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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 (11914 )
5 star
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4.2 (7039 )
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4.4 (6977 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Karen Boston, MA, USA 05-12-03
    Karen Boston, MA, USA 05-12-03 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    120
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A book to finished before judging"

    Although the start of the book is slow, the finish is magical. I highly recommend this book for those willing to reserve judgement until the end.

    120 of 148 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 05-10-12
    Linda Longview, TX, United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    405
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    23
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "When the focus of reality shifts"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Bellingham, WA, United States 11-02-11
    Laurie Bellingham, WA, United States 11-02-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    32
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    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well read - good story"

    This was an extremely well narrated story - loved listening to his voice. The story was really interesting most of the time; some spots dragged on a bit, but not for long. I had always wanted to read the book, but had heard it was sometimes hard to get through. I think it was better to listen to, perhaps, than read. I loved the philosophical outlook and found it to be a thought provoking story. I am truly glad I read /listened to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Swad 02-10-09
    Swad 02-10-09

    swadmeister

    HELPFUL VOTES
    164
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    129
    58
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    4
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    Overall
    "Wow"

    Masterful story, well told, and flawlessly narrated. Don't pass this one by, you won't be sorry.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Nashville, TN, USA 12-28-04
    Angie Nashville, TN, USA 12-28-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    Overall
    "Thoughtful, fun and engrossing"

    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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Portland, OR, USA 10-22-03
    Kim Portland, OR, USA 10-22-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    5
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    1
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    Overall
    "Exceptional"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cuckoo 10-02-03
    Cuckoo 10-02-03 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    7
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    "Intriguing mix of zoology, theology and stamina"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Cleveland, TN, USA 07-27-03
    Daniel Cleveland, TN, USA 07-27-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    17
    5
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    1
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    Overall
    "Wow! Life's great questions in a great story."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Wright 07-14-03
    A. Wright 07-14-03 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    199
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    Overall
    "great audio story"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred Atlanta, GA, USA 05-30-03
    Fred Atlanta, GA, USA 05-30-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    52
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    Overall
    "Awesome"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • A User
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating read!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Life of Pi to be better than the print version?

    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.


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

    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.


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

    The lead character, Pi, is the most memorable character, although the French cook was also very cleverly portrayed.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sarah
    United Kingdom
    6/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved the beginning........hated the ending"
    What did you like best about Life of Pi? What did you like least?

    Funny, heartwarming, loved the relationship between boy and tiger


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Giggi
    Cork, Ireland
    6/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, great narrator"
    What did you like most about Life of Pi?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fiona
    YORK, United Kingdom
    5/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kate
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    5/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karen B.
    Sussex, UK
    4/15/13
    Overall
    "Enchanting"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lou
    SOUTH CROYDON, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "beautiful imagination"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Melksham, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nay
    Horley, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "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 !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yue
    United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Astonishing journey"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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