but if his goal was anything close to "making his readers think," I would say that it was well accomplished- at least for me. This book had me contemplating life and God, long after I had finished reading it.
The thing is, the beginning may not have been everyone's cup of tea, but the way Yann Martel started this book is exactly what I love and crave in a novel when I first pick it up. It's very Elizabeth Gilbert-ish with its character's occasional internal monologue about the things in life currently occupying his mind, whether good or bad. So in Part One of Life of Pi, when Pi starts to develop who he really is and discovers his faith, I was absolutely captivated, which then had me hooked and emotionally attached to the rest of the story, no matter where it went.
I found this boy's story extraordinary. And I absolutely understand where other readers would dislike it. No "buts" about it.
So, as I say with many of my book reviews, read the book. Pick up a copy, give it a read and see what you think. If you love it, you've just gained yourself a remarkable book that will leave an impression on you and stay there until the day you die. And if you dislike it, you've only wasted a little bit of your reading time.