Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: Life of Pi

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Kat (polbio) -
Subject: Life of Pi
Date Posted: 5/20/2009 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
Back To Top

My 14 yr old asked for Life of Pi by Yann Martel. She said her teacher recommended it for summer reading. I ordered it off of here and got it today. I was reading the back and wondered if anyone here has read it. Is it appropriate for a 14yr old girl? The summary gives a very basic description. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 8:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
Back To Top

I read it and enjoyed it.  However, it is not a light and cheery book.  It's very thought provoking with a pretty amazing twist at the end.  To be honest, I'm not sure I would have liked such a book when I was 14.  Of course, kids are different these days.  It's certainly not inappropriate for that age group.  I say let her try and see if she likes it.  :)

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 220
Back To Top

I didn't like it--the end was pretty disturbing.  However, I'm sure a 14 year old could handle it...

Date Posted: 5/21/2009 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
Back To Top

It is perfectly Ok for a 14 year old and I think it is one of those books that when she rereads it at 22 she will go, "boy, I didn't get that at all when I was 14".    that's how all the fiction I reread when I am older strikes me.  It should be interesting to see what she gets out of it.  Lots of the "action" happens in the head of the main character.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 5/21/2009 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
Back To Top

Thank you. It was on a summer reading list  and I had not heard of it. I will let you know if she likes it.

Date Posted: 5/22/2009 6:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
Back To Top

I read this for my AP English class senior year, and I loved it.  It'd absolutely be appropriate for a 14 year old.  I hope she enjoys it!

Date Posted: 5/22/2009 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

I really need to read Pi.  Its been on my TBR pile for a while. Some people just love it, others seem to hate it.

Date Posted: 5/23/2009 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2006
Posts: 6
Back To Top

I read it and thought it was good, I believe it also won the Booker award.  I think it is ok for a 14 year old.  Why don't you read it yourself and then you can discuss it with her.  My bookclub read it and we had a very good discussion about it.

Date Posted: 5/24/2009 6:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/11/2008
Posts: 1,415
Back To Top

This book is on my TBR.  I was soooo psyched to read it after all the hype.  I read 100 pages and was zzzzz'g the whole time.  I won't post it though, with the intention to give it another try, but there's just too many books that tickle my fancy to be wasting my time with that one. 

Date Posted: 6/4/2009 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 1,718
Back To Top

This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE books ever!  I think it is fine for a 14 year old but alot of the meaning may be lost on them.  Sarah, what do you mean by the ending was "disturbing"?

Date Posted: 6/4/2009 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2005
Posts: 4,490
Back To Top

I really enjoyed Life of Pi and do think it's appropriate for a 14 year old.   In fact, I have recommended it to my own 14 yo for summer reading as he really has enjoyed some of the other 'classics' (ie books mom has read so they must be old) such as Flowers for Algeron, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Bradbury books.

Date Posted: 6/4/2009 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 220
Back To Top

I really just didn't like it.

 

mini spoiler!

 

 

 

In the parallel story, everybody is killing and eating each other.  Don't you think that's disturbing?

Date Posted: 6/5/2009 2:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
Back To Top

I thought it was brilliant.  I read it several years ago and found it to be thought provoking and well written.

Not the feel good hit of the summer for sure - if you enjoy light reading, you will not enjoy this book.  I think it is appopriate for a teen.

Date Posted: 6/5/2009 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,536
Back To Top

OK, I was trying to describe why I didn't think the parallel part of this book was so disturbing for a 14 year old.  Last night I figured it out.  We caught most of the movie Casino Royal, 007 James Bond movie.  We turned it on just as a naked JB is being pounded on the balls by a guy that wants the bank account password or something........  Then on the news we get to see more pictures of Abu Grab prisoners.   Somehow this type of thing is so common in media.  Personally, I hate it!  It makes the parallel story in Life of Pi so not disturbing by comparision to me.

Date Posted: 6/5/2009 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 289
Back To Top

My reading group also read this a couple of years ago.  While most of us loved it, there were a couple who had nothing good to say about it.  I think it's just as appropriate as Lord of the Flies, which is usually assigned reading for young people of that age.

Date Posted: 6/5/2009 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2007
Posts: 175
Back To Top
Agree with pretty much everyone above that it should be fine for a 14 y.o. Krista, I thought the first 1/3 or so was VERY slow, but I ended up enjoying the book. I loaned it to one of my friends, and told her that I really only recommended that last 2/3 (which was quite good), but at the same time, you really need to read the first 1/3 to appreciate the rest. I'm not saying you should necessarily try it again--maybe it's just not something you'd enjoy--but there have been slow starters in the past that I've ended up really liking after I forced myself to plow through the beginning.
Date Posted: 6/13/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
Back To Top

I just started reading this novel and while it's an "easy" read, there are hidden messages underneath everything so I can see how I am going to miss a lot unless I study the Sparknotes on it.

But there are no Sparknotes for Pi it so unless I know enough about philosophy and religion ( I don't)  I won't "get it".

My advice for anyone--especially a teen--who's going to read it is to do this:

Go to Amazon and read some of the over 1,000 reviews first to give you an idea of what to expect and what to look for. It's not  a simple adventure story, a man against nature story, or a cute animal/zoo tale. It's about philosophical and spirtual "stuff". It's an allegory I hear. It' will supposedly "make you believe in God."

I don't know about that, but so far it's an enjoyable read.



Last Edited on: 6/13/09 5:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/13/2009 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
Back To Top

I wasn't about to finish that book.  It didn't grab me at first and so I quit reading it.  I have too many books to read and if a book doesn't grab me in the first two chapters,  that's it.