So I have decided that I really like man vs. nature stories. At the end of those stories (assuming the man wins) I am left with a feeling that there was a positive quantity added to the total sum of human greatness and nobility. That was why I loved the first third of this book. Louie and Phil made it 47 days through storms, starvation, and sharks to an island. They triumphed over everything thrown at them and they did so with faith and dignity. Then they are captured by the Japanese. It was at that point that I stopped liking the book.
When it is man vs. man and one side is trying to survive the sadistic, cruel, and inhuman subjegation of the other side you don’t end up with a positive. The barbaism and horrific actions of the one side (at least for me) outweigh the mere survival of the other side, and I feel like something is taken away from the idea of human greatness. This ick feeling is why I suffered through the middle third of this book.
The last third was back to man vs. himself and I was so impressed and inspired with how Louie came to grips with his ordeal and forgave the man who had made his life hell. So because Louie once again triumphed with faith and dignity there was an overall addition to the total sum. I am now inspired to face what ever difficulties are thrown at me with more grace and more clarity. I mean, I’ll most likely never have 9 foot sharks trying to eat my head or be beaten with a brass belt buckle or have flies/lice/other bugs crawling on me almost constantly for months…so really, life is pretty good.