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Life of Pi | [Yann Martel]

Life of Pi

Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: If you've never been lost in the middle of the ocean, on a small boat filled with wild animals, you have missed a great adventure. Luckily, you have a chance to be transported to that terrifying and wondrous trip through the magic of Martell's writing and Woodman's narration. Whether you are in the car, at the gym, or walking the dog as you listen, you'll begin to feel the rock of the waves against your boat and feel the heat of a tiger's breath on your neck. (Beth Anderson)

Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2002

Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story, so he tells a second one - more conventional, less fantastic. But is it more true?

A realistic, rousing adventure and meta-tale of survival, Life of Pi explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative nature of fiction. It's a story, as one character claims, to "make you believe in God".

©2001 Yann Martell (P)2002 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction and its human creators." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

"If this century produces a classic work of survival literature, Martel is surely a contender." (The Nation)

"You've read it, right? No? Oh, God, hurry up. Life of Pi is wonderful." (Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (10420 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Josh Jackson, GA, USA 03-27-08
    Josh Jackson, GA, USA 03-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gripping!"

    "Life Of Pi" is a great book, the start is a little slow but needed, though once it picks up, it never slows down. You feel like you are right there with him. The ending will blow you away! Don't miss this one!

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Lombard, IL, USA 10-23-03
    Andrew Lombard, IL, USA 10-23-03
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    "Most enchanting book this decade"

    I found every moment of this book to be pure gold. I agree that the audio version is perhaps even more perfect than the hard copy because the reader captures so brilliantly the comic timing and philosophic profundity with his subtle Indian accent and dry wit. I will certainly listen to this book again and again and again. And so should you.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederic Houston, TX, USA 10-13-03
    Frederic Houston, TX, USA 10-13-03
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    "A Great Great Book"

    I waited more than a month to write this review to see if I would still feel the same...I do. This book is destined to be a classic, and the audio version is possibly better than the printed one. The reader does a perfect job of bringing Pi to life. This book will make you ponder life, religion, and truth. When you are finished with this fictional novel, you'll undoubtedly have a fresh perspective on reality. I recommend it whole-heartedly. Listen...you'll not regret it.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Walnut Creek, CA, USA 09-19-03
    Scott Walnut Creek, CA, USA 09-19-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    5
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    "Great Story, Better Narration"

    An Indian Boy grows up as the son of a zookeeper. Heads off on a boat to Canada, where the story takes off... Very funny at times, drags (just a bit) early on. The narrator is Indian and tells the story from the viewpoint of the boy. Fantastically told! For a story so outrageous, the narrator makes it believable. Leaves you feeling good and believing that anything is possible. Highly Recommended.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Hall Merrimack, NH USA 08-22-03
    J. Hall Merrimack, NH USA 08-22-03

    smoothie king

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "A great example of what an audiobook can be!"

    Unlike some audiobooks that you feel are being read to you, the reader of this, Jeff Woodman, really has you believing he is the person telling the story, and he's telling it straight to you! No work of fiction is going to capture everyone's fancy, but for me this was a remarkable work that I've recommended to many friends already, and will share with my boys soon.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Vancouver, WA, USA 06-27-03
    James Vancouver, WA, USA 06-27-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "revised review: an engrossing and inspiring story"

    I earlier gave this book a very critical review. I could not stomach the first part that was heavily religious. However, after reading another review, I decided to give it a second chance, and happy am I that I did so.
    What an incredible story. It is engrossing, charming, pure of heart, shocking, and revitalizing. The protagonist is a wonderful character that never lets go of his will to give his life meaning through telling a good story.
    In the end, it is not at all about religion, or faith in religion. The protagonist pities those who reject religion not because they reject the truth, but because they miss out on the best story. And the same can be said for this book, which I think you shouldn't miss.
    And, importantly, the narration is very nicely done

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Chilliwack, BC, Canada 06-10-03
    Victoria Chilliwack, BC, Canada 06-10-03 Member Since 2002
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    "a wonderful blend of whimsy and melancholy"

    This book is not for the faint of heart (or for the 'short-attention-span'). Although some may have found it overly tedious, I would have to challenge that this is a brilliant unity of effect, recreating for the reader the long and thoughtful journey the characters went through. It is a simulation, of sorts, of those lazy summer afternoon stories with grandpa out on the veranda, that is, a reward for those with the patience and stillness of mind and imagination to appreciate it. In our high octane society, this book is a welcome change of pace.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Weldon Louisiana 09-07-11
    Patrick Weldon Louisiana 09-07-11 Listener Since 2009
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    "A truly incredible story! A rare 5 Star!"
    Would you listen to Life of Pi again? Why?

    I have an audible library of over 300 books, and this is my first 5 star, truly perfect review. I thought this book was incredibly moving, spiritual without being "churchy" and inspiring in every manner. The audible performance is also fantastic. The production, ennunciation, and word usage is just flawless.

    A big, huge, HUGE, thumbs up !!


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Calgary, AB, Canada 11-06-05
    Heather Calgary, AB, Canada 11-06-05 Member Since 2005
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    "A Story Worth Hearing"

    I can understand why this book won the Booker prize. The story is at times grotesque and yet is always oddly compelling. It is improbable yet realistic, horrific yet uplifting. The book also inspires reflection, which I suppose is the hallmark of "literature". There were points in this book that I almost stopped listening, it was too gory, too improbable, and yet I had to know what happened next, where will this story take me? The first part is, as many other reviewers have noted, somewhat slow. Furthermore I was wondering where is this lifeboat with a tiger that I was promised by the story blurb? However, once I got to that lifeboat I found that the prestory was quite helpful, filling out the character and making some of the earlier remarks that seemed out of place, meaningful.

    The narration of this book was quite good, capturing well the matter of fact yet hallucinatory tone of the story. At first the story was difficult to follow and I had to back to the book to ensure that I hadn't somehow skipped a section. My brother in law said it was cheating to listen to this book, but I disagree. I think that the act of listening slowed down the experience and made it more poignant and forceful than reading it on paper. It is easy to skip or skim sections while reading when they first make you uncomfortble but more difficult to do while listening and so I at least absorbed the story more fully hearing it rather than reading it.

    If you are looking for literature this is it. It has a well developed theme, well employed literary devices and plenty of meat for analysis. If you are looking for an easy to follow story for entertainment you may be disappointed.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 11-07-05
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 11-07-05 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

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    "Wonderful book"

    One of the best books I've read this year. Yann Martel manages to take a relatively simple premise (a boy stuck on a life boat with a tiger) and turn it into both an engaging story and a compelling reflection on spirituality, loss, nature (human and animal), and the will to survive. The main character, Pi Patel, speaks with such sincerity, eloquence, and gentle humor that I felt emotionally connected to him within a few pages, and found his thoughts throughout the book as interesting as his deeds.

    Though it's hard to imagine, at first, that a story about being stranded at sea wouldn't wear thin after a while, the plot contains enough turns and twists as to be enthralling from start to finish. Granted, Martel does ask the reader to suspend his or her sense of the plausible at times, but he does so with such a light touch that I never minded. Each part of the book flows naturally to the next part, and even the sections that seem tangential to the main story still feel connected in an important way to it.

    In short, this is one of those remarkable books that is both entertaining and genuinely moving.

    Also, since this is an audiobook, I will add that whoever provided Pi's voice did a great job. The Indian accent definitely adds something to the telling, and makes a few descriptions a touch more humorous. The other characters are good, too.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 909 results PREVIOUS12391NEXT
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  • Mary
    Crawley, United Kingdom
    10/6/10
    Overall
    "Irritating"

    I found the narration of this book intensely irritating, with a cod-Indian accent that never sounded natural. The story was extremely slow, with a tediously long set-up. I nearly gave up early on but the middle section held my attention just enough to keep me going - although when I got to the final twist, I was disappointed and wished I hadn't bothered. How on earth did this tiresome book win the Man Booker Prize?

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    6/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant story told with style"
    What did you like most about Life of Pi?

    The cleverness of the plot - how on earth do you survive on a lifeboat with a tiger?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Life of Pi?

    Towards the end where Pi narrates the alternative story.


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favourite?

    Pi.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This was a truly unique story and beautifully read, one of my favourites listens so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mikey
    poole, United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An exciting story, but with a touch of repetition!"
    Would you try another book written by Yann Martel or narrated by Jeff Woodman?

    I enjoyed the accent played by Jeff Woodman and think Yann Martel did very well to come up with a storyline for someone stranded on a lifeboat for months on end. It seems a daunting task to come up with a plot that won't lead the listener to become bored after a few hours of listening, but I think the author succeeded in keeping the listener's attention and interest throughout.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Not particularly exciting or surprising, as expected really.


    Was Life of Pi worth the listening time?

    Yes. It has urged me to seek out the film on DVD.


    Any additional comments?

    Life of Pi is a good listen. I would recommend this book to friends, it firmly places you into the shoes of someone experiencing hunger, thirst, loneliness and the desperate will to survive against all odds. This book has it's gory moments (not distasteful, the right amount too, not over the top) but vital to the theme and well executed by Martel.

    At times I found myself a bit bored as the story is set primarily on a lifeboat in the middle of the vast ocean. However, I found that I was not bored for too long as the author came up with some good twists and even gave plenty of interesting facts animals.

    An entertaining book not for the feint hearted!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jiri Vaigl
    Aberdeen, UK
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible "read""
    If you could sum up Life of Pi in three words, what would they be?

    What a book this is. I would recommend it to anybody with a big heart. It's quite educational too. You get to know so many interesting facts about zoos, animals there and about religion too. I truly enjoyed it and in my opinion it's slightly better than the movie because it's of course written in much more detail. It raises interesting philosophical questions too and trust me, you won't be bored! :)


    What other book might you compare Life of Pi to, and why?

    Maybe Robinson Crusoe because it's about survival and friendship.


    What about Jeff Woodman’s performance did you like?

    I really liked his different accents he was impersonating. I enjoyed that.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gillian
    HEXHAM, United Kingdom
    8/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good to hear it read to me"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Life of Pi to be better than the print version?

    Not better, but gave me a different perspective. I heard things I hadn't noticed when I read the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Life of Pi?

    Stupid question. Again duh.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    No idea. Stupid question. I'm getting fed up with these stupid questions...


    Any additional comments?

    Really enjoyed coming back to this. It is very beautifully crafted and the audio version helped me to appreciate this even more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roger
    Salisbury, United Kingdom
    8/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "enchanting"

    I am really pleased that I am probably one of the few people who hasn't seen this film. The reading of the story was authentic sounding, and, the spoken word gets you right into the head of this young boy in a way that surely can't ever be portrayed in a film. Excellent plot, especially when Pi finds himself having to make up a story at the end for others because they can't believe his real experience.

    A good listen, great narration worthy of my token. I even learned a bit about some animals.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SarahLJ
    UK
    8/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just didn't like it, not my kind of book"
    Would you try another book written by Yann Martel or narrated by Jeff Woodman?

    I would not read another book written my Yann Martel, it just excite me at all. Jeff Woodman however, read the book well and he is the only reason that I kept on listening to the end.


    What was most disappointing about Yann Martel’s story?

    The characters didn't come to life for me, the plot was boring and lacking something in my opinion. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen and for me, nothing ever did that made me change my opinion of the story at all.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I didn't really feel the narrator detracted from the book at all, he read it perfectly.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was disappointed in the book, after being told that it was a good read, I expected a lot more from it than I got.


    Any additional comments?

    It just wasn't my type of book at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mollymoon1
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    7/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing, Amusing, Emotional"

    I have been blessed by reading this beautiful book. It has an unusual content for a story really - being stuck at sea with a tiger called Richard Parker - but everything works, it contains abject sadness, overcoming loneliness, dealing with fear and the responsibility of being human - a great psychological twist at the end, leaving you to think about your own humanity - beautifully written and very well read - this is a story not to be missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    Stowmarket, United Kingdom
    7/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"
    What did you like most about Life of Pi?

    I loved the simple and gentle way the story flowed.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Life of Pi?

    Pi's description of the zebra & hyena in the boat


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Woodman – was your favourite?

    Pi


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Richard Parker went into the Mexican jungle..... it brought a lump to my throat


    Any additional comments?

    I don't think I could have read this book, but it was an absolute joy to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stuart
    London
    7/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story and incredible journey"
    Would you listen to Life of Pi again? Why?

    I'd listen again as I found it so though provoking. I found it hard to come to terms with however in a good way. This book book was a perfect example spoken word storytelling at its best.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Definitely the tiger.


    What does Jeff Woodman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    He manages to bring to life the most incredible thing about the book which was the journey itself. This mixed with all the emotions Pi was carrying really made it special.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A journey from loss to achievement.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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