Yann Martel


Just finished Life of Pi. Phenomenal!
Anyone else reading this?

>>By Lupster   (Saturday, 28 Jun 2003 17:40)

Most inspiring. The double ending that opens the possibility of the story being a fantasy elaborated to cope with extreme trauma is a stroke of genius. I'm looking forward to anything Martel will offer next... As a storyteller, he's as compelling as Margaret Atwood or Amin Malouf, both very clever writers.

>>By Noudjali   (Friday, 30 Jan 2004 18:52)

Yann Martel has sold 4 million copies of Lif of Pi... Like Lupster said last year: "Anyone else reading this?"

>>By Noudjali   (Tuesday, 23 Mar 2004 01:53)

Yann Martel has sold 4 million copies of Life of Pi... Like Lupster said last year: "Anyone else reading this?"

>>By Noudjali   (Tuesday, 23 Mar 2004 01:54)

good book........
and i enjoyed the double ending as well........but you shouldn't have given it away Noud......lol

>>By iwishiwereabondgirl   (Monday, 5 Apr 2004 15:27)

Sorry if I gave the impression of giving away Lipe of Pi's ending, but the double ending (htat is not an ending, actually) is not a punch that has to be kept secret, like the "surprise" in the film The Crying Game. It seems more like a clever twist that can bring more people to read the book.

>>By Noudjali   (Monday, 5 Apr 2004 18:10)

Does anybody have any ideas what the floating carniverous island is all about?

>>By Crick   (Thursday, 8 Apr 2004 15:19)

The floating carnivorous island is an allegory inspired by previous folk stories and famous litterary works in which each important element represents a moral, religious or sentimental aspect, like those of a dream, for instance. I'm sure readers feel the esthetic balance meat eating trees bring to the book tiger, named Richard Parker. It could be a warning that nature will end up eating humans like they eat nature... I won't go on suggesting interpretations of what Martel described, each reader has the privilege of interpreting that symbolic episode. What I appreciate in it is the idea that the world can allways offer surprises and wonders.

>>By Noudjali   (Thursday, 8 Apr 2004 17:01)

So Crick, what's your idea of the meaning of the carnivorous island?

>>By Noudjali   (Wednesday, 21 Apr 2004 17:22)

Not quite sure about the meaning of the carniverous island. I think that I ate this book like a child reading Gullivers Travels without actually giving "meaning" to it all. And this is the genius of Martel in this book. As with the double ending there are multiple layers which can be read - at face value or allegorically. Indeed; I'll have to go back now and contemplate the book a little more!

>>By mebaroo   (Thursday, 29 Apr 2004 12:13)

« Contemplate » is a very fitting choice for a word that would describe what one does in front of the ocean. And Pi is surrounded by the ocean for months... time enough to move in and out of contemplation many times. As for the tiger, it is worth contemplating as long as possible. So we have the ocean as Mother Nature, and the tiger as one of her most beautiful children. The human character between them? Someone who lives to tell the story.

>>By Noudjali   (Saturday, 1 May 2004 06:55)

yes, that carnivorous island - what a suprise. i tend to agree with Noudjali's view that it provided a point of balance. or perhaps it was even intended to foreshadow that suprise double ending. Pi was (initially) vegatarian - so coming across this island could be seen as a lead-in to Yann's final shocker. maybe.

For me it also represented a more profound detatchment from reality than the earlier chapters, which could be described as magic realism. Yann's attention to detail and his efforts to justify all that transpires on the boat with a scientific mind is all thrown right overboard (escuse the pun) with the introduction of the island. Perhaps, by tipping the scales away from realism and deeper into the magical was a precurser to the double ending - the application of a dream-like rubric under which the double ending can be 'contemplated'.

His first novel 'self' has since been reliease. Has anyone read this and would they recommend it? I'm a little hesitant to purchase a first book that was first ignored till the success of a second, if you know what i mean.

>>By footprint   (Tuesday, 4 May 2004 08:59)

Thank you Footprint for keeking this discussion interesting. It's also great to see how a good story can travel around the world in different languages. Sorry, I have not read Self and don't feel the need to do so right now. I'd rather let Life of Pi's charm linger on...

>>By Noudjali   (Tuesday, 4 May 2004 09:23)

Yann Martel is a splendid writer!

>>By mon   (Monday, 7 Jun 2004 20:43)

How could I have been so late in reading this book? Martel is pure genius. My heart ached and broke and mended time after time. I couldn't wait till the end, but I never wanted to reach it! the carnivorous island was almost too much for me. Hard to believe considering all that took place BEFORE that.
I couldn't grasp the meaning. thank you all for your insights.

>>By Tisme   (Friday, 24 Jun 2005 01:30)

Life of Pi is extremely funny but also tearjerking..i couldn't stop laughing and crying reading this book. But i'm a bit irritated on how there's another strayed person in the middle of the ocean..i dunno wether it merely Pi's imagination or yann martel's way of making us get into Pi's tragic days. And i'm still don't really get into that part of the book. But above all, i like yann martel's style. he's superb!

>>By ilen   (Wednesday, 6 Jul 2005 06:28)

Thank you, Noudjali, for your comment on the book. I bought it almost half a year before and since this day it is standing in my bookshelf waiting for me reading it. and after you mentioned Margaret Atwood and Amin Malouf I am looking forward to reading it again.

>>By Feliks   (Wednesday, 13 Jul 2005 10:41)

Can anyone relate one of their own life struggles with the idea of detachment such as Pi's? The question of which is a better story really touches something deep about human nature. We almost always prefer the metaphor to the facts, even if at some point we doubt the validity of the metaphor. Also, the delusions were similar to a real phenomenon related to severe trauma. Our minds fold under intense stress and we may begin to project outside attributes to our own sense of self and role in the situation as well as alter our perceptins of others. It is interesting that the moral Pi's father told him about how the Tiger is a very dangerous animal returns as the central symbol for fear and danger, in a way like one's own fears in the mind arrive as symbols. I think that in this sense the book has a great psychological basis.

>>By Hume Ungus   (Tuesday, 30 Aug 2005 23:18)

Okay, i have to say what saved this book was the ending. I really struggled to read most of the book. What most people found inspirational, surprising and even funny i found slightly annoying, slow and dull (could he have told this story in the half number of pages? Yes he could). I think he built his story up right at the start by suggesting that this story would make me believe in God... well it didnt.

I know i am coming across as a boorish philistine here so please, i am asking you who really enjoyed the book, please tell me what is the book about? What is it trying to tell us? I mean it's not a religious story despite the authors early claim, it is not a story of great human endurance , we have many better examples of that. Is it fantasy? Is that it? Please help me! Plus did no one else sort of get the impression that he kind of felt just a tad too sorry for himself? A bit "woe is me" perhaps? No? No one else felt that?

And did someone honestly compare his writing to Atwood?

>>By Plinian   (Tuesday, 6 Sep 2005 21:29)

What do you mean, feel a tad too sorry for himself? He was stuck on a small life boat with a man-eating tiger for the better part of a year after losing everything he'd ever known in his life, forced to eat animals when he had previously been a vegetarian, and having to produce a good amount of food for Richard Parker unless he were to be eaten. He had every right in the world to feel sorry for himself.
The astonishing reality of the book, with Martel describing most everything, is what gives this book it's life, although the island and the meeting up with another Pacific ocean castaway are far-fetched, I admit. I'm glad you at least liked the ending, which is, in mine and pretty much everyone else I know who's read the book's opinion, the best part.

>>By Urbane   (Tuesday, 6 Sep 2005 21:57)

Now see, i dont have a problem with portions of the book being slightly far-fetched, if anything to me they made some intriguing reading. What i dont get about the book is the point! It's not a summers day read which takes you away to a pleasant place for a few hours, it makes claims about spirituality and keeps bringing these issues up but then where do we go from there? Was i supposed to reach some zen like state of realisation and enlightnment? Because that didnt happen. What annoyed me about the book and this is probably because i am too simple to understand the message it is trying to convey is that i read it and i couldnt help thinking that was a bit of a waste of time. And i felt so annoyed reading it. I finished the book and yeah felt better about reading it because of the ending but his whole time in the boat just annoyed me.

So tell me, what did you get from reading this book? To you what is the book about?

>>By Plinian   (Wednesday, 7 Sep 2005 14:25)

Yes, Plinian, it is possible to miss a book's point when almost everybody who reads it seems pleased. That's fine. I don't even want to read The Da Vinci Code! But the fact that you care about missing Life of Pi's point proves you didn't, in a way. It's about questionning yourself, your life, your position towards life and death. It's religious enough in that sense. The meeting of the three religious characters the young Patel indirectly causes is both hilarious and deep. In your opinion, the drifting-on-the-sea part was too long, but it had to be that way to seem realistic, the whole story being a life story told to a writer. The art of Martel is to make us believe he didn't have to invent anything...

>>By Noudjali   (Monday, 3 Oct 2005 06:09)

I couldn't even bother to read through all of everybody's explanations of the carniverous island. And yes I did find that the most fascinating aspect of the book. First a few ground rules, I really didn't think the book was that mind-blowing, and secondly I don't think historical reference a shoe-in for the booker prize.
LIterary references in this book I thought were non-existant (which I think is good), there are no fairy tales here. The only thing I thought of was the story of Modoc:the True Story of the Greatest Elephant that ever Lived. Read it. The only thing they have in common is that there was a shipwreck some animals lived and they were important to the story and they made you cry.
The carniverous island is politic and anthropology. I don't know how much more loudly it could have cried consumerism.
I read enough to know I have been seduced by words. too often.
I just wish other people could come to that conclusion as well.
Dan Brown is becoming a new Bible....that is scarey.

>>By iwishiwereabondgirl   (Monday, 3 Oct 2005 14:16)

i just want to redeem myself. The carniverous island...i was right partially....it does convince of us consumerism.....
politcally, and eatistically (new word, do you like it?)its just the perpetual state that we are in....hyped up......
remember the boat....
its the hierarchy
of who eats who...
the book represents a plateau of states in humanity...
but we are not dealing with humanity here....
so there is a mix of biology (instinct) and individuality (imagination) (this didn't come out greatly in the book....I know a lot of you will be shocked at this....but what part of the book has the strongest imagery what part of the book grabs you?_consumerism in all forms....down to the basic....which is back to carnivore....
now I am starting to like the book

>>By iwishiwereabondgirl   (Wednesday, 5 Oct 2005 13:50)

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