Weekly Geeks - Interview with a Reader, Part 2

Here's Beastmomma's half of our reader interviews for last week's Weekly Geek. I asked her questions about Life of Pi.

I got some great questions from Terri about the Life of Pi by Yann Martel which I read a few years ago, but it was in my pre-blogging days. Answering her questions made me realize, again, how much I really like this book.

1. Framework - The majority of the novel is in first person POV - is it effective? Could it have been told any other way?

Having the story told in first person added to the elements of surprise and uncertainty. I also enjoyed reading how the author's voice matures. I am sure that the novel could be told in another way, but I am not sure if I would have liked the book as much.

2. The story is bookended by the author's note and by Part Three, both of which attempt to convince the reader that the story is true. Did that add to the novel for you or detract from it?

The author's note and part Three both added to the story for me. I found myself forgetting that the story is fiction. When we discussed the novel in book club, I had to be convinced that the author's note was part of the fictional novel. Actually, I will admit that I am still not sure if the author's note is part of the fiction or a real note.

3. Ending - how did you feel about having two possible stories - why do you think the author did that?

I think that the author had two possible endings to add a twist to the end. All of a sudden, you begin questioning everything you read. It is a great way to review the book just before you finish reading. Plus, deciding which story you believe is a great book club discussion topic.

4. What was your favorite (or most memorable) scene in the book?

When Pi stands on his boat in the middle of the ocean and makes declarations to God. There is something so powerful in seeing him renew his optimism.

5. Did the author build tension effectively in the story?

Honestly, I cannot remember. Although, I do think that the author did a good job developing the relationship between Pi and the Tiger.

6. We learn that Pi's father once ran the Pondicherry Zoo, teaching Pi and his brother, Ravi, about the dangerous nature of animals by feeding a live goat to a tiger before their young eyes. Do you think the animals served a symbolic purpose in the story? If so, what? (Specifically: tiger, hyena, orangutan, zebra, meerkat.)

Yes, I think that the animals did serve a symbolic purpose in the story. Each one could have been connected to a particular family member. Also, I think that the animals served as markers for the various points in Pi's development.

7. Do you think the story was fantastic enough to give one a faith in God as Francis Adirubasamy promised in the intro?

Even though I loved the book, I do not think that it was fantastic enough to give one faith in God. However, I do think that the story is large enough to give birth to hope and possibility.

8. How did you feel when you finished the book? Satisfied? Frustrated? Amazed? Wanting more?

I felt surprised when I finished the book because of the possibility that there are two explanations to things.

9. Overall impressions: Did you like this book? Would you recommend it to others? Rate the book between 1-10. Would you read this author again?

I did like the book. I would recommend it to the others. During the first holiday season after I finished reading the book, I gave copies to several of my friends with post it notes to mark my favorite passages. Yes, i would like to read this author again.

Here's Part 1, where Beastmomma interviews me about Olive Kitteridge. Thanks, Beastmomma! This was fun.