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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
Though all of our volunteer readers weighed in with "two thumbs up," we knew this was a winner when our fiction buyer -- not given to hyperbole -- declared it "one of the best books I've ever read!" Yann Martel's Life of Pi deserves every word of that praise. Drawing parallels between zoology and theology, Martel's novel is by turns amusing, intellectually astute, and poignant. And his Kiplingesque adventure tale will cause readers to reexamine beliefs of all kinds.
Meet Pi Patel, a young man on the cusp of adulthood when fate steps in and hastens his lessons in maturity. En route with his family from their home in India to Canada, their cargo ship sinks, and Pi finds himself adrift in a lifeboat -- alone, save for a few surviving animals, some of the very same animals Pi's zookeeper father warned him would tear him to pieces if they got a chance. But Pi's seafaring journey is about much more than a struggle for survival. It becomes a test of everything he's learned -- about both man and beast, their creator, and the nature of truth itself.
With a brilliant combination of sensitivity and a precise economy of language, Martel develops a story some readers might find less than credible. But his capacity for the mysterious, and a true understanding of the depths of human resilience will compel even the most skeptical of readers to continue on the fantastic journey with Pi, and an unusual 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. (Summer 2002 Selection)