I actually completed the last few pages of the book on a subway ride home. In the days prior, I discussed the book a bit with a friend who had already completed it. I had to call her once I was done, she wanted to gauge my reaction. And boy, a reaction I had. As I reached the end of the book, I walked out of the subway shocked, a bit ticked off with Pi, and even felt betrayed by him in a way. Here’s a little fella that I had supported and rooted for throughout his challenging journey, and who on a whim decides to leave me with a tormented and puzzled brain. No closure whatsoever, how ungrateful! In time though, I respected Yann Martel and acknowledged that the global purpose of the book was more important than pleasing poor ‘ol me.
I am still open to interpretations of the book and very very interested in the story you decided to go with. I am so torn, on one hand I want to believe all that he went through was true, because I spent SO much time with him - as his shirt frayed, or as he woke up and crawled under and over the tarpaulin, as he tamed Richard Parker, as he visited the edible algae land (which was truly out of fantasyland), and on the other hand, I want to accept the story with the humans in it, because it was added as this nagging tick. A doubt, a question. Granted that is what the author intended to happen in the first place, but I definitely do NOT want to be the one who lives in a bubble and chooses situations just so that they appeal to my idealistic world.
I wonder also if our choice of story to live with is guided by how long we spent reading the details of each story (75% vs 2%?). The second story was perhaps meant to be a slap in your face, and it sure was. Anyways, I am left without real closure, each time I lean towards one story, the tick pulls me back.
If facts remain the same, and we know they did,
Story 1: All humans die initially, Pi deals with it and tries to survive with a bunch of animals.
Story 2: Humans survive including Pi, similar order of events occur, with humans instead of animals.
From Pi: “I wonder—could you tell my jumbled story in exactly one hundred chapters, not one more, not one less? I’ll tell you, that’s one thing I hate about my nickname, the way that number runs on forever. It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go.”
Have you let go of this book?
Pi = 22/7, Pi spent 227 days at sea
Pi = infinite decimals, implying an unreliability on Pi (absolutely right, he changed his story at the last minute)