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WEBC - Life of Pi discussion thread
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mutant hedgehog worm
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Picture of halucinagenia
posted
Well not sure if this was an official book club book, but if not just a place for all those that have already read it to chat about it.

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Well i found it a quick read and entertaining, believable up to a point in the book. And then it sorta turned into a different and almost fantasy like story. With a teribble aspect at the ending.

Just curious but how believable did everyone find the beginning and was i the only one that was fooled by the preface into thinking this a true story?
 
Posts: 9895 | Location: The heart of gold | Registered: July 30, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Aufero vestri dmno manuum a meus antenna
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Picture of aitapata
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Yann Martel was at our library a few years ago. I helped him log onto our public computers.

....and I still haven't read the book. *shame*


_____________________________
"I know that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones blah blah blah.... but THAT guy is paranoid!" -- Agent Fox Mulder
 
Posts: 37699 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: December 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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...isn't it? Hahaha.

It's a different kind of religion book, definitely. I could believe the whole thing! Razz Maybe in another universe it happened.
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: July 10, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That it was in the fiction section and has the little, standard, "this book is a work of fiction" blurb at the beginning sort of made me think it wasn't true.

Granted, I'm naive enough to think that, at the end, we're still supposed to *believe* it happened (which, I do in that sense).

Most certainly one of the better books I've read. A lot of people got angry at the ending - I just thought it made the book all the more interesting.
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: July 09, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
lives deliberately
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Picture of Alaura
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Well, I admit to having been sucked in during the Author's Notes, but then I glanced at the cover and noticed that the true title of the book is "Life of Pi: A Novel."

I'm still in the midst of reading it for a second time, and I want to refresh myself on the ending, but I do want to point out that the fictional author meets Pi's children and wife and says "this story has a hapy ending."

I also want to point out that at the very begining, Pi warns that the most dangerous thing one can do is to anthropomorphize animals--to see human qualities in animals where there are merely animal qualities. I would offer that the opposite is dangerous as well-- to see animals where there are people.

I'll have better discussion points once I'm finished an dhave the ending fresh in my mind.


ego forceps ergo ego forceps


****
"Chives?"�
"Yes, m'lud?"�
"Is that Ms Ephemera hovering over the croquet lawn?"�
"Indeed m'lud. She's marshalled all the haggle-dans. Missy-twigs and vale-nymphs from Claypole Woods. Apparently she intends to tear this house down and dance on the ruins."�
"Well, Chives, you'd better start the car, what? And pack my tennis things too"�
--- Joe 3Heads
 
Posts: 11426 | Location: In a perpetual state of Ohio | Registered: December 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
lives deliberately
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Picture of Alaura
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M'kay...finished last night in a fit of insomnia. Had dreams afterwards of being watched by a tiger in the house. That didn't help matters.

So...what does "And do it goes with God" mean, when Pi has told both versions of the story to the Japanese men and they think the animal story was the better of the two?

And why do critics keep referring to this as book about religion? I mean, yes, Pi is an adherent of several faiths (as a unitarain, this is an easy concept for me to swallow). And his jourey is an almost biblical one in which he is given several tests. But is there some overt religious message that I am missing? Or is it just that his love for all that is an aspect of God (which is everything) is so in line with my own spirituality that I take it for granted?


ego forceps ergo ego forceps


****
"Chives?"�
"Yes, m'lud?"�
"Is that Ms Ephemera hovering over the croquet lawn?"�
"Indeed m'lud. She's marshalled all the haggle-dans. Missy-twigs and vale-nymphs from Claypole Woods. Apparently she intends to tear this house down and dance on the ruins."�
"Well, Chives, you'd better start the car, what? And pack my tennis things too"�
--- Joe 3Heads
 
Posts: 11426 | Location: In a perpetual state of Ohio | Registered: December 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
mutant hedgehog worm
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Picture of halucinagenia
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As an atheist i didn't get why the book was supposed to be religious either...

I already knew all the stories and anecedotes about the various religions that were represented, but this is a big guess but maybe because it demonstrates to those of a certain religion how similar they all are?

quote:
So...what does "And do it goes with God" mean, when Pi has told both versions of the story to the Japanese men and they think the animal story was the better of the two?

The line is "And so it goes with God" typo?
I guessed he meant that 'god' or 'gods' prefer to couch their truths in analoges and stories rather than the blatant truth, because it is easier to take and understand that way.
 
Posts: 9895 | Location: The heart of gold | Registered: July 30, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
should only be taken in the dosage prescribed by your physician
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Picture of CancerDusk
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I took it this way. Pi would rather his audience take his word on faith rather than rely on the story that is more readily believable, but may still be just as made-up. Many religions require similar leaps of faith. Pi himself has conflicting beliefs, yet isn't bothered by that fact. I remember in one passage in which he compares atheists to agnostics and finds the former preferable to the latter. What seems to be important to him and to God (or at least his conception of God) isn't what seems to make real world sense, but that you can make that leap of faith anyway.


------
"Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying 'yes' begins things. Saying 'yes' is how things grow. Saying 'yes' leads to knowledge."
~Stephen Colbert
 
Posts: 7088 | Location: St. Louis, MO | Registered: July 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
mutant hedgehog worm
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Picture of halucinagenia
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Which would also explain why the book is considered religiously moving, thanks han, don't think i would have picked that up myself.
 
Posts: 9895 | Location: The heart of gold | Registered: July 30, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Croaker
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quote:
Originally posted by aitapata:
Yann Martel was at our library a few years ago. I helped him log onto our public computers.

....and I still haven't read the book. *shame*


Yann Martel dated my sister for a while

....and I still haven't read the book. *shame*


---------------------
Good Dreams don't come cheap, you have to pay for them.
 
Posts: 1404 | Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: June 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Read this in engish class latst year. First half boring but nesisary. second half intreging. final half cool yet sad. the way this book was writen was cool.


Harry: Yeah I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listening to her, or something, I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention.
-Dumb And Dumber
 
Posts: 15 | Registered: July 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is merely my opinion! I sometimes have trouble explaining myself, but please read through it all!

I think we have to ask ourselves: Do people (the readers) want a story that is depressing and disheartening (the cook story), or do we want a seemingly fictitious tale (the Richard Parker story)? One is absolutely horrific but easily imaginable, another is beautiful and full of life, but in our hearts is harder to believe, however we so badly want it to be true because it doesn't end in complete heartache.

I know pretty much nothing about God or religion, but I think that this story is telling us that there are two ways to look at life.
1. There is no God, there is only this, and no one goes to Heaven, or,
2. There is God, and even though it may be harder to believe, (with stories of miracles, higher spirits, etc... [in this case Richard Parker and the algae island]), we choose to, because if there is God there is Heaven and it makes us happy and puts our minds at ease.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Hughie,
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: August 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
lives deliberately
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Hughie, you explained yourself beautifully! Thanks and welcome to the Board!

I agree with your interpretation. Its ultimately a question of the limits of our faith and imaginations and the outcome of belief.


ego forceps ergo ego forceps


****
"Chives?"�
"Yes, m'lud?"�
"Is that Ms Ephemera hovering over the croquet lawn?"�
"Indeed m'lud. She's marshalled all the haggle-dans. Missy-twigs and vale-nymphs from Claypole Woods. Apparently she intends to tear this house down and dance on the ruins."�
"Well, Chives, you'd better start the car, what? And pack my tennis things too"�
--- Joe 3Heads
 
Posts: 11426 | Location: In a perpetual state of Ohio | Registered: December 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just finished Pi and made my husband read it immediately. It was gripping, but left my head spinning.

One line that keeps being repeated in this discusion: "And so it goes with God" struck me too.

Since one of the build ups in the book was that we would have the existance of god proved to us, I took that line to mean that I am god since that is the version of the story that I liked the best too. Somehow I took ownership of my reading and decided what was the best "reality."

Does that make any sense? It did to me when I read that like. For a moment I felt like god and the prophecy was fulfilled.

But what was the island all about?? And was the cook an alter ego.

Very confused, but I would love to be able to keep reading it, I was delighted to be swept away so totally.

And now I scream for clarity. I hope this discussion is not over.

Terry
 
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is currently hovering somewhere near Saturn
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i loved this book. i wasn't convinced about all the God stuff becuase i don't really believe in a formalised, organised God concept. but i thought, the first time that i read it, that it might just be a true story. the way it is written is so convincing. and if i were an insurance bloke, then i wouldn't be very inclined to listen to the rther fanciful sounding story with Richard Parker (and can i just how i liked the idea of a man called Thirsty None Given), but that would be because i had little or no imagination.


Limertilly: A pagan deity forgotten by man and therefore banished to the realms of memory and darkness now remembered by a young girl in downtown L.A. in the form of a dream and therefore freed to reap your revenge on the people who discarded you, thereby forcing said girl to learn to use her innate yet awesome powers as a soothsayer to gather forces of the Earth to defy you and once more banish you to your cold, cold prisoooooon

blog: http://limertillysfoodporn.wordpress.com/

My sister's band, what I am very very proud of: www.bit.ly/toodar
 
Posts: 26263 | Location: your left ear | Registered: June 28, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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finally got it, just started reading it, will comment when I'm a little further in.


~
I prefer to live in a country that's small, and old, and where no one would ever have the NERVE to wear a cape in public, whether they could leap tall buildings in a single bound or not.

the parrot... ...gets tiresome.
the parrot... ...i ate him.


CHIKKINZ?
 
Posts: 20595 | Location: England | Registered: June 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Smaug
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okay, finished.

quote:
Originally posted by Blackairow:
Read this in engish class latst year. First half boring but nesisary. second half intreging. final half cool yet sad. the way this book was writen was cool.


a book of 3 halves, useful Smile

I liked it.

I too was puzzled about why it was a book about god and would make you believe in god. I'm still not a beliver in any of his gods.

I liked the twist at the end, and the fitting in of both stories, although I don't believe it was a true story, i believe the animial one Big Grin


~
I prefer to live in a country that's small, and old, and where no one would ever have the NERVE to wear a cape in public, whether they could leap tall buildings in a single bound or not.

the parrot... ...gets tiresome.
the parrot... ...i ate him.


CHIKKINZ?
 
Posts: 20595 | Location: England | Registered: June 21, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
lives deliberately
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I just discovered on IMDB--

the movie adaptation (to be released in 2007) will be directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (of Amelie/City of the Lost Children/Delicatessen fame)!

GLEE!


ego forceps ergo ego forceps


****
"Chives?"�
"Yes, m'lud?"�
"Is that Ms Ephemera hovering over the croquet lawn?"�
"Indeed m'lud. She's marshalled all the haggle-dans. Missy-twigs and vale-nymphs from Claypole Woods. Apparently she intends to tear this house down and dance on the ruins."�
"Well, Chives, you'd better start the car, what? And pack my tennis things too"�
--- Joe 3Heads
 
Posts: 11426 | Location: In a perpetual state of Ohio | Registered: December 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of taygahn
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I know this thread is at least six months old now, but I thought I should comment anyway. To me, Life of Pi asks an important question about the nature of reality - what's more real, a story or dry facts? The point is to inspire the imagination by challenging the nature of fact and faith, truth and story. It seems as if the bits near the end about the algae island etc are put there for the very purpose of challenging our sense of reality and truth. In fact, what's religion but this very challenge to our concepts of what is logical, reasonable, "real," or true?

I thought that Pi saw life itself as a story (ie: a series of interpreted facts given meaning through the imagination and... faith?). I think in the end though it's a story about the power of the imagination being able to find truth in the everyday by turning it into the miraculous.


---

"Nobody's creepy from the inside. Some of them are sad, and some of them hurt, and some of them think they're the only real thing in the whole world. But they're not creepy."
-Death
 
Posts: 73 | Location: Kanazawa, Japan | Registered: June 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Elah Adonijai
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Picture of The Scoundrel
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I just finished this book and I have to say I was pretty pleased in the end. Parts of the first section, mostly the author's vignette, bothered me for some reason. I don't know why, they just did. Call me crazy.

"And so it goes with God." When I first read it, I just took it at face value, thinking "God thought this story was better, too, and so that's the way it happened."

*Facepalm* Now you guys have me thinking about a little more in depth. Big Grin

The idea of faith in this book, and the defense of it at the end, works well for me. I loved the island, the cook, the second story.

But I agree with Ms. Smaug: I don't get how this book could make "the author" believe in God, other than it just being an extraordinary story.

I'd love to hear more about what other people thought of the book.


____________________________________________________________________
"Patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer i beg to submit that it is the first." - Ambrose Bierce
----------------------
A Good Scoundrel isn't Hard to Find
 
Posts: 2179 | Location: Hiding in the secret compartments of Whittier, CA | Registered: July 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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