I just finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel. And it was a wonder I did.
When I first started reading it, I couldn’t stand his (to me) smug and condescending tone about the story and how it’s so wonderful and how he’s found the perfect way to handle religion (and by the way, I don’t consider myself an expert in this field, but I don’t know any Christian religion that would say you don’t need to get baptised, you’re Christian anyway).
I kept on going anyway because my sister (who lent me the book) liked it a lot and she usually has a good taste and although my mother started to read it but gave up because she thought it boring. After about a quarter of the book I seriously considered closing it and never opening it again (anyone who doesn’t know me: that’s a huge decision for me. I even read all of Javier Marias‘ A Heart So White although I knew the “twist” of the story after 20 pages, and it was repetitive and boring as hell…). As I couldn’t decide, I kept on reading and today I finished.
It’s not a bad book, there’s definitely worse out there. But it’s too long, Martel gets lost in boring details. I liked chapter 99 (although he obviously doesn’t expect his readers to read the book up till then as he explains everything. Thank you, Mr Martel, but I do like to think on my own.), I could have lived without chapter 100 (the last one).
He had a good idea but that’s about it. It seems like there was some serious editing missing, maybe (as is increasingly common with publishers, unfortunately) he didn’t have an external editor.
Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend it, my sister would, my mother wouldn’t, K. wouldn’t, another friend would, my mother’s best friend would… I guess it depends on how interested you are in life in a lifeboat with botanical and zoological digressions. If not too interested, let somebody tell you the story.
Wikipedia tells us that Jean-Pierre Jeunet is supposed to make the movie. I don’t think he would be the right person to do it. Or if there should be a movie at all (although I think that it would work better as a movie than as a book). But the info seems old and imdb doesn’t know anything about it.