Thursday, January 18, 2007

ex libris

Some days are days for writing, some are days for reading. Today is decidedly of the reading variety. So much so that it is difficult to tear myself away from the book I'm reading. It is incredible. What if something were to happen while I was gone?

For once, normally bloated dust jacket claims contain truth. Life of Pi really is "a novel of such rare and wondrous storytelling" that I do not want to put it down. Not only that, but in the midst of the headiness of inhaling such a well crafted novel, I am prone to believe L'Humanité's bold claim that "...the name of the greatest writer of the generation born in the sixties is Yann Martel". It is such a lovely book - so many themes and questions to ponder - that the threat of breaking my post a day promise fills me with only a hint of guilt, but sometimes a hint is enough.

So, now I go to my reward (a final one, but not the final one ) - the final 40 pages. I will be sad to have finished. Finishing a good book is like parting with a new love. You know you'll see each other again and that it will be great, but it will never be intoxicating in the same way as the first time. On the up side, there is more Yann Martel to read, and this book will undoubtedly yield more material for a future post.


Chris said...

A few years ago we had a local book group, so local that the furthest apart that any two members lived was about seventy yards. There were four of us to start with, then six. I had to leave the group at a time when my energies needed to be focused on things other than reading, but I carried on buying the books that the group had chosen as their book of the month, with the intention of reading them later. One of those was The Life of Pi.

They hated it.

The conversations I had with members of the group weren't lengthy or detailed but I seem to remember that the general feeling was that the book was dull. I may be wrong about that; they may have had entirely different reasons for hating it.

At some point in my continuing, drawn-out flat clearance, my brand new, unopened copy of Pi went to the charity shop. It's a book that is frequently found in such shops, no doubt because so many copies were sold when it won the Booker, by far the biggest marketing driver for contemporary novels in this country, though only a tiny number of books benefit for such publicity. Tomorrow I'm taking another big box of books down to the Amnesty book shop. While I'm there I'll have to pick up another copy, now that you're raved about it. You know I always follow your recommendations, though I must admit that this usually amounts to buying the books but not getting around to reading them. That's just the way that life has been for a while, and will be for a while longer, but it won't always be like that. Perhaps my next book shelves will have one marked Martina's Recommendations. I already have enough books to fill it.

Martina said...

Dull, really? I thought it was great. It is intelligent and plays with ideas of perspective and what is real. It also has some interesting ideas about religion and philosophy. I have some theories, which I'll probably post about later, seeing as how I am looking for things about which to post. I will give that it the sort of book that requires full attention. I tried reading part of the beginning while I was waiting at the hairdresser's and thought I didn't like it at first. Really, though, I just wasn't giving it enough attention. When I went home and reread it where it was quiet, it reeled me in. I just have a library copy right now, but it's brilliant enough the I want my own now.

Chris said...

Got one!

Don't spoil the ending for me.