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)
the papers the papers....
Honestly, the narrator did such a beautiful job with the story that the story itself was so good in itself but when delivered by the Jeff Woodman, I fell in love with Pi and looked forward to listening to his accounts on my way to work each day.
I, like so many others, whole-heartedly recommend this book and audio book.
i cant focus on one, the entire book was so enjoyable....
Jeff Woodman gives a fantastic performance and brings to life an amazing story of hope and the joy of living. This book explores the wonders of life; from a child's wonder and curiosity in the glow of family love to the despair of dealing with tremendous loss and the sheer brutality of survival of the fittest.
I have listened to this book several times by myself and with my daughters and it is a new joy every time.
Yes, it is the first book in a very, very long time that moved me to tears. And I can't even remember the last time I cared so much for a character!
No other book compares, it's in a genre of its' own.
Pi Patel of course
Read it, you won't regret it!
Adventure, psychological, and teen
Richard Parker, because of the final relationship between him and Pi.
The last few pages of this book might turn the rest of the book on its ear. The basic story is pretty good, but it's not a book I would recommend to most of my friends. Because of the ending, this book becomes an outstanding springboard for discussing the relationships between characters. But an individual reader might not pick up on the import of the relationships. Discussing it amongst several people can lead to a different understanding of the story the author was trying to tell.
This is a story that delivers. It cleverly transorms the reader into an observer watching the battle for survival between our human and animal nature. The conclusion has the ablity to effortlessly alter your awareness by invoking our understanding of the primal need to survive.
His performance made me believe!!
Left me gobsmacked.
The good: I think the reader was perfect for the role and did a good job of portraying multiple accents and characters. I would listen to another book by this reader given the opportunity. The book was very clever in developing problematic situations and solutions. While the story was certainly fantasy, most of it was believable and rooted in sound logic and science. I was surprised to learn a lot about animal behavior and survival, (I have always had an interest in survival stories). I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys clever fantasy and learning new things.
The bad: The book was a little slow in the first third of the story before the raft part. Also, the main character had an odd religious evolution in the beginning of the story that didn't add to the story and came off as a little preachy.
Near the top
Pi - I love Pi's childlike yet complex character.
The Life of Pi is beautifully told at a "story" level yet the writer pushes one to look at human behavior. I love the author's ability to handle ticklish spiritual issues while maintaining humor. He manages to communicate the beauty & innocence of Pi's religious explorations all the while urging the reader to examine his/her own viewpoints.
The writer also covers day after of Pi's onerous solitary existence in his raft yet never loses the reader for a second. In the final pages one is taken through yet another story again left with questions for self examination.
The Life of Pi is a book which can be read again & again with new insights arising each time.
Yes, I would recommend Life of Pi to others and have. It's an imaginative, creative, story laced with interesting facts and a great, thought provoking finish.
The final scene pulls the entire book together.
Piscine Molitor Patel, of course.
Richard Parker. If Pi can survive with him on a boat, one dinner couldn't be so tough.
Give it a listen. you'll be glad you did.
The rich descriptions of things happening, the reading - Jeff did a wonderful job!
The arguments were presented really well and the whole story was just enthralling. I couldn't draw myself away.
Pi - definitely. Even his conversations with himself were amazing.
No I haven't, but I'm considering going to find more of his because he read so well.
'The Tiger, the Indian and the Life Boat'...no, not really - Life of Pi works really well.
I read the first few pages of the printed book and was very disappointed. But after reading reviews from others, I decided to listed to the Audio Book.
I'm not sure if it was Jeff's excellent reading, or what, but I loved every second of it! So much so that I will encourage others to read it, and would rate it as one of the best books I've ever read.
Absolutely! Read the book 1st by hand then audible. I highly recommend both. Brilliantly performed & pray the movie does it justice. What a marvelous spin of a life well lived. The dominance of spirit seeking a higher meaning using every resource and gift available. The interaction of other life forces, good, bad & indifferent. I just couldn't get enough of this book & the story it told. This was a refreshing & unique perspective of life on the edge.
The broad spectrum of characters & how they so delicately wove together. You were never sure of where the story would lead & at the end not so sure it was really actuality. The depth of how far a human can suffer in life still holding on to hope boggles the imagination.
I have not listened to other performances, but he did an excellent job.
Richard Parker would be a most interesting dinner guest. I would dearly enjoy probing his mind to hear the tale from his perspective.
Pi's indelible spirit & mind is a tribute to the driving force within us all. We are given all the resources in this life to survive & thrive. His youth, family upbringing, education & spirituality were the greatest survival pack of all. One must wonder if the rest of his life could ever measure up to his time on the ocean or how it impacted the any other catastrophes he faced in his life. It certainly sounds like he may have become a hoarder. Was he able to marry & share life as he did with Richard Parker or did it drive him to a reclusive existence. I would like to think he grew to be a sage. His life's lessons certainly impacted my view of the world.
"Nice as Pi"
First off all thank you Jeff Woodman for the great narration of this audio book. I often listen to the books I download on my dull motorway journey to and from work.Sometimes I listen while taking a bath, others on lazy Sunday mornings in bed. It didn't matter where I listened to this book because I was always where the author wanted me to be,which in this books case from about half way through is floating in a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal Tiger for company.This book describes the feelings both mentally and physically of being a starving survivor so well that I could feel my own stomach rumble and feel the heat of the sun on my own parched lips.I'm not so sure about the first fifty or so chapters that tell about Pi's school life,life as a Zoo Keepers son in India and of his devotion to religions and God, but I really enjoyed this listen and the twist at the end that certainly gets you thinking what was true and what was the mental defence a starving brain puts in place to save ones sanity.
"The secrets of survival, tigers and bananas..."
I'll keep this brief: This is a good book, wonderfully read. The narration has exactly the right level of dry humour, and truly makes you believe in the stalwart, surprising character of Pi Patel.
"Unlike anything else!"
This book is impossible to categorize! Fantasy, adventure, blood-curdling violence, indomitable human-spirit, truth v. fiction, religion, humour, natural history, animal behaviour: it has it all! I think listening to the book is better than reading it as there is an awful lot of details about sorts of things that are a bit boring, especially the first part of the book, but if you're doing something else it just flows in one ear and out the other. In the end I enjoyed it and I thought the reader was good. I went to see the film after I'd listened to the book. The film is a visual feast and a much sanitized and softened version of the savagery of the book.
I liked this audiobook a lot. It does take some time to get used to the narration which sounds a little computer generated in the beginning, however that enhances the story when you come to understand the logic of it. The story is highly original and although it is not always clear where its going the ending makes it all worthwhile. It is one of those stories that is more impressive after you sit down to think about it than when you are immersed in it. It also has to be one of the only books I have read whereby after having finished it going back to chapter one feels like a continuation rather than the beginning again.
There are many who have said that this book strengthens their faith in God, but for me it confirmed my cynicism of all religion. People will take from it what they will which is the the strength of the completed book. Books that make you think about life and the world get high marks from me and this is such a book.
"A must read for so many reasons"
Life of Pi is as enjoyable as it is thought provoking. It's an absorbing, engaging story I'd recommend to anyone. I had to listen to it at every opportunity. I even volunteered to wash up and clean the whole kitchen just so I could have it on in the background!
Jeff Woodman was the perfect narrator, I was amazed that he was able to produce an accent that merged Canadian with Indian; I felt I was listening to Pi Patel telling me his story.
It's wonderful, download it!
"Strange and interesting"
I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as I had hoped. Because of its reputation and award, I thought it would have more depth, and maybe I missed any metaphors or spiritual message, but to me it was quite a straightforward though beautifully told story.
The character of Pi was engaging and the strangeness of his story makes it compulsive listening, just because it is so different to anything else I have read. The depiction of Richard Parker, the oddly-named 450-pound Bengal Tiger that Pi finds himself sharing a lifeboat with is superb, as are the exploits on the boat.
A memorable listen, well read and recommended.
"Enigmatic and fascinating"
The reader's voice took a little getting accustomed to but the story is well worth the praise and attention it has received. The narrative which brushes always against the surreal and plays it against the commonplace brutality of real life reminds the reader of the great Mervyn Peake. It touches a very real nerve in the human psyche and is highly recommended.
"An exciting story, but with a touch of repetition!"
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.
Not particularly exciting or surprising, as expected really.
Yes. It has urged me to seek out the film on DVD.
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!
"Affirms the power of storytelling"
Unlike some listeners who found the first third of the book a little slow I enjoyed it from the beginning ? with its witty observations and asides on people, animals and religion. The tale of survival had me enthralled ? it is insightful, lyrical and descriptive though perhaps it drags a little toward the end and becomes rather too fanciful. The ending cleverly draws all the elements together and makes you think about the role and importance of storytelling long after the book is finished. The excellent choice of narrator enhances the enjoyment of the novel.
This book leaves me with a lot of questions and not about the plot. Why is this such a great bestseller, why is this to be said philosophical, why do so many people read such a book, why was this made in a movie????
During listening to this book I was bored a lot of the time, I was angry about stupid assumptions, I was interested on some occations, I was glad the end got closer and closer....
In the beginning the description of the young Pi are to long for me and the parts about religion are not very insidefull to me (taking on three religions at the same time, does not make it a world religion but stripping every religion from its meaning, or is: there is one or some gods, a real believe) besides some comments made me really doubt that the author really knows as much about animals as he wanted to make us believe (a cobra stolen from the zoo by a snake charmer is facing a live of serving?? What about they suffering from getting their teeth broken out).....
There are very distgusting parts (e.g. the zebra gets eaten alive for a whole night and day....)
The story is unlikly but that doesn't bother me. In the end (last 30 minutes) the story gets a really good turn (don't want to put it differntly, because it would spoil it for other readers) and makes the other part on the lifboat really symbolic, but the ten hours of description were to much.....
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