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Life of Pi

I just finished reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This novel is described by the narrator as "a story that will make you believe in God." I believed in God before I read this book. I'm not sure I understand how this book could inspire someone to believe in God. There are lots of little bits to chew on but overall I really don't know what to make of this book.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
si_anenome
Jun. 12th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
I'm kindof glad you don't LOVE it. I have tried to start it a couple of times and just can't get in to it. More than one person has told me I HAVE to read it because they LOVED it. :/
mr_ed1966
Jun. 12th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
For me, there's two levels to the "This book will make you believe in God" claim, which the narrative itself makes. First, Pi explores the realms of God through three of the world's major religions, but then reaches a crisis point when his three teachers realize that he is not being exclusive to their version of God. Ultimately, then, the book places God over religion, so the claim can be restate as "This book will make you believe in God instead of religion." Secondly, for Pi, God exists in stories, and Pi's experience is, ultimately, told in two different stories, the one with the animals and the one without. He forces his interviewers to choose which story they like better, the "dry, yeastless fact" of what really happened or the nuanced and deeper truth contained in the make-believe version of the events. Ultimately, they choose the latter, because it's truer even though it's false. In many ways, I think Martel, the author, is telling us that the arguments or worries about whether or not God exists are immaterial when compared to the values that we gain from the stories we tell about our God(s).
linda_erzinger
Jun. 13th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
I agree with mr_ed1966. I felt more open about the existence of God after listening (I got it on tape, and the narration was wonderful). Of course it fits with my belief of God as a magical presence rather then a specific entity. I gave a copy to my nephew in hopes of expanding his views on religion, since he is somewhat fixed on his beliefs being the only "right" way.
nodressrehersal
Jun. 12th, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC)
I really liked the book because it was so different from anything I'd read in a good long while. But I know what you mean about the claims of "didn't believe --> believe after reading it".

I enjoyed the presentation of the idea of removing God from "religion" and still believing. So many people can't do that because they don't know how to/don't want to think for themselves.
bug_311
Jun. 14th, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
Is this the book that inspired the movie Pi?

It's a black and white movie, about math and God and Jews. Seth really likes it.

It just confused me. >:(
createdestiny
Jun. 14th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
No, that's something else.
lcurtis
Jun. 19th, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)
Pi
Read it liked it but it was just a fucking novel.
createdestiny
Jun. 24th, 2007 02:16 am (UTC)
Re: Pi
Alrighty, then.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )