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)
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.
You would never guess that a story that takes place almost entirely in the confines of a small boat could be so engrossing, funny, sad ensightful and entertaining. The reader makes the story jump from the pages. What a lovely person Pi is...someone we would all want to know. A wonderful story that kept me glued to my iPod!
Of the 40+ books I've "read" so far this year, this is one of three I'd highly recommend. Others have mentioned what this book is about, so I won't bore you with repitition. I'll only say this: You'll remember this book a long while after reading it.
A fantastic book from beginning to end. Not only is the quality of the book superior, but the reader takes great pains to differentiate every character and give them each depth beyond what is written on paper. Clearly the reader has studied the book, and gives everything the correct inflection. The book itself is a glorious story, both heartwarming and heartbreaking, that drags you in from beginning to end.
To cover many of life's persistant questions (love and joy vs cruelty and fear, life vs death, the existance of God, faith and religion vs science and rationality, reality vs illusion) in a great tale of survival at sea is a remarkable feat. Along with all these deep thoughts is included facinating lessons on animal life and behavior, zookeeping, culinary and cultural pictures of south India, and usefull ideas for anyone who may find themselves stranded at sea. I listened to most of this book while walking on the beach, which is an excellent setting for this epic story. The readers are excellent, adding much to the experience by bringing the various ethnic accents to life. Also, listening beats trying to read the many difficult to pronounce Indian words.
This is a wonderful story, and totally engrossing; plus I feel it is one where being an audio book enhanced the literary experience. Very well read. It is a little slow initially, but not for long. I agree it definitely must be read to the end.
The first question that comes to mind is how the author conceived the idea of a boy in a liferaft with a tiger? And then he pulled it off!! I am amazed that one reviewer panned this book because I thought it was wonderful. It is a perfect example of perspective, because it shows the different ways that Pi viewed the tiger. But I won't ruin it with any details. Just get it and enjoy.
This story is an example of an ingenious literary technic of rendering a tale with the beginning being a story with very believeable personal life opinions and social statements and views, clear incidents of early childhood family experiences, continuing cleverly into a slowly woven tale told as a seemingly nonficticious adventure, still developing further into an epic like heroic saga and 'more than just real' dramatic account that keeps the reader guessing ..'can this perhaps truly have happened?'.
Read it all..you will be rewarded for your efforts! Bravo!
Retired former magazine editor who is working harder than ever as Mr. Dad to his 12-year-old daughter.
At times I loved this listen. At other times I was wondering why I was wasting my time. When the listen was over, I still wasn't sure what happened. But that may have been the author's purpose. At the very least, it's a riveting tale of survival as Pi overcomes impossible adversities against the most improbable of odds. Or did he? Or how did he do it? It's no secret that Pi survives since his story is a retrospective. But how did he survive? One word of warning: The author's descriptions and talent for writing could make you a little seasick; or something like that. Definitely worth the price of a credit.
The way the story is told, using different voices for the different characters, helps bring the story to life and add emphasis to brilliantly descriptive story.
The conclusion of the story, when you are not clear on what actually happened. The feelings Pi has following the sinking of the ship and the total despair he feels also moved me.
The lead character, Pi, is the most memorable character, although the French cook was also very cleverly portrayed.
As mentioned before, after the ship had sunk, Pi's total sense of loss and despair at the size of the challenge facing him. I was also touched when we meet Pi's children, living in their secure, family setting in Canada.
It is an exceptional book which is beautifully told in this audio book. I have not, and do not wish to, see the film because I am sure it will ruin the images in my head. I initially doubted where it was going, when Pi was discovering his spiritual direction, but it cleverly introduced you to this bedrock that helped keep Pi sane throughout his journey.
"Loved the beginning........hated the ending"
Funny, heartwarming, loved the relationship between boy and tiger
Started out as a great read but I really disliked the 'truth'.......On reflection it is a very cleverly written book and quite charming until the 'twist', then it turns pretty dark, too dark for me unfortunately.
"Great story, great narrator"
Amazing book. Funny but still very thoughtful. And the story line is simply incredible, full of unexpected changes and extremely funny moments. The accent the narrator has is just one more add on to this great experience.
"Life if Pi"
If I hadn't watch this film I would not have listed to the book, I usually find books better than films, this is an exception to the rule.
Such a great story! So glad I chose to listen before seeing the film (still not actually seen the film - but I will do). Fascinating storyline and very well read by both narrators. I love that you're left still not knowing if it's imagination or fact!
Loved every minute of this book. It is the perfect Audible story as it lends itself so well to being read out loud. The storyteller really draws you in to every detail and successfully brings the characters to life. No hesitation in recommending Life of Pi as an Audible title - give it a go, you won't regret it.
Lots of friends described Life of Pi as 'difficult to get into' when they tried to read it. For those, I would totally recommend listening to it as an alternative - as it's utterly spell binding. Yann Martel describes such odd events in such exquisite detail that it's hard to believe he did not experience the events first hand. Absolutely brilliant!
"Thought provoking adventure story"
I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend. The adventure story was great fun and enjoyable. I was nicely surprised that the story was complimented by a lot of thought provoking sections about faith, God, human behaviour and animal rights. I would strongly recommend it to other readers.
"Worth a read"
This book I would imagine is far easier as an audio book than a reading book... Some parts in the beginning to be honest are hard going, I would imagine it would be easy to give up with it. As an audio book it is somewhat easier and I would recommend it! It's a very funny book, some parts are hard to believe, the ending is a bit peculiar and not what you would expect.... It's hard to explain without giving the book away.,. I enjoyed it though !
A voyage that changed a boy's life. How much pain and desperation one can endure? An astonishing journey of life and faith.
Really enjoyed the book, not only because it is a great story, but also the narrator's voice, which is very important for me when choose an audio book.
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