Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

A Slice of Pi

Too often I realize I am a book snob. Certain subjects, authors, or just because it is crazy popular will place me in snub mode. My shame, especially since I am a professed Book Booster. Isn’t confession supposed to be part of the cure?
This is why I am even more embarrassed I have put off reading Life of Pi for so long.

image from

When it first came out I did my huffy verisimilitude snort and bypassed it. “Oh, please, really? A boy and a tiger on the ocean in a boat and he lives to tell about?” I had no problem with C.S. Lewis creating a horse and a boy as pals, let alone a lion mentoring three British children? I really must get my veracity meter checked one of these days.

With Pi I broke THE rule and saw the movie first–home version, sans Blu-Ray or 3D glasses. My review? Magical.
And that’s it. You don’t need yet another review among the surfeit of Pi commentaries. The movie motivated me to read the book.. Fortunately, our school librarian, in the midst of checking in end-of- the year materials, hasn’t had time to shelve new books and she allowed me to take it home over the weekend. There’s nothing like a long weekend and a mesmerizing novel.
I will say this–I appreciate the novel so much more having experienced the film (possible even in plain everyday vanilla DVD fashion). Frankly, parts of the plot were a bit hard to visualize, such as the raft and the meerkat island, without the aid of movie inserts. It’s not that my imagination station is broke it’s just that Ang Lee created such a wondrous palette of preprogrammed living color the plot danced more as the movie played in my head. Then there is Richard Parker; I couldn’t have imagined him as well as his CGI counterpart. He is such a handsome tiger. Of course,  meerkats by the thousands is visually is much more impressive via the wide-screen than by my mental viewing station.

The novel contains much more detail (I, uh, flipped past some of the more colorful aspects of oceanic survival); however, aspects of the movie were better, such as the family dynamics.

The most important takeaway of both stories is this quote:

“And so it is with God.”

This quote absolutely resonates with me. The ambiguity of the story’s ending reminds me so much of Inception, allowing us the intelligence of denouement possibilities.

I wonder if there is a correlation between my initially snubbing Life of Pi because I did not grow up with pie–seriously, I don’t remember my mom serving up chocolate cake, apple pie, or cookies (I have compensated and I taught myself the art of pie making and make a mean apple custard pie complimented by “my goodness!” flaky crust). Pie didn’t interest me until I reached adulthood.

And so it is with this Pi, of which I will ask for another slice.

Cover of "Life of Pi"

Cover of Life of Pi

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10 thoughts on “A Slice of Pi

  1. Well, you’ve convinced me. The movie was well down on my to-watch list but it’s now at the top. The book will have to wait though as my unread pile is too tall. Why is it when you have several books on hold at the library they all turn up at once ?

    • I dunno. It’s like being absolutely full and the server walks by with the dessert cart. Go thing books are calorie free!

      And the movie is absolutely marvelous. Wish I had experienced it on the big screen. Although I am not a huge fan of 3D.
      I look forward to your opinion.

      • I watched it last night and it was completely different to the impression I had from small amounts of film advertising. An intriguing story photographed by an artist. The colours were amazing. Thanks. Re the meerkats – theRoyal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has a meerkat enclosure in one of the courtyards, maintained by the Melbourne Zoo The children just love it. They are such fascinating animals to watch.

      • We used to love near a zoo with prairie dogs. I wonder if they are related to meerkats. They are as incredibly entertaining. Glad you enjoyed Pi. Ang Lee is quite the visual artist.

  2. I haven’t seen the movie yet. I read the book years ago when it first came out, but only because my book club picked it. I’m so glad we read it! It was one of my favorite books that year. Thanks for the review. It’s a good reminder for me to go see the movie and maybe even read my book again.

    • I’m set to watch the movie again. I kept hoping to find the love story in the novel–it made sense to have one, to give him hope since his family was gone.

  3. Nothing wrong with being a book snob, bestsellers are usually terrible although the odd one like this sneaks through and then makes me question if I should read more popuklar books until I but another and it’s rubbish.

    Consider the film elevated up my ‘to watch’ list.

    • Hope you like it. I think it would have been fabulous in the theater. Some movies are definitely an art form when 3D is applied properly. Hugo is another one I wish I could have experienced in the theatre.

  4. Pingback: A Slice of Pi | Loveunlimd's Blog

  5. Oo yes, I saw the 2D one but it looked amazing so 3D would have been epic. The book is great as well. Really magical and half illustrated which makes it even more interesting.

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