Book Club: Life of Pi and A Man Called Ove


Today I have not one, but two book reviews! I recently finished a few books (I had a lot of reading time in Hawaii) but not enough time to write reviews. I decided to mash these two books up into one post before I forget my thoughts on them.

Related post: Book Club: The Things We Wish Were True

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Goodreads Synopsis

Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

My Review

I had heard so many good things about this book so my expectations were high. Add to that, I've seen the film version of this book by Ang Lee and I had thoroughly enjoyed it so I was pretty excited get into this book. Since I knew the story, I was more interested in the language and the subtle details that a lot of times just doesn't translate on film. 
At first I thought the book was kind of boring and slightly overrated. I think it's the beginning that started off too slow for me. As I read on, I completely understood why that slow beginning was necessary because it set me up for some of the most spiritually exciting prose I've ever read! I read an interview with the author who said that this book is a test of beliefs - if you can believe that Pi could be shipwrecked and survive then can you believe he survived for 227 days with a tiger? And then can you believe he met another man when he was blind? And that he found a floating carnivorous island? It gets more and more unbelievable as the story progresses but I found it exciting and a real test of faith, seeing what parts of the story I would buy and what parts I wouldn't.
The only thing I didn't really love about the book was how slow it was at times. I understand that being stranded at sea for almost a year, you have little to do and I understand Martel was trying to show that in the book but those were when I had the hardest times getting through the book. That said, I still gave it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads so I would recommend this book (or just watch the movie - it's a visual stunner!)

A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman

Goodreads Synopsis

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations


My Review

I'm a Frederik Backman superfan. I've read Britt-Marie was Here and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry so as soon as I was able to get this book, I grabbed it up! Like Life of Pi, this book was also made into a movie which I watched. 
Like his other books, A Man Called Ove did not disappoint! Ove is everything I hate but he really grew on me and the ending had me bawling! I haven't had a good cry over a book in a long time so the fact that Backman had me in tears, upset over how a curmudgeon had lived so kindly and how much he impacted the lives of everyone who knew him made me feel so many raw emotions, is a testament to Backman's writing power. 
I gave this book a 5/5 on Goodreads - if you love stories about grumpy old men who are really kind and misunderstood (it's a niche market, I know), you will cry over this book too. 

5 comments

  1. I think I'll give Life of Pi a read! The movie really was visually stunning!

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  2. I totally know what you mean about pacing- if the book feels too slow, it can be really tough to stay engaged with the story!


    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  3. I'm really intrigued by Life of Pi-- I've seen the movie, and it would be interesting to see how the story progresses forward in narrative form. And yay Ove! Backman is such a magical author!

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  4. I've never read Life of Pi although like you I've heard a lot of good things about it! Sounds like the movie might be better though - I don't have a lot of time to read so the slow parts would be too difficult for me to try power through I think.

    Hope you are having a great week so far :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  5. Great book review dear.. I might look into them
    http://sepatuholig.blogspot.com
    instagram @grace_njio

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Thank you for your comments! I read every single one :]