I’ve always been a fan of books or movies where adolescent teenagers are protagonists. Life of Pi is one such book. Young Pisciilne Molitor Patel is the son of Pondicherry zookeeper. He has his own theories of everything. Right from changing his name from Piscline Molitor Patel to Pi Patel and how the animals will be happy in zoo and all that.

It’s not easy to write a story from adolescent point of view. Many things run in their mind. They know what’s right and what’s wrong, they keep on changing opinions and they always have an opinion about everything which they don’t stand by. It’s an age where their voice break, their pants become short or in other words they become tall, they are fully energetic and most annoying. That’s the age which must be celebrated and that’s why I salute Truffaut, Ray, R. K. Narayan for their vivid portrayal of young teenagers.

To state an example of the writers prowess there is a chapter in the book where Pi Patel goes to various religious places. Born a Hindu he goes to church then to mosque and so on. Being a kid he’s afraid when he goes to mosque and church. The people there comfort him by telling him that every religion is the same. As a young kid he too believes them but when he is asked to choose a religion for himself he says he’s a combination of all religions. There is a nice little fight between Christians, Muslims and Hindus there.

Pi Patel who leads a happy yet relentless childhood life gets into drama when his ship Tsimtsum gets sunk unknowingly. He’s survived by Richard parker, a hyena and an injured deer. Hyena kills the deer and it in turn gets killed by Richard Parker. It takes a while for us to know that Richard Parker is a tiger. It’s a writer’s freedom which Yann Martel has used to the fullest.

The first part of the story is such fun you don’t think of analysis. It just goes on. The second part where he gets stuck with the animals is where the real plot is. The writer writes those beautifully. One boy in a desolate ship with a tiger trying to survive is not an easy plot to write. But the writer does a good job by keeping us eager.

I liked the parody in climax where he weaves another story to convince the Japanese. It was a laugh riot when one man compares the story to the real story that has happened. The author’s idea of trying to finish the story in exactly 100 chapters was lovely. He used Patel as a tool to say it himself. I’m always a fan of these types of stories where we couldn’t differentiate between reality and fiction.

In the front page it was said by the time we finish the book we’ll start believing in god. I didn’t. I didn’t even see where the author tried to invoke our interest in god. I don’t complain though as it was just a trivial thing. The book gave me a wholesome experience. I hope the movie too does the same.

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