Summary of the meeting
Last Friday we discussed a great book: Life of Pi by French-Canadian author Yann Martel. Normally at the meetings we discuss the all aspects of the book, including the ending. We always give the appropriate spoiler alert to those who didn’t finish the book. In this case, we made an effort not to talk about the ending until about the end of the meeting; and it was hard! The reason being that at the end we have what could be defined as a twist (in film terms).
Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel is an Indian boy, the son of a zoo keeper, follower of three religions, kind and good person who wants to love God and likes animals. The family leaves their home town Pondicherry to move to Canada but a shipwreck finds pi in a lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a hyena, an orang-utan called Orange Juice and a Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. What could go wrong except everything?
We learn a lot with Pi: about religion, about animals, how to tame or dominate them, about love and friendship, but specially about Life. Life with an upper-case because it is not just his life we are talking about, or this 227-day period of his life, but the life of all beings on Earth. What is the purpose of everything but Love? Love to God, love to others but specially love to ourselves.
The thing is, at the end of the novel we find ourselves reading an alternate story of the cruelty of the human being. Of death and desperation. Which is the true story, what really happened to Piscine Patel is difficult to say. You must decide and it is a tough decision. Almost all the members preferred the story with the tiger. Still, doubts arouse.
My personal opinion
We have said in many occasions that reading a book more than once is like reading two different books. I read this book about 14 years back and I must say that it gripped me again and surprised me like new. I found new quotes and new meanings, even got shocked by old events.
When we read a book that I liked I am scared that the club is not going to like it but this time I am so happy that everyone liked it.
Of the 12 people who voted it got an 8/10.
It is not the first time we read a book about the Subcontinent or written about one of their peoples, nor a book about a person on a boat on the sea, neither of animals and their behaviours. Each of them is different but all of them are worth reading:
- A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
- Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
- Thouand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- The Jungle Book(s) by Rudyard Kipling
- My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
Books by the author
- Beatrice and Virgil
- The Facts behind the Helsinki Roccamatios and other stories
- The High Mountains of Portugal
For April’s meeting we are reading The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling.
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
The meeting will be on Wednesday April 5th at 7pm at the Library Mestra Maria Antònia, Torredembarra.
As part of the 5th BookClub donation, in April the club is going to buy and donate To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The donation is 100% voluntary. If you still want to participate, let us know as soon as possible.