Life of Pi

Life of Pi

4.2 2486
by Yann Martel
     
 

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MORE THAN SEVEN MILLION COPIES SOLD

The beloved and bestselling novel and winner of the Booker Prize, Life of Pi.

New York Times Bestseller * Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Washington Post Bestseller * San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller * Chicago Tribune Bestseller

"A story to make you believe in the

Overview

MORE THAN SEVEN MILLION COPIES SOLD

The beloved and bestselling novel and winner of the Booker Prize, Life of Pi.

New York Times Bestseller * Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Washington Post Bestseller * San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller * Chicago Tribune Bestseller

"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

After the sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan—and a 450-pound royal bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years.

Universally acclaimed upon publication, Life of Pi is a modern classic.

Editorial Reviews

Everything about Pi and this novel about him is unusual. To begin with, his real name is Piscine Molitor Patel and he was named after a swimming pool in France. Justifiably jettisoning that jeer-stirring moniker, the newly re-christened Pi embarks with his family on a cargo ship; only to find himself soon stranded adrift with an unlikely crew, consisting of an opinionated orangutan, a hyena, a royal Bengal tiger, and a wounded zebra. What transpires on this teenager's sea-bound rite of passage delights readers and will soon please moviegoers as well: Life of Pi comes to screens nationwide in a Lee Ang-directed Twentieth Century Fox film on November 21st. This movie tie-in paperback brings a Discover Great New Writers selection that has already sold more than seven million copies to new audiences.

bn.com
Barnes & Noble 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)

L'Humanite
Let me tell you a secret: the name of the greatest living writer of the generation born in the sixties is Yann Martel.
Albterto Manguel
Those who would believe that the art of fiction is moribund-let them read Yann Martel with astonishment, delight, and gratitude.
Globe And Mail
Pi is Martel's triumph. He is understated and ironic, utterly believable and pure. The whole fantastic voyage carries hints of The Old Man And The Sea. The playfulness adds another layer to an already strong story.
The New Yorker
An impassioned defense of zoos, a death-defying trans-Pacific sea adventure à la "Kon-Tiki," and a hilarious shaggy-dog story starring a four-hundred-and-fifty-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker: this audacious novel manages to be all of these as it tells the improbable survivor's tale of Pi Patel, a young Indian fellow named for a swimming pool (his full first name is Piscine) who endures seven months in a lifeboat with only a hungry, outsized feline for company. This breezily aphoristic, unapologetically twee saga of man and cat is a convincing hands-on, how-to guide for dealing with what Pi calls, with typically understated brio, "major lifeboat pests."
Paul Evans
A work of wonder, this novel tells a fabulous tale about an intrepid sixteen-year-old boy who spends 227 days at sea with a 450-pound Bengal tiger. The protagonist is a dreamer and a desperado, a zookeeper's son steeped in animal lore and religion (he's a practicing Hindu, Muslim and Catholic). A young Canadian with a Pushcart Prize to his credit, Martel is a limpid stylist with a flair for the poetic. Mainly, however, he's a storyteller—and a brilliant one. There are echoes in his work of Latin American magic realism (reminiscent of García Márquez and Borges) and touches of absurdist mind games. A cross-cultural feast, the book ranges from India to North America; it's also packed with curious disquisitions on philosophy, zoology, linguistics and God. But in the end, it's the story you'll remember, the kind of twist-and-turns spellbinder that's almost impossible to forget.
Publishers Weekly
A fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient, this novel is an impressive achievement "a story that will make you believe in God," as one character says. The peripatetic Pi (n the much-taunted Piscine) Patel spends a beguiling boyhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper. Growing up beside the wild beasts, Pi gathers an encyclopedic knowledge of the animal world. His curious mind also makes the leap from his native Hinduism to Christianity and Islam, all three of which he practices with joyous abandon. In his 16th year, Pi sets sail with his family and some of their menagerie to start a new life in Canada. Halfway to Midway Island, the ship sinks into the Pacific, leaving Pi stranded on a life raft with a hyena, an orangutan, an injured zebra and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. After the beast dispatches the others, Pi is left to survive for 227 days with his large feline companion on the 26-foot-long raft, using all his knowledge, wits and faith to keep himself alive. The scenes flow together effortlessly, and the sharp observations of the young narrator keep the tale brisk and engaging. Martel's potentially unbelievable plot line soon demolishes the reader's defenses, cleverly set up by events of young Pi's life that almost naturally lead to his biggest ordeal. This richly patterned work, Martel's second novel, won Canada's 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. In it, Martel displays the clever voice and tremendous storytelling skills of an emerging master. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Francie Lin
"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction and its humman creators, and in the original power of storytellers like Martel."
Charlotte Innes
"If this century produces a classic work of survival literature, Martel is surelly a contender."
Suzy Hansen
"Beautifully fantastical and spirited."
Gary Krist
"[Life of Pi] could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life."
VOYA
It sounds like the start of a bad joke: A boy, a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a tiger are stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific. The format makes it clear from the beginning who survives, but it is the how that propels the reader, as Pi's voice emerges with an as-told-to memoir quality that relays the tale of a young man who explores a variety of faiths and learns much about human nature through watching the animals at his father's zoo. Everything he discovers through his observations becomes applicable in the oceanic adventure that takes place after the sinking of the ship carrying his family and a few select specimens from the zoo toward a better life in North America. Although ordinarily science and religion are at odds, the lessons learned through spirituality and biology become Pi's salvation. The novel takes an allegorical twist when Pi reveals that his highly imaginative tale of animals corresponds to a more horrific one, peopled with family and crew from the sunken ship. The plot hooks, the writing is vivid, and the tone is engaging after a slow start. Although the gore and physicality are not for the weak of stomach or faint of heart, teens who enjoy reading to learn something about the world around them or themselves will delight in this Booker Prize-winning novel. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2002, Harcourt, 336p,
— Beth Gallaway
Library Journal
Named for a swimming pool in Paris the Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel begins this extraordinary tale as a teenager in India, where his father is a zoo keeper. Deciding to immigrate to Canada, his father sells off most of the zoo animals, electing to bring a few along with the family on their voyage to their new home. But after only a few days out at sea, their rickety vessel encounters a storm. After crew members toss Pi overboard into one of the lifeboats, the ship capsizes. Not long after, to his horror, Pi is joined by Richard Parker, an acquaintance who manages to hoist himself onto the lifeboat from the roiling sea. You would think anyone in Pi's dire straits would welcome the company, but Richard Parker happens to be a 450-pound Bengal tiger. It is hard to imagine a fate more desperate than Pi's: "I was alone and orphaned, in the middle of the Pacific, hanging on to an oar, an adult tiger in front of me, sharks beneath me, a storm raging about me." At first Pi plots to kill Richard Parker. Then he becomes convinced that the tiger's survival is absolutely essential to his own. In this harrowing yet inspiring tale, Martel demonstrates skills so well honed that the story appears to tell itself without drawing attention to the writing. This second novel by the Spanish-born, award-winning author of Self, who now lives in Canada, is highly recommended for all fiction as well as animal and adventure collections. Edward Cone, New York Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The Nation
If Canadian writer Yann Martel were a preacher, he'd be charismatic, funny and convert all the non-believers. He baits his readers with serious themes and trawls them through a sea of questions and confusion, but he makes one laugh so much, and at times feel so awed and chilled, that even thrashing around in bewilderment or disagreement one can't help but be captured by his prose. —Charlotte Innes
Kirkus Reviews
A fable about the consolatory and strengthening powers of religion flounders about somewhere inside this unconventional coming-of-age tale, which was shortlisted for Canada's Governor General's Award. The story is told in retrospect by Piscine Molitor Patel (named for a swimming pool, thereafter fortuitously nicknamed "Pi"), years after he was shipwrecked when his parents, who owned a zoo in India, were attempting to emigrate, with their menagerie, to Canada. During 227 days at sea spent in a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger (mostly with the latter, which had efficiently slaughtered its fellow beasts), Pi found serenity and courage in his faith: a frequently reiterated amalgam of Muslim, Hindu, and Christian beliefs. The story of his later life, education, and mission rounds out, but does not improve upon, the alternately suspenseful and whimsical account of Pi's ordeal at sea-which offers the best reason for reading this otherwise preachy and somewhat redundant story of his Life.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction and its human creators, and in the original power of storytellers like Martel.

—Francie Lin

Salon
Beautifully fantastical and spirited.

—Suzy Hansen

The New York Times Book Review
[Life of Pi] could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life.

—Gary Krist

Los Angeles Times Book Review - Francie Lin

"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction and its human creators, and in the original power of storytellers like Martel."
Salon - Suzy Hansen

"Beautifully fantastical and spirited."
The Nation - Charlotte Innes

"If this century produces a classic work of survival literature, Martel is surely a contender."
The New York Times Book Review - Gary Krist

"[Life of Pi] could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life."
From the Publisher
"Yann Martel's Life of Pi (Canongate) is another reminder of the largely unsung excellence of the Canongate list. The fiercely independent Scottish outfit remains an outpost of rare quality and distinction, and this exceptional understated novel is certainly a worthy addition to its output.... It would not be out of place on a Booker shortlist." -- From The Bookseller

“In the end, Life of Pi may not, as its teller promises, persuade readers to believe in God, but it makes a fine argument for the divinity of good art.” -- Noel Rieder, The Gazette (Montreal)

“Martel’s latest literary offering, Life of Pi, is an exquisitely crafted tale that could be described as a castaway adventure story cum allegory.” -- The Gazette (Montreal)

Life of Pi…is about many things -- religion, zoology, fear -- but most of all, it’s about sheer tenacity. Martel has created a funny, wise and highliy original look at what it means to be human.” -- Chatelaine

“In many ways, Life of Pi is a good old-fashioned boy’s book full of survival, cannibalism, horror, math and zoology. An impressive marriage of The Jungle Book with Lord of the Flies, it’s the harrowing coming of age tale of a boy who survives for over a year in a lifeboat with a zebra, an organgutan, an hyena and a Bengal tiger.” -- The Montreal Mirror

“A good story can make you see, understand and believe, and Martel is a very good storyteller. Martel displays an impresive knowledge of language, history, religion and literature, and his writing is filled with details and insights.” -- The Canadian Press

“[Life of Pi] has a buoyant, exotic, insistence reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe’s most Gothic fiction…Oddities abound and the storytelling is first-rate. Yann Martel has written a novel full of grisly reality, outlandish plot, inventive setting and thought-provoking questions about the value and purpose of fiction. This novel should float.” -- The Edmonton Journal

“I guarantee that you will not be able to put this book down. It is a realistic, gripping story of survival at sea. On one level, the book is a suspenseful adventure story, a demonstration of how extreme need alters a man’s character…. On another level, this is a profound meditation on the role of religion in human life and the nature of animals, wild and human. His language…is vivid and striking. His imagination if powerful, his range enormous, his capacity for persuasion almost limitless. I predict that Yann Martel will develop into one of Canada’s great writers." -- The Hamilton Spectator

“[M]artel’s writing is so original you might think he wants you to read as if, like a perfect snowflake, no other book had ever had this form…. In Pi one gleans that faith -- one of the most ephemeral emotions, yet crucial whenever life is one the line -- is rooted in the will to live. In any event, when Pi does come to the end of his journey, he has it.” -- National Post

“[A]stounding and beautiful…The book is a pleasure not only for the subtleties of its philosophy but also for its ingenious and surprising story. Martel is a confident, heartfelt artist, and his imagination is cared for in a writing style that is both unmistakable and marvelously reserved. The ending of Life of Pi…is a show of such sophisticated genius that I could scarcely keep my eyes in my head as I read it.” -- The Vancouver Sun

"A fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient, this novel is an impressive achievement -- "a story that will make you believe in God," as one character says.... This richly patterned work, Martel's second novel, won Canada's 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction . In it, Martel displays the clever voice and tremendous storytelling skills of an emerging master.
FYI: Booksellers would be wise to advise readers to browse through Martel's introductory note. His captivating honesty about the genesis of his story is almost worth the price of the book itself." -- Publisher's Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547416113
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
06/04/2002
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
17,443
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
File size:
732 KB
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

My suffering left me sad and gloomy.
Academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life. I have remained a faithful Hindu, Christian and Muslim. I decided to stay in Toronto. After one year of high school, I attended the University of Toronto and took a double-major Bachelor's degree. My majors were religious studies and zoology. My fourth-year thesis for religious studies concerned certain aspects of the cosmogony theory of Isaac Luria, the great sixteenth-century Kabbalist from Safed. My zoology thesis was a functional analysis of the thyroid gland of the three-toed sloth. I chose the sloth because its demeanour-calm, quiet and introspective-did something to soothe my shattered self.
There are two-toed sloths and there are three-toed sloths, the case being determined by the forepaws of the animals, since all sloths have three claws on their hind paws. I had the great luck one summer of studying the three-toed sloth in situ in the equatorial jungles of Brazil. It is a highly intriguing creature. Its only real habit is indolence. It sleeps or rests on average twenty hours a day. Our team tested the sleep habits of five wild three-toed sloths by placing on their heads, in the early evening after they had fallen asleep, bright red plastic dishes filled with water. We found them still in place late the next morning, the water of the dishes swarming with insects. The sloth is at its busiest at sunset, using the word busy here in a most relaxed sense. It moves along the bough of a tree in its characteristic upside-down position at the speed of roughly 400 metres an hour. On the ground, it crawls to its next tree at the rate of 250 metres an hour, when motivated, which is 440 times slower than a motivated cheetah. Unmotivated, it covers four to five metres in an hour.
The three-toed sloth is not well informed about the outside world. On a scale of 2 to 10, where 2 represents unusual dullness and 10 extreme acuity, Beebe (1926) gave the sloth's senses of taste, touch, sight and hearing a rating of 2, and its sense of smell a rating of 3. If you come upon a sleeping three-toed sloth in the wild, two or three nudges should suffice to awaken it; it will then look sleepily in every direction but yours. Why it should look about is uncertain since the sloth sees everything in a Magoo-like blur. As for hearing, the sloth is not so much deaf as uninterested in sound. Beebe reported that firing guns next to sleeping or feeding sloths elicited little reaction. And the sloth's slightly better sense of smell should not be overestimated. They are said to be able to sniff and avoid decayed branches, but Bullock (1968) reported that sloths fall to the ground clinging to decayed branches "often".
How does it survive, you might ask.
Precisely by being so slow. Sleepiness and slothfulness keep it out of harm's way, away from the notice of jaguars, ocelots, harpy eagles and anacondas. A sloth's hairs shelter an algae that is brown during the dry season and green during the wet season, so the animal blends in with the surrounding moss and foliage and looks like a nest of white ants or of squirrels, or like nothing at all but part of a tree.
The three-toed sloth lives a peaceful, vegetarian life in perfect harmony with its environment. "A good-natured smile is forever on its lips," reported Tirler (1966). I have seen that smile with my own eyes. I am not one given to projecting human traits and emotions onto animals, but many a time during that month in Brazil, looking up at sloths in repose, I felt I was in the presence of upside-down yogis deep in meditation or hermits deep in prayer, wise beings whose intense imaginative lives were beyond the reach of my scientific probing.
Sometimes I got my majors mixed up. A number of my fellow religious-studies students-muddled agnostics who didn't know which way was up, in the thrall of reason, that fool's gold for the bright-reminded me of the three-toed sloth; and the three-toed sloth, such a beautiful example of the miracle of life, reminded me of God.
I never had problems with my fellow scientists. Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.
I was a very good student, if I may say so myself. I was tops at St. Michael's College four years in a row. I got every possible student award from the Department of Zoology. If I got none from the Department of Religious Studies, it is simply because there are no student awards in this department (the rewards of religious study are not in mortal hands, we all know that). I would have received the Governor General's Academic Medal, the University of Toronto's highest undergraduate award, of which no small number of illustrious Canadians have been recipients, were it not for a beef-eating pink boy with a neck like a tree trunk and a temperament of unbearable good cheer.
I still smart a little at the slight. When you've suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling. My life is like a memento mori painting from European art: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly of human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at it and I say, "You've got the wrong fellow. You may not believe in life, but I don't believe in death. Move on!" The skull snickers and moves ever closer, but that doesn't surprise me. The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity-it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud. The pink boy also got the nod from the Rhodes Scholarship committee. I love him and I hope his time at Oxford was a rich experience. If Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, one day favours me bountifully, Oxford is fifth on the list of cities I would like to visit before I pass on, after Mecca, Varanasi, Jerusalem and Paris.
I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he's not careful.
I love Canada. I miss the heat of India, the food, the house lizards on the walls, the musicals on the silver screen, the cows wandering the streets, the crows cawing, even the talk of cricket matches, but I love Canada. It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos. Anyway, I have nothing to go home to in Pondicherry.

Richard Parker has stayed with me. I've never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.
The doctors and nurses at the hospital in Mexico were incredibly kind to me. And the patients, too. Victims of cancer or car accidents, once they heard my story, they hobbled and wheeled over to see me, they and their families, though none of them spoke English and I spoke no Spanish. They smiled at me, shook my hand, patted me on the head, left gifts of food and clothing on my bed. They moved me to uncontrollable fits of laughing and crying.
Within a couple of days I could stand, even make two, three steps, despite nausea, dizziness and general weakness. Blood tests revealed that I was anemic, and that my level of sodium was very high and my potassium low. My body retained fluids and my legs swelled up tremendously. I looked as if I had been grafted with a pair of elephant legs. My urine was a deep, dark yellow going on to brown. After a week or so, I could walk just about normally and I could wear shoes if I didn't lace them up. My skin healed, though I still have scars on my shoulders and back.
The first time I turned a tap on, its noisy, wasteful, superabundant gush was such a shock that I became incoherent and my legs collapsed beneath me and I fainted in the arms of a nurse.
The first time I went to an Indian restaurant in Canada I used my fingers. The waiter looked at me critically and said, "Fresh off the boat, are you?" I blanched. My fingers, which a second before had been taste buds savouring the food a little ahead of my mouth, became dirty under his gaze. They froze like criminals caught in the act. I didn't dare lick them. I wiped them guiltily on my napkin. He had no idea how deeply those words wounded me. They were like nails being driven into my flesh. I picked up the knife and fork. I had hardly ever used such instruments. My hands trembled. My sambar lost its taste.

Copyright © 2001 by Yann Martel

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and
retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.   www.hmhbooks.com

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

"Let me tell you a secret: the name of the greatest living writer of the generation born in the sixties is Yann Martel."—L'Humanité

"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction and its human creators, and in the original power of storytellers like Martel."—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“If this century produces a classic work of survival literature, Martel is surely a contender.’—The Nation
"Beautifully fantastical and spirited."—Salon

"Martel displays the clever voice and tremendous storytelling skills of an emerging master."—Publishers Weekly

"[Life of Pi] could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life."—The New York Times Book Review

"Audacious, exhilarating . . . wonderful. The book's middle section might be the most gripping 200 pages in recent Canadian fiction. It also stands up against some of Martel's more obvious influences: Edgar Allen Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, the novels of H. G. Wells, certain stretches of Moby Dick."—Quill & Quire

Meet the Author

Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963 of Canadian parents. Life of Pi won the 2002 Man Booker Prize and has been translated into more than forty languages. A #1 New York Times bestseller, it spent eighty-seven weeks on the list and was adapted to the screen by Ang Lee. He is also the author of the novels Beatrice and Virgil and Self, the collection of stories The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, and a collection of letters to the prime minister of Canada, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Date of Birth:
June 25, 1963
Place of Birth:
Salamanca, Spain
Education:
B.A. in philosophy, Trent University, Ontario, 1986

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Life of Pi 4.2 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 2486 reviews.
danja More than 1 year ago
Very well written. I enjoyed this story. would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Originally had no interest in reading this but i could not put it down and it quickly became a favorite
SuavePanda More than 1 year ago
Nothing to say but fabulous. If you plan of going to college, this is a must. The plot is intricate and woven skillfully, and the final resolution is wonderfully Inception-esque and satisfying for the intelligent mind. Overall: Just go buy it already.
Lalaith More than 1 year ago
This remains one of my favorite books. It's one of the most moving books I have ever read and completely original. The author is amazing, combining certain aspects of himself with the character and keeping the book moving at a lighthearted but serious pace. It's dramatic and moving and it teaches you a lot about faith (you'll probably find yourself quoting this book several times a day). It is so touching- his style is earnest, wholesome and truly gets you to think about things. You'll love the character, you'll love the plot, and you'll love the powerfully simple insights made. It's beautiful and you will fall in love with the main character and be depressed when the book is over. Fear not, though, it's always there to return to on rainy days. :)
RockyRo0 More than 1 year ago
Life of Pi is proclaimed to be a "book to make you believe in God". And for the discerning mind, it certainly can be. Yann Martel created something special in this book-- something greater than the simple plot (boy lost at sea with tiger on lifeboat), and more far-reaching than its main characters (the boy. the tiger.). Through the well-formed frame narrative, Martel forces us to decide, along with the characters, if fiction is worth believing. Beyond that, his writing is witty and poetic. I found myself laughing all through the book!
USCGuy More than 1 year ago
I picked up Life of Pi after a good friend recommended I read the book. This book is one of the few books that I nearly read through in one sitting, and then later re-read at a slower, more leisurely pace. Yann Martel immerses his readers in an exotic, yet familiar setting of a zoo in India, and then takes you on a wild journey across the world. The key question that my friend asked to me to consider after I finished reading, and which I have posed to other friends that I encouraged to read this book, is which story do you believe - fantasy or 'reality'?
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I've read in a long time! I highly recommend it. Martel's writing style is wonderful, and I firmly agree with the quote on the front of the book: "Life of Pi is a real adventure...It's difficult to stop reading when the pages run out.." I didn't want this book to end. I wanted to know more about Pi. LOVE THIS BOOK!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am in 8th grade and I absolutely loved this book. I thought Pi was a great role model, such a strong character. Anyone 13 and up must read this book, it gives you a new appreciation for life (and possibly a fear of boats!).
DeDeFlowers More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book on a whim before a vacation. Never hearing of Yann Martel I didn't have huge expectations for Life of Pi. I was dumb to think that way. Right from the begining Life of Pi blew me away. It is so original. The main thing I liked about it was how much you feel for the characters. You are gripped into the plot. Yann Martel is a great auther. All of his books make you think. Life of Pi examines life in a very unique way. I would reccomend this to readers the ages of 16+ because a couple scenes are pretty graphic and the way it makes you think can be pretty heavy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has changed me. This is a powerful story.
bbb57 More than 1 year ago
TOUCHING & DISTURBING. Nature in a nutshell, including human nature. Beautifully written. I can't say that I have ever been more involved with a character and an animal with equal care and empathy. I hope the movie does the book justice, if it does, it will be an instant classic.
anne1571 More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book on CD while driving alone from Phoenix to San Diego to spend a weekend by the sea with friends. But the whole time all I was there, all I was thinking about is how I couldn't wait for the drive home so I could get back to this book! It's a great story and it's told very beautifully.
Mr.Bezuk More than 1 year ago
People either seem to love this book or not care at all. I liked it a great deal and found it to be entertaining and thought provoking. I think that the degree to which you believe Pi's second story of his events is the degree to which you are a pessimist.
Iggie More than 1 year ago
One of those books you'll be thinking about for days/weeks/months after. I still can't decide what my thoughts are about the ending - I keep changing my mind when I think back on the story. Can't wait to see the movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I could not put it down and, really nobody spoiled the plot from the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Although it didn't catch my attention in the beginning, it was well written and witty. Book of the year for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story of survival using incredible imagery
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Life of pi is such a good book...cherish is reading it because i told her that if she could read the whole book by herself then write a 3 page book report about it then i would by er the movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
STARTS A LITTLE SLOW BUT ONE MUST SET THE CHARACTERS AND SETTING. LOVED THE LAST TWO THIRDS.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, people are acting really stupid. Of course they tell you how the story ends in the summary, it's a true story and he lives. :p The book is telling about his life, so that is why it skips around so much. It's called LIFE of pi, not story of how pi gets trapped on a life boat with tiger.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And its already worth the money. The book was an inspiration to me and as thevyoung piscine's take on religion that he wants to "love god" really moved me. I also loved how the first part ended "this story ha a happy ending." I thought the book was beautifully written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know the reviews were mixed on this book, and I really wanted to be one of the people who loved this book, but I just wasn't. I did not get the ending at all. I found many areas of the book dragging. Didn't like it at all
Mata-Reader More than 1 year ago
The Life of Pi, an amazing, award winning story by author Yann Martel. It is rich with details about the main character's life, his adventures, and his trials. What an immaculate fictional read.
The main Character is Pi Patel, a man from India, now living in Canada. He has different views on beliefs like, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Though quoted, he just want's to, "Love God." He tried every single one, but was really affected by all in the end. The first part of the story is told from Pi Patel as an older man, no older than 40. It is from the view of his early life. Where he discovered his beliefs, and he talks about the environment he was raised and taught in. This part of the book is probably one of the most sensitive parts in any book, what he thinks about religion, and the ways of life are really something. It really makes you think about youself, and what you are like. As well as being very sensitive, Life of Pi also has many funny references and also many freaky references, like experiencing cannibalism! He looks at animals to compare them to life as well, the sloth is one of them. He quotes that the reason they survive so well is because of the fact that they move so slow that they are not seen. They have mosses that grow on their backs to camoflouge them. I think that he is reffering to the fact that some people move through life so slowly, and so quitely, that they are basically invisble to others. Yet to break that serious mold he talks about how they need to find branches to grab on to, and that they can sniff out the decaying branches...yet, there are many sloths found on the ground clinging to decayed branches! As seen it is a smart and serious paragraph, meant to make you think and then once you have thought, you either get it or not, and you move on!
The second part of the, Life of Pi, is another well-written part of the book, basically talking about what you see on the cover, a young, Indian boy lost at sea with a Tiger. The points that really grab you are the points that are somewhat false, yet true. For example, the whole premise of surviving with a Tiger that does not have any food is insane, yet it is a zoo Tiger, but once it is out of it's pampered cage, and in the big blue ocean with a little boy, as well as a couple of other animals in the boat, what happens after it "takes care of" the other animals. In this book, the Tiger's actions are mightily false. Yet, it does show you that we can live in harmony with our wildlife. One point to bring across is that, no matter a viscious wild tiger, or human being, show them that you have some guts, and will only use them if need be, and they will humble themselves to youm as shown by the bond between the Tiger and Pi.
The, Life of Pi is a tale of lessons, survival, and trials, and I have not covered all of the topics, but if you want to find out about the others, and find out more about this amazing book...get it yourself, and enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First i will say that this is truly one of the most original novels I have read in my lifetime. This has to be one of the best book club books ever and believe it should be discussed in high school and college philosophy/ theology classes. I am almost 50 yrs old and i have read thousands of books but this is the first one I ever started rereading as soon as I was finished. Martels writing style is subtle and funny. Pi is a teen with a restless searching soul born into a secular indian family. He feels a hunger for religion so he befriends holy men of many faiths including the pragmatic athiest. Pi finds beauty and wisdom in them all. One of the funniest parts of the story is when he is confronted with all of these religious wisemen and they bicker over his soul. As the boys oddysee unfolds he becomes a true survivor on his own terms and finds little practical use for all the theology he studied. The author makes no judgements and leaves the 'fable' open to ones own personal interpretation. THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS BOOK...It makes you think...it challenges your beliefs, values whatever. I think the people who trashed the book just don't get it. The irony is so profoundly brilliant. Readers should not perceive this story so literally. Its packed with symbolic mysticism and skillfully imagined metaphore. I read this book 4 years ago twice and i think its time I read it again. Up there with Moby Dick and Old Man and the Sea.