I don't think anyone can "listen" to this and think it
is Fiction. The perfect pace, absolutely the best narration
for this book, the imagery (if sophomoric) are many and fluid
and most importantly they pull you into believing a young boy's
rendition to be honest, and finally just "enjoyable".
I wondor if I had actually read the book whether I would have felt differently about this book. The story, while intriguing seems to drag under the weight of metaphors, similes and adjectives. Sometimes you have to finally, finally, finish describing the scene and get on with the plot line. I enjoyed the book but did not find it worthy of the Booker Prize.
This is a book that cannot be fully appreciated until its end. Some people find the beginning long and tedious (personally, I found it interesting and the perfect lead-in) but the books literary quality wouldn't be quite masterful if it was written any other way.
It's really hard to review this book fully without spoiling the story, best I can say: it's pure imagination and wonderfuly executed.
The audiobook edition is terriffic, thanks mainly to the very talented reader.
I'll only listen to audiobooks that improve over written content with good narration, and this book passes that first filter with flying colors. The barely perceptible subcontinent inflection for Pi's voice was perfect for creating the sense of a world unto itself. Both the author and the narrator understood perfectly the mental monologue of a child left to his own devices--as an only child I recognized that "voice" with a sense of remembered shock. Which was perfect in setting me up for the dramatic ending; without that voice --both literary and real -- getting me to identify so completely with Pi, I would not have been able to bask in the glow off the ending. Unabridged it's twice as long as most abridged books, but still worth your time.
I found myself wishing for traffic jams as I listened to the audio version of this book. Pi's jumbled life, the ship, the animals, his Gods, and Richard Parker all nudged me to think about reality - and what passes for reality.
There are parts that were tedious; no argument there. At the time, I'd think "ok, enough. you've named 3 flowers. no need to enumerate the other 12 you see." Upon reflection, though, I'm less frustrated by those passages. They add clarity to the present reality.
The audio book version is outstanding. The reader's accent and inflection compliment the story, adding strength to the illusion that it is the retelling of an event.
I'd listen to it again, and am actually thinking about buying a print copy, so that I can more easily reread passages... particularly the thought provoking interviews near the end.
For some reason (probably pilot error), when I started this listen, I thought it was "non-fiction". It was quite unbelievable, but sometimes the reality is stranger than fiction. When I later found out it was "fiction", well that just confirmed it. I thought the book was too slow to get moving, and the events too unrealistic. I gave it a B+ as "non-fiction"; but when I learned it was fiction, well maybe B- just to be generous. Since it is a popular book, there is some value to reading it just to keep up with the prevailing.
My first venture into the audio form, while i was extremely impressed with the whole concept i felt the book let me down in parts. It was very insightfull and enriched with animal pyschology, but mundane for extended periods.
The Narrator did a terrific job and placed me firmly in the world the author was trying to portray.
All up though, a little on the slow side . 2 stars.