Monday, November 20, 2006
Amazon.com says: Yann Martel's imaginative and unforgettable Life of Pi is a magical reading experience, an endless blue expanse of storytelling about adventure, survival, and ultimately, faith. The precocious son of a zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting "religions the way a dog attracts fleas." Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker ("His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth"). It sounds like a colorful setup, but these wild beasts don't burst into song as if co-starring in an anthropomorphized Disney feature. After much gore and infighting, Pi and Richard Parker remain the boat's sole passengers, drifting for 227 days through shark-infested waters while fighting hunger, the elements, and an overactive imagination. In rich, hallucinatory passages, Pi recounts the harrowing journey as the days blur together, elegantly cataloging the endless passage of time and his struggles to survive: "It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I've made none the champion."
I say: After reading a book like this, I feel inadequate even trying to find the words to review it! Life of Pi will no doubt be in my Top 10 books of All Time... In fact, it might very well be in the Top 5. I'm one of those people who could NEVER read a book more than once, - unless it's for study purposes and I really really really I HAVE TO. I've always admired(?) people who can read a book over and over again. It's a special gift to be able to be "surprised" again and again by the same words on the same page. (It's different with movies, - they're no-brainers anyway...) I could enjoy reading a passage over and over again while I'm in the process of reading a book for the first (and only!) time, and I often do when I find something particularly poignant / meaningful / skillfully written. SO, for ME to say that I would go back to this book and re-read it, is a MAJOR thing. There's nothing particulary clever about Martel's vocabulary - I find Big Words incredibly boring anyway. But the storytelling is something else. Wow, what a story. I'm a big cat lover (as you know by now!) so there were times when I didn't know WHOSE side I was on, but what I do know is that it was physically painful at times to hold my breath until I knew everything was going to be okay. I think I was expecting a Disney Fairytale when I heard about it? Maybe it's the cover that misleads you, so the first 2 chapters kinda threw me. But once I got into it, I was hooked. I could taste/hear/see/feel/smell every change in the weather/water/sky/sun that Pi experienced in his 227 days on the water.
If there's one book you read this holiday, make it Life of Pi. The story is meant to be a sad one, but there is so much hope, strength, resilience and beauty in it, it has to be one of most uplifting books I've ever read! Ten out of five, Martel. Ten out of five!
(Thanks, Noodle, for lending me your copy. I think I just might buy one of my own soon!)
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
So Brendan and I ditched the dumb concert and went off to Suncoast Casino. My mom wanted to try her hand at some gambling and we offered to give her a lift home after the concert. Little did we know that we'd leave the concert so early. But I'm really glad we did. Brendan, my mom and I ended up having the time of our lives!!
We started out by losing a bunch of cash on the slot machines. (When we lose, we lose with STYLE! Everytime the machine made a noise - any noise - we'd do a little dance, much to the amusement / confusion of the serious gamblers.) Then a drunk guy walked up to me and slurred a "Hello. I love you...", to which I responded, "Oh. Thanks, hey." Brendan laughed about that all night long. And nows he's starting a vicious rumour that the only reason I'm still single, is because I'm too picky. In his version of the story, the drunk guy was a perfectly presentable young man who cared about me very deeply. Hmff!
We ended the night off with a bottle of wine and a seafood dinner at the John Dory's, at the casino. It was wonderful! The food and service were great, even at that time of the night.
By the time Brendan drove mom and I home, we were pretty wasted and were falling apart in a fit of giggles everytime we thought about the drunk-guy-in-love...
All-in-all a great day/evening/night out!!
Let's just say that my brother and I should have stayed at jorl number ONE (the BBB picnic).
We managed to score comps to the East Coast Radio Birthday Concert so even though we had no idea who was performing, we thought we'd go. (Everyone else was raving about the line up... So what the hell, right?)
The first sign that things weren't going to go so well was when we were still queueing to go in. Let's just say that there were far too many 16 year old girls in cropped jeans, knee high stilettos and poor-boy hats for my goddam liking. (GROSS! I'd like to bitch slap the person who invented the poor-boy hat. I think it might have been those losers from Oliver Twist. The Artful Dodger, my freakin' butt! He won't be able to dodge one of MY klaps!) And the REALLY worrying part was... most of these 16-year olds were with their parents! Sadly Brendan and I were clean that night, otherwise anykind of hard dwelms might have helped... a little!
So we eventually got in and decided to make the best of it... SOBER! They were only selling soft drinks and beer - neither of which we drink. (Groan.)
And then the music started...
Followed by the rain.
By the time Bananarama started (yes... BANANARAMA!!) Brendan and I had had ENOUGH! I was really looking forward to yelling "Sing, little leprechaun man, SING!!!" to Ronan Keating, but alas, he was coming on far too late and we were ready for the next jorl!
So we got in the car in the poring rain and drove off to jorl number three... or "jorling LATE on a Saturday night"!
So I managed to crack the nod to the Bean Bag Bohemia picnic this year, thanks to my friend Gail. The theme was Black and Bling, so I pretty much wore all black and every piece of jewelery that I own... Oh! And I made sure that I had the biggest hair there! The girls and I got there on time (ie. TOO EARLY) and ended up getting completely wasted in vodka and red bull (FREE!) before the food even got there... Nice. The food was really awesome, though. It always is at BBB. Lovely sushi, pizza, chicken/beef rolls... and the dolmades were to die for!
I think it would have been a really late night for me if the NEXT party for the evening wasn't waiting for me! So off I went to party number two, or "jorling on a Saturday night".