Beware: Potential spoilers ahead.
The words maths and sci-fi came to mind as soon as I heard about the book that goes by ‘The Life of Pi’. Long, complex looking mathematical equations started darting in front of my eyes whenever I thought of the book. I must mention that the book was recommended to me by a ‘maths-science-and works’ aficionado and I am sure you will agree that my mental imagery wasn’t unfounded. Of course, I couldn’t get myself to read such a book!...it wasn’t ‘my types’…
I don’t remember what exactly made me pick up the book, maybe, it was the knowledge of the fact that
featured in the novel or maybe it was the cover (it sure didn’t look like a sci-fi novel from its cover) or maybe it was just to satisfy my curiosity about the queer title. V started reading the book before me and whenever I’d ask “So what is the book about?” I would hear something like “Don’t know yet”. I decided to find out for myself. India
How right he was….believe me, you don’t know where the story is headed till you finish part one of the book, unless of course, you have done some background reading about the book and tried to put the cover in perspective.
Some books get you hooked up from page one, and then there are those that you have to plough through till you get to the interesting parts. I would say Yann Martel’s Life of Pi belongs to the second category. The initial pages are not drab, but as a reader one needs to know where a story is headed no matter how entertaining the read has been so far. “Hang on till part one and then you won’t realize when you finish the book”, some friends had mentioned. So with that hope, I continued to read, page after page, and then I reached a point where I couldn’t keep the book down.
The book begins with the author’s note about the story behind the novel. He mentions meeting an individual in a coffee shop in
who tells him the story that is now the novel. The references of people and places made me believe that it was a real story that I was reading. Silly me, actually started googling for Pi Patel (the main character of the story) hoping to find some clues about his existence and wondering how I had missed a story so fascinating. Alas, I found out that the novel is a work of fiction. I felt betrayed and berated myself for being naïve, but, full marks to the author for making the story so real and believable. Definitely worth reading! Pondicherry, India