Monday, September 14, 2015

Audiobook Review: Life of Pi

Life of Pi By Yann Martel
Publisher: Rearsby, Leicester, Whole Story Audio
Release Date:  2004
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook
Narrated by Jeff Woodman & Alexander Marshall

Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★

                                             Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
Pi narrates shipwreck on a life raft with 450-pound bengal tiger Richard Parker in Pacific Ocean. Storms wash away supplies. Island proves dangerous. Finally in Mexico, landed castaway is a puzzle.

This isn't a book I normally would pick up, but I wanted to see the movie and I'm one of those people that likes to read the book first so I decided to listen to the audiobook. I know that the movie came out a while ago, but I'm pretty slow when it comes to these things. So my overall impression: this book was pretty decent but I wouldn't place in my top favorite books.

I thought the book was really interesting as I was able to learn more about a culture unlike my own. Most of the books I read tend to skew to western settings, so I was really interested in learning more about India and the culture in which Pi grew up. I kind of really loved that the author explains a lot about non-christian religions and Pi's experiments with them. We did learn about different religions in history in middle school but I felt like the book gave me a better understanding about Hinduism. Which is not something I know much about at all. I'm a little torn about this part of the book, because on the one hand I thought it was a great learning experience, but on the other I felt like it made the plot drag on. It seems like there was too much exposition about Pi's life before he gets shipwrecked that we didn't need.

Once we get to Pi being on the raft with the Tiger Richard Parker, that's when things got really interested. It also reminded me that I should really education myself on survival skills, because man I would die immediately if I was stranded in the middle of the ocean. I'm also 100% sure that the tiger would eat me right away. Like seriously, how did he not get eaten?

I found parts of the survival aspect hard to listen to as Pi has to go through so many trials before he is finally saved. (This is not a spoiler, you know he's going to get saved eventually, otherwise what's the point in reading this book?) It also made me so mad that the company that owned the cargo ship he was on did not believe his story. It was kind of unbelievable, but you would think that a kid that grew up in a zoo would understand animal behaviors in order to survive. I thought it was really funny that Pi just kept messing with them and stealing their food and told them the most outlandish story because it was what they wanted to hear. 

I think if you are interested in reading a book in a non-western society or you like survival books like Hatchet, this would be a good book for you. I enjoyed this book enough, but it just did not have the wow factor that I was looking for in a book.

Happy Reads Everyone!