The highly anticipated new Ang Lee film, Life of Pi opens in November and today, the movie trailer was released. My initial reaction is that it looks spectacular. The novel, by Yann Martel, was first published by Harcourt in 2001. I was working at Harcourt at the time. In fact, it was my first foray into the publishing world! I started as a temp in the publicity department in the summer of 2000 and, as a bright-eyed, 20-something, voracious reader, I was giddy with dorky enthusiasm when I was allowed to read the galley of Martel’s new book before it came out. I wasn’t really even quite sure what a galley was when it was handed to me but I quickly learned that it was a proof of a novel that would soon be published. I was amazed to be reading something that was not yet released to the world.
I tried (and was mostly successful at) putting those privileged emotions aside and simply read the book. It was one of the best novels I had read in a long time. Pi Patel, an Indian teen, is the sole (human) survivor of a terrible accident at sea. His family had owned a zoo and they were transporting some of the animals when the boat sank. What follows is a rich and rewarding survival story where Pi climbs aboard a small lifeboat and must share it with a bengalese tiger named Richard Parker. It really is an awe-inspiring tale that blends religion with the very art of storytelling—it is told as a flashback from an older Pi and his version of the events are somewhat unbelievable to those he tells.
Twelve years ago I devoured that galley proof of Life of Pi much as Richard Parker devoured… well I don’t want to give anything away! But now, after watching this visually stunning trailer for the film, I would be remiss if I do not pick it up again before November. No doubt I will do just that. If you haven’t read Life of Pi yet, won’t you join me? Not right now though. I don’t know why but it feels more like an autumn read anyway. Plus, I still have to get through three more massive Game of Thrones tomes, Brian Selzinck’s recent Wonderstruck, and maybe a couple classic Vonnegut masterpieces. Yay summer reading!