I finished reading Yann Martel's Life of Pi yesterday, and I've spent some time thinking about my reaction. I liked some of it and I found other parts obnoxious. It's written in three sections, but the second is the only one I cared for. The first involves a bunch of background and setup and the third pulls the string on a really clumsy religious allegory.
But that middle section (which, to be fair, is most of the book) is great. Description, pacing, action, exposition, invention--it's all there and it's all good.
Too bad Martel framed it with hack philosophy.