For this day I’ve chosen The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. There are several reasons:
- the prose of much of the book is worth reading just for itself
- by being so imaginative it stretches the imagination – IMHO this is particularly important for young people
- the writing about animals encourages a reassessment of our relationship with them
- it raises and explores issues about things like survival, reality, the importance of religion
- the ambiguity of the end allows the reader space to come to their own conclusions about what it all means
One of the main things I took away from my reading was the importance of what we name our fellow creatures. The tiger, Richard Parker, has a human name and I found I had a completely different view of him than if he’d been called an animal-style name like Stripey or Felix. Of course, this has been known for a long time, but it hadn’t been a point I’d ever given much thought to.
If you haven’t read this book, I recommend it. If you haven’t seen the film I recommend that too – it’s beautiful, colourful and gripping.