Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.
I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.
We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.
So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
Read: January 2013
Discovered: Saw the film and was damn intrigued
As soon as I saw Life of Pi in 3D I knew it was a book I HAD to read. It was full of whimsy and clever visuals so the book had to be good, right?
YES! It was lovely.
I’m not saying I walked away completely blown away by the story, because I wasn’t. I did fall in love with the writing, though, and the way it was set, the clever twists, the underlying elements that were there to be devoured… well, those did blow me away.
It follows Pi, a young boy who loses his family on a sunken ship. He’s left all alone on a small rescue boat, complete with a dying Zebra, an angry Hyena, a cool and funky Orang-utan, and a scary Bengal Tiger.
He’s lost at sea for a long time, has to figure out survival at sea, and most important of all discover just how much he values life.
It’s an incredible feat that the author brings things together in a wonderful, charming manner. Like I say, the story didn’t blow me away, but the way it was written did. I certainly see why it won so many awards, and I also understand why so many thought it could never be made into a film.
The standards set in this book are HIGH!
This is writing at its best. You read it and hate yourself knowing you’re nowhere near this level – at least I did anyway.
I think my favourite part of the entire book was the chapter about circus animals; how Pi talks about the misconceptions and techniques surrounding it. It’s a long and somewhat pointless chapter about something that doesn’t interest me, but I was blown away. It’s an amazing chapter that grabs hold of you.
As soon as this chapter was read – and it’s fairly early on – I knew it was a book that would leave its mark.
It does drag on a little, but let’s face it, a great deal of the book is set about a single boy at sea. There’s only so much that can go on at any one point.
There isn’t much to dislike though. If I were to cling to something it’d be the first part as I felt it overran a little. I was eager to see them get on the boat and begin the journey. It left me a little antsy and was overdone a tad.
I’ve never really liked the cover to be honest, in fact it’s one of the few occasions that the typical movie inspired cover is better than the original.
It’s rather charming with the cartoon boat, but I’m left underwhelmed by it all. It just doesn’t grab me in any way, and in the modern world of Amazon thumbnails it just doesn’t work.
The marketing in the book is pretty standard, but at the same time, decent. It provides info about the author as well as questions for book clubs or schools to focus on.
It isn’t much, but it provides something – this is something many books don’t.
I’m not going to go out on a limb and praise the publisher here, but they did make an effort. Good job.
Author Website & Engagement:
I’m afraid Yann Martel is part of the old school where engaging is at the minimal. There is no website or social media chatter, and although I’m sure he does his fair share of signings and speaking events, it’s far from inspiring.
Bare minimal interaction is what you will see here, which is a shame if you ask me. Now, it must be hard because he has many books and is rather popular, but there are other authors of equal size getting it done. Take note, Yann.
Overall, this is a modern classic. I can understand how many will find it boring and long, but this is a book everyone should read. The writing is too good to miss out on.
I’m not sure if it is (I’m old these days), but this should become a staple in English Classes across the world. It’s clever, witty, interesting, and very very deep. For all this I have to give it…
5 Turndogs out of 5
Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.
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