Life of Pi

A Novel

Martel, Yann

Book - 2003
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Life of Pi
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, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, 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. Publisher Fact Sheet. A fabulist novel that combines the delight of Kipling's Just So Stories with the metaphysical adventure of Jonah and the Whale.

Publisher: Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, 2003, c2001
Edition: 1st Harvest ed
ISBN: 0156027321
Branch Call Number: FIC M
Characteristics: xii, 326 p. ; 21 cm.


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Dec 23, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

As they flee India for a new life in Canada, the ship carrying Pi Patel, his family and their zoo animals mysteriously sinks and Pi is forced to confront his fate while sharing a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. What ensues is a fantastical tale made real by Martel’s brilliant characters. Like the lifeboat scenes that dazzle the imagination, the story of Pi’s childhood and flashes of his future are absolutely brilliant.

Dec 13, 2014
  • BP_20 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I loved this book through and through. The beginning was a bit slow (in my opinion) but I understand that Yann Martel had to the point across that "Pi" found his ways through many Gods from three different religions and finding equality within all religions. This is what set the book up. The rest of the book (part 2)was fantastic and talked a lot about him keeping his sanity and finding hope through God, the light in his patch (277 day patch) of darkness.
I rate it a solid 4 but nothing more. The book had a good plot and story but it was just too long. I can't remember how long it took me to read but lets say I read it in a week, I spent 5 days on the first half and 2 on the second half. You could easily skip the ENTIRE beginning of the book and still understand what was going on. I feel like he should have made the religion and backstory a quarter of the book in stead of half. In the movie they make the beginning quick and to the point, we learned what his interests were, how he grew up and other characters. the movie was on point in this aspect along with the great special affects. That's the only major criticism I have and I really enjoyed the ending and book other than this.
This book is solely based on religion and lets you decide whether or not you believe in a god. It is definitely for the older reading group and I will most likely re-read it when I am older to get a better idea of the book. The movie was well done and I think they are equally good.

Nov 29, 2014
  • Persnickety77 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

this is one of those books that you read kinda quickly because it's tense and fantastical and interesting.
then, months later you keep randomly thinking about how sad it really is, and how simultaneously beautiful, resilient, cruel, and screwed up the human race can be.

i like books like that.

Nov 20, 2014
  • Cas22 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I can't believe this book won the 2002 Man Booker Prize and that it beat Tim Winton's wonderful "Dirt Music" to the post. I found this to be a bizarre and silly book full of mind-numbing, and often gory, detail. I'm sure there's an allegory in there somewhere but so far it has eluded me.

Nov 18, 2014
  • hill342 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

so far it is BORING then AWSOME then BORING then AWSOME ECT..ECT....

Nov 13, 2014

This is a great book! It's slow to start, but if you can get past the first 40 pages you will be hooked and won't be able to put it down.

Nov 11, 2014
  • AbigailCurious rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

This is not a novel it's an informative book about animals and religion.

Oct 29, 2014
  • becker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of those books you either love or hate. I loved it. Brilliant.

Aug 13, 2014

I can't rate this book because I haven't read it though I have watched the movie. If you are an animal lover like me than I suggest that you don't watch the movie. I cried my eyes out and I haven't watched it since. He explains the story as everyone is animals but reality was that they were people. When I figured that out I cried even harder. Never watched the movie since and I refuse to read the book.

Aug 05, 2014
  • BookluvrShPk rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

While the book is very slow to get started (due to the back story being set up), and is quite thought provoking/deep, wait! It becomes truly a wonderful tale!

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Mar 29, 2015
  • eparti rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

eparti thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Feb 10, 2014
  • queenowly rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

queenowly thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jul 21, 2013
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Kennyn172 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 99 and 98

Feb 16, 2013
  • CharlotteStone rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Jan 30, 2013
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Jan 19, 2013

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Jan 11, 2013

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Dec 19, 2012
  • The_Light_Particle rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The_Light_Particle thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Dec 19, 2012

21288004484909 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Dec 11, 2012
  • wiseguy7 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

wiseguy7 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Mar 16, 2014
  • Perspots rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

"... animals don't escape to somewhere but from some something. Something within their territory has frightened them-the intrusion of an enemy, the assault of a dominant animal, a startling noise- and set off a flight reaction."

Oct 12, 2012
  • AmandaVollmershausen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Let's hear your story," he said, panting.

"Once upon a time there was a banana and it grew. It grew until it was large, firm, yellow and fragrant. Then it fell to the ground and someone came upon it and ate it."

He stopped rowing. "What a beautiful story!"

"Thank you." (Pg 316)

Oct 12, 2012
  • AmandaVollmershausen rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Then I raced up the hill on the right-to offer thanks to Lord Krishna for having put Jesus of Nazareth, whose humanity I found so compelling, in my way. (pg 73)

Sep 21, 2012
  • becker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways.”
― Yan Martel


Add a Summary

Jan 30, 2013
  • BieberFever108 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Pi Patel grew up in India swimming and hanging out in his family owned Zoo. He practices Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, after visiting a church, Mosque, and a Hindu Temple on a vacation. When he was 16 his family and him left for Canada on a Japanese Cargo ship but never reached their destination, due to a storm causing the ship to sink. Pi's family died but Pi survived leaving him alone... Yet he wasn't the only one to survive, a 450 pound tiger named Richard Parker survived also along with a Hyena, a wounded Zebra, and an Orangutan. Pi Patel was on a small lifeboat stranded in the middle of the ocean with 4 wild animals. The Hyena eats the Zebra alive and then also kills the orangutan. The Tiger Richard Parker then killed the Hyena. Now Pi was just alone with a grown tiger. Pi and this Tiger survived 227 days stranded in the middle of the ocean until he reached Mexico. Richard Parker walked away into the jungle in Mexico never to be seen again by Pi. After Japanese authorities hear of a Japanese Cargo Ship sinking and one lone survivor they drive down to meet Pi, to get answers out of him. He tells his story, but the Japanese do not believe it and ask him to tell the true story, he then tells of another gruesome version of the story with humans in the place of the animals. Not knowing which story was the true one the Japanese leave and Pi spends the rest of his life in Canada.

Dec 19, 2012
  • The_Light_Particle rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A young Indian and his parents cast off to move to Canada when an unexpected storm happens that killed his family.Now all he has is a simple lifeboat and a adult male tiger and has to adapt to it if he wants to survive...


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