Friday, 23 November 2012

The Death of Pi

Have you ever totally despised a book that the rest of your friends, indeed the rest of the reading world, seemed to fawn over? Worse yet, what are you supposed to do when they make that book into a "can't miss" movie? It was bad enough being part of the minority opinion at the book club, but now that millions more are embracing the story on the big screen, your point of view seems even more inconsequential.

Ok. Here goes. I hated the book Life of Pi. I found it boring, pretentious, over-eager, and a bit religiously lazy. Just an opinion. My opinion. An opinion that is obviously not shared by many if you spend any time at all on book review sites or talking to friends and relatives who have embraced this novel and its author as the inheritors of some great literary legacy. Please don't jump all over me with incredulous "Are you f***ing kidding me" comments. I get it. I am surfing on the outer edges of a tsunami of critical acclaim. But, you telling me how fabulous you thought the book was, isn't going to make me like it any better. My mind is firmly set on this topic. I am quite fine with the "agree to disagree" rule on this and have finally entered the acceptance stage of this dispute. Please just leave it alone.

Except.....the brilliant Ang Lee had to go and make a movie out of the whole sordid tale. And not just any movie. A supposed masterpiece....a visual tour de force. A movie that everybody is anxious to see....and nauseum. Don't be fooled. I have no intention of spending my 12 bucks on this flick and I have never feared swimming upstream against public opinion, but I do feel as though I am being drawn into a no-win discussion all over again. So, I have developed a few unbendable rules on the subject.
  1. Chocolate and vanilla. We have discussed this before. I don't have to like everything you like and vice versa. If I tell you that I am not interested in seeing the movie, go without me. I will not take offense.
  2. Don't spend any time at all extolling the book's virtues. I read it. I hated it. Life sucks. I'm fine.
  3. Yes, I know that Yann Martel is Canadian. Is that supposed to help in my conversion to the mass appeal? Justin Bieber is Canadian too and I am not running out to his concerts either. Happy for their success...just not my thing. 
So go. Enjoy. Have fun and relish in the experience. Me? I am heading off to see Lincoln.

**By the way....I didn't like the Hunger Games trilogy either. Deal with it.


  1. Haven't read the book, won't give you my opinion on the Hunger Games. I will say we don't all have to like the same things..and I like your blog! :-)

  2. I hated 'Atonement' by Ian McEwan. Yes, it won awards (as did Pi) and people swoon over it, I just think they must have read a different book than I. I loved Hunger Games but read it way before there was hype or even a movie deal. As for Life of Pi, I barely remember it except I would have loved someone to explain the ending.