Life of Pi

Life of Pi

3.91 (1,299,260 ratings by Goodreads)
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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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 401 pages
  • 109 x 175 x 26mm | 268g
  • English
  • 0156030209
  • 9780156030205
  • 4,838

Review quote

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'Humanite"

"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 "
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Rating details

1,299,260 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 35% (448,723)
4 36% (461,728)
3 20% (257,841)
2 7% (85,608)
1 3% (45,360)

Our customer reviews

The Life of Pi is like The Old Man and the Sea kicked up a notch with wild animals that certainly don't belong in the ocean and a 16 year old boy. Part 1 of the story is full of amusing honesty, entertaining writing, and fascinating educational passages about religion and animals. One of the most interesting themes in the book was how similar zoology and religion are. I didn't know they were similar either, but the stuff that the author points out kind of blew my mind. Part 2 is an incredible tale of survival. Why are tales of survival so enduring and riveting? He fishes, he eats, he drinks and I'm glued to the pages. The way the plot is told is very interesting. You know a lot of facts upfront. It's not one of those stories that makes you wonder if or when he gets rescued. The thing that moves the plot along is the awesome journey that Pi takes physically and mentally. I couldn't stop thinking about this book. I have pages and pages of notes, questions, and thoughts while I was reading it. I had no idea going into this book that it would fill my mind with so many deep thoughts and questions. And yet this was not a difficult book to read. The writing is stunning and flows very well. The only reason it took me so long to read the book is because I kept pondering the meaning of life. The ending, quite simply, took me completely by surprise. It was so twisty...that I can't even put it into words. Read this book - you won't be the same more
by Jessica B
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