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Alex Ireland

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Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi
by Yann Martel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, 4 Feb 2008
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
Piscine Patel (Pi) certainly hasn't been reading Richard Dawkins or Bertrand Russell and is ruminating over life's spiritual questions with the curiously of an inquisitive but deeply spiritual teenager. Disaster strikes and he is left alone on a lifeboat with some zoo animals.

Written with iridescent imagination, the story becomes one of survival, as the author cleverly develops the story with colourful relationships between Pi and the animals he is stuck with. The theme of anthropomorphization is persistent throughout this book and is done so in a credible, creative and skilful way by the author. Pi is alone in a human sense, and the zoo animals he is alone with become objects of his attention and examination. The 1st person narrative style of a young curious boy certainly has a "Curious Incident about the Dog in the Night" feel about it but instead of surgical precision logic there is spirituality and love of animals. This backdrop makes the book read more like a dream than a story.

My only criticism of this book is that it just seem a little naive and far fetched at times. I think it is pitched more towards teenagers, although it will certainly make anyone who wants to let their mind flow feel very nostalgic and dreamy along the way.

Life and Times of Michael K
Life and Times of Michael K
by J M Coetzee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.74

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 24 Jan 2008
I felt myself wavering through this book, sometimes I was fully engaged sometimes I wasn't. The story is essentially a narative of the central character Michael K, from living with his Mother, to his experience of her death to his personal struggle with his own life - most of which is a fight for survival. There is no doubting Coetzee's lucid writing but at times I just felt I would like to have got some of Michal K's thinking about his own story, what he was feeling and what he was thinking.

While there certainly is the theme of how we think about other people's struggles and hardships from the outside, I would have felt more engaged with the character and the story if we had some more of victim's perspective. A few times, I felt I wanted him the character to open up and let the reader in.

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