I just finished reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It was truly a fascinating story and a fairly good page-turner. In the end, the author explains the story quite well, so that even a dense guy like me can see some of his points.
This is not the story of pi (3.14159…), but rather the story of Piscine Molitor Patel, a young boy in India whose family owns a zoo. Piscine goes by Pi in order to avoid being teased because his name sounds like ‘pissing.’ The thrust of the story line is that Pi’s family decides to sell the zoo and move from India to Canada. Along the way, the cargo ship that they travel on sinks, and Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a variety of animals, including an orangutan, a hyena, a zebra, and a Bengal tiger. If that doesn’t get your interest, I don’t know what will.
Pi is an interesting young boy who is a boy of faith — he claims to be a hindu, muslim, and christian all at the same time. I do not think the Mr. Martel’s point is that all three religions could co-exist, but rather that the truths that he points out in the novel could apply to any of those three religions, or indeed any religion. During the book, one man does not believe Pi’s story, because he simply can’t believe it. Pi tells him that the things of faith are also unbelievable, but that doesn’t make them untrue.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable story — one I would recommend.