I devoured this book in one sitting! Mr. Martel's easy writing style and attention to detail had me so engrossed, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This story transported me from the here and now. Time ceased to exist and I was there, struggling to survive the ravages of the Pacific! This book does exactly what any reader wants, it takes you to another place and time. Life of Pi is a wonderful glimpse into a situation most of us will never know, except in a work of fiction, and what a fantastic work this is!
Life of Pi is one of my all-time favorite books. Drawing from religious philosophy, survival narratives such as Adrift by Steven Callahan, and (famously) Max and the Cats by Moacyr Scliar, it is an amazingly creative and complete work of its own. It’s an adventure novel, an allegory, an existential quest. Surreal, haunting, wrenching. Magical. I can’t wait to see the movie. At the time I am writing this, we’ve seen a few stills, and they are gorgeous & intriguing. The film’s release creates a new imperative to read a modern classic. I hope you enjoy it.— Sara, Atlanta
Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories and practices not only his native Hinduism but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is 16, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450 pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional - but is it more true?
Life of Pi is at once a realistic, rousing adventure and a meta-tale of survival that explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative nature of fiction. It's a story, as one character puts it, to make you believe in God.