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
"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)
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
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.
The whole point of this book is not the beginning, nor the end, but the journey through the story itself: you get enough insight into Pi's character to believe his emotions and motivations, and the story moves right along across the Pacific.
If anyone gave you a summary of the book you would think it sounds ridiculous: an Indian boy drifts across the Pacific with a Tiger. However, once you start reading, you are ready to suspend any disbelief in the plausibility of that concept. Simply amazing.
great book, excellently read~~~
BUT it is missing the vital, and i mean vital, opening "authors note" of 6 pages. This "note' is an integral part of the novel and the publisher, HighBridge Audio, has known of this ommission for years and should have added it in by now.
Have a look at the book in a bookstore so to read the few pages before you begin...
I knew nothing about the Life of Pi before I got this download other than someone mentioned it on a website during a "Tell me your favorite books" thread, and a number of people agreed.
I loved the story, and the narrator brought it to life vividly.
I recommend you read for yourself before seeing other reviews, I think many read too much or to little into into it.
Take the journey, and decide for yourself what is real and what is not.
This book left me breathless, unable to speak. Some reviews have said the beginning is slow, but I like all the details, and they helped paint a picture of who he was in his youth. The middle of the book locked me in, and I became obsessed, the end left me breathless wanting to listen again so I could go back over the details of the story. You will enjoy it very much.
I joined audible when I first discovered in in 2006. I listen while: working out, knitting, cleaning, driving... Multitasking=win!
I loved loved loved this audio book! From beginning to end. Beautifully written. It was one of those books where you can't wait to find out what happens, but you are sad when it ends. The narrator was very pleasing to listen to as well!
I have to admit that I really did have a difficult time getting into this book at first. However, after I did it developed into an exquisite story! You can almost taste, hear, smell what's happening. Well worth the effort.
This is one of those books which I looked at in bookstores countless times but had no interest in reading. The reviews here convinced me to give it a try and it turned out to be one of the best novels I have ever read. The narrator was perfect and I believe that I got much more out of listening to the book than I would have by silently reading it, though I plan to do that in the future, my appreciation for the novel is so deep. It does start out a bit slowly, but listen carefully so you can get to know Pi before his great challenge.
I listened in my car and I didn't want to get out. I found myself thinking about both the theology and the zoology of survival as the book unfolded, when I was not in the car. The main charachter is passionate for life from both perspectives, which is exciting to the listener. I could feel his joys, fears, and pain. The reader is perfect for this book, with his clearly understood Indian accent.
I enjoyed this book very much. Well written. However, the heart of the matter is finding a unique voice telling a tale that weaves through strands of reality giving "plause" to the implausible.
"A truly remarkable story"
With a 100 chapters and 14 hours to listen I thought I'd struggle. I didn't.
"Pi is best"
Life of Pi is like chocolate for the soul. My go to story any time. Absolutely love it.
"A good read"
This book isn't really my genre (I prefer fantasy/sci-fi) and the whole section leading up to him being stranded on the lifeboat didn't really do anything for me (this was like half the book).
Also the first half of the book had a lot of religious themes in it which I wasn't expecting although I did get this simply because it was on offer and so I didn't know anything about the book.
However the second half of the book that tells us the story of how he survived at sea was very good and enjoyable.
The narrator did a great job.
"Good story, well read"
Glad I listened to it, but strange ending. May try reading the book next time.
I enjoyed this audio book immensely, its narrated Wonderfully and a beautiful piece of writing. A must read!
I loved this book. Such a unique story. Found it very easy to listen to.
"incredible and something all must truely experienc"
i would love to recommend this book and allow them to experience this tale that floats you far from reality into this journey in which Pi has been forced to take in order to survive
this is an adventure for survival and i am very fond of books in which you see the development of the character, but its so difficult to compare this to another book
there is only one character in which you can truly appreciate and his accent makes it all the more enjoyable and authentic
there is a film for this book already haha but it would be; tragedy and survival entangled with one in which is nor friend nor human
if you enjoyed the film as i did why not read the actual book and see how much more it has to give
"A far-fetched tale"
The best bit was the last part, at least it was more 'listenable' than the start.
Take out the boring beginning to the story
Not to go and see the film. If it is anything like the book it must be a gory, horrible mess.
Great new philosophical work of our time that pays back the investment at the beginning which is a slow and not very rewarding
This is fantastic such a brilliant story with a brilliant narration highly recommend it for road trip listening
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