Life of Pi by Yann Martel- Book Review

While I enjoyed the book immensely, I found the pacing to be extremely slow throughout, which, from a literary standpoint is not a negative aspect.  Not only is a slow pace a deliberate stylistic approach from the author, but the slow pacing further emphasizes the instances of fast pacing.  When the character is in a dangerous or thrilling situation and the pacing quickens, the author’s literary achievement is equally brilliant. For example, there are instances where the author captures the tension and adrenaline between Pi and Richard, the Bengal tiger.  These passages are fast paced and well written, however I think that Martel’s best writing comes with slow, methodical pacing and extremely detailed descriptions.

The first chapter sets the slow pacing as it begins by talking about sloths, which sets the tone of the slow-paced novel.  Not only is the topic the slowest animal on the planet, but the writing is also incredibly laborious and detail oriented.  The sentences are rich and relaxing.  They fit the deeply intellectual and mature tone of the author.  I think it is rare for an author to write a best selling novel with the majority of the plot devoid of any action.  Matel demonstrates his mastery of writing by embedding rich imagery and thoughtful references within the story.  He is in no hurry to complete his story, and leaves the reader to ponder and chew on his lengthy novel far past completion.

Overall: Read this book when you have plenty of time to get through it…

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