April online ebook club wrap-up – Life of Pi

Life of piThis month’s online ebook club book was Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I had very mixed opinions on this. I found the survival story generally entertaining and yet at times I felt it dragged. This is not, however, essentially a survival story though you could easily be led to believe it is. It is a story about faith and the author’s attempt to make you believe in God. While not giving too much away, I think the way he attempts to do this is quite clever however it is not successful. Maybe it’s my agnostic beliefs coming through (according to the author life with doubt is akin to immobility) but the main point I got from the book is that everyone has different beliefs and that’s ok as we’re all believing something. It in no way made me believe in the existence of God and in fact I don’t mind living my life with doubt as I feel it keeps it a little more interesting. What I found a little ironic in this story is that the central character, Pi, actually displays some of the much-hated agnostic behaviour when he follows several religions and can’t decide which he’d like to stick with. Is that not doubt?

Spoiler Alert

In my original post, I posed the question, ‘which of the alternate endings do you believe?’. Well, I’m going to be very agnostic here and say I viewed them both as interesting stories in their own right but I think they are both fiction.

In saying all this I still found many of the scenes of the boat intriguing and frightening. I actually enjoyed it for the most part. I also would recommend this to other readers both religious and non-religious not because it is a masterpiece but because it has the power to provoke some interesting, philosophical discussions and completely opposing ideas.

What does everyone else think of this, from a religious and non-religious perspective?
Is there a book that you’ve read that conveys this message better that Life of Pi?

I’d love to hear from you.