Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Life of Pi" or "Life of Lie"

Whether you recently read the book Life of Pi or you have a book club meeting to discuss the book and need to cheat, here is the expert words of wisdom that you put a lot of stock. Who better to seek counsel than some random bloke you found on the internet. Well here are my thoughts.

The first 80-100 pages, I kept thinking "get on with it already". I didn't really care about this kid with the weird name who kept on adopting religions like Angelina adopts third world kids. When are you going to get on the boat with the tiger like the cover shows. Very interesting about the hippo and the goat and the three toed sloth, but why are you a best seller.

Then the good stuff starts to happen. I found Pi to be very sympathetic. His innocence and good nature draw the reader in and become invested that he does reach land. Of course, we know that he does because there is foreshadowing to tell us of his successful rescue. The whole story about Richard Parker, the orangutan, the hyena, all become real and we as readers have little do doubt about Pi's story.

I found the third section to be the most thought provoking and Martell does a great job of bringing everything together. The business men question his story, which also forces me to second guess what I had come to believe. What it all comes down to is Pascal's Wager, which states that it is a better "bet" to believe that God exists than not to believe, because the expected value of believing is always greater than the expected value of not believing.

We are better off believe Pi's story, since the expected value of overcoming significant obstacles, remaining optimistic, and befriending that which is a known enemy is much greater than believing he wandered the Pacific with some ruffians for seven months.