Tag Archives: literary fiction

Life of Pi by Yann Martel – book review

My latest personal choice of read, rather than a requested book review is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This was the winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize back in 2002.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Here is the book blurb.

One boy, one boat, one tiger . . .

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan — and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.

This book starts like most with an author’s note, which initially made me assume that the story was based on a true tale, but as I read, I revised my original opinion. How could such a scene possibly have really happened.

The first few chapters dart from theme to theme as the scene is set, which I did find slightly confusing. But this is to introduce us to Piscine Molitor Patel, known as Pi. Yann also weaves himself in as the writer interviewing characters. In part 1, we follow Pi through childhood in the 1970’s upto age 16, when he and his family are about to emigrate from India to Canada. I particularly liked how Pi was a practising Hindu, Christian and Muslim.

Pi’s father had been the Pondicherry zoo director, but he is now closing the zoo and most of the animals are being bought by US zoos. So the family and the zoo animals are about to set sail aboard the Japanese cargo ship Tsimtsum for pastures new.

It is only as we move into part 2 of the story, that the blurb comes into play. Four days out of Manila, the ship is in trouble. Three of the crew throw Pi overboard into a lifeboat before the ship sinks. But who does he have for company on this lifeboat, but some of the animals who had escaped from their cages. A hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a tiger, with sharks circling around. You just know that things are going to prove interesting.

And what a tale it is. There is even a part 3, which is different again. I highly recommend Life of Pi. A great read which I thoroughly enjoyed, suitable for both adults and older children from about age 11 upwards.

This bestselling book has also been made into a film which i would love to see too.

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The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw

Here is the book blurb.

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

The story starts from Emma’s point of view as a child. Her dad is an actor and her mum takes her to see a film starring her dad. Only trouble is that it is a grown up film, so boring and then horrifying when she sees her dad get shot. They have to leave the cinema at that point with Emma in tears. This sets the scene and we then learn all about Emma, her parents and grandparents. There are many times when Emma’s dad is missing from home due to his filming schedule, even Christmas Day, but meanwhile Emma looks up to her grandad who has just had a maths book published and helps her with her homework.

As her Dad’s fame increases, they move from their Edinburgh flat to a North Berwick mansion complete with staff, but her mum doesn’t like it as she can’t be so anonymous there. And of course, Emma has to change school. She becomes friends with Patsy and Oz.

But then something happens that changes everything. Emma’s world starts to unravel. Nothing is the same again.

We then move to part 2 of the book. Emma is now a young adult and has changed her name to Maria. Why? Is she coping? What else is different?

The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw is newly published on Amazon today, currently priced at £3.99 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. This wasn’t my usual type of read but I found it to be a poignant tragic deep story.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.