Hurray! I just finished it! And it took my breath away. Not just for its writing, for the story, for how he conjures up life on a lifeboat on the Pacific Ocean, and the incredible animals that initially survive; he also brought back memories for me that I don't often recall with such vividity. You see, Gentle Reader, I lived on a sailboat for two years with my family when I was a teenager, and we spent most of those two years on the Pacific Coast of Central America. So reading Life of Pi became layered with my own memories of the ocean, of the salt on my face, the different sounds the wind and waves make depending on time of day, whether we were in dock or out at sea, whether we were sailing or motoring, and most of all, our rubber dinghy. My sister and I rowed our parents (mother and stepfather) everywhere, as we didn't have a motor for the dinghy. We had to pump it up with air when we were launching the dinghy after arriving at a port; we rowed to shore, and rowed back, for everything. In rough water the dinghy rode up and down, and in hot sun the rubber got hot too. So reading Life of Pi became remembering for me what the sea was like, and I can tell you, Gentle reader, that the author Yann Martel got all the details right. Except perhaps for the floating island of algae, but then as the scientist in Jurassic Park says, "Life will find a way," so it is in the realm of possibility, and this story is about possibility. It is a joyous, gripping, heart-wrenching, faith-filled adventure story. I highly recommend it. I am so glad I read it. And I have to admit that I avoided reading it so long because I thought it was a fable with talking animals, which I did NOT want to read, at all! Not when it comes to being marooned on the ocean, which was something we always had to be prepared for, living on the boat. Even now, I can't make a joke out of it. And I can vouch that flying fish DO land on the boat, do jump out of the water, because we had it happen many times once we were near the equator. They would land on our decks, and in the morning we would find them and toss the tiny corpses back into the water. And the tiger.....I will never look at Bengal Tigers quite the same, I will remember Richard Parker for a very long time. What a fascinating story.
So if you haven't read it yet, it is a treat for you, and if you have, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I'm glad it won the Booker......I suppose this means I'd better start checking out some of the other Booker Prize winners now! And thanks to my mother for giving me the book
So what is next? H-m-m, it has been very cold here today; -14c was our high, and tomorrow snow is arriving with the possibility that again we won't leave the house. What beckons in these first days of December to read? What would I like to read this year, to end this year?