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)
Retired lady in my 60s. Have the time to read now so I seem to be "devouring " books. Love my Kindle.
I loved the suspense . It was so different than any other book /audio I have had the pleaure to read or listen to. This is definitely a book that is better to have on audio, as there is a lot of thoughts and unspoken words.
The film "castaway" is the only one that comes to mind
The accent of Pi
I cant wait to see the film version!! This is an audio book that I will definitely listen to again. aIt is also one I highly recommend.
The reader does a great job of moving along long uninteresting passages of detail. The problem is that the prose far outdistance the plot.
No. This would have been a great 3 hour listen. Problem is that it runs near 12 hours and is not worth the time committment.
I am sure the book is intended to be a deep and mystical reflection of life and faith. Just didn't work for me. Too shallow to engage. The boy and tiger on the raft set up is honestly a nifty idea. Just goes on and on long after the idea played out.
Yes highly recommend. It takes a little to really get going but then you don't want to put it down
Mr. Robert Parker; he kept the readers on the edge with his unpredictability. He made the story interesting .
Pi his whole life was overcoming obsticles. He definately was a survivor.
I haven't seen the movie but I hated when I had to put the book down & I couldn't wait to get back to it to see what happens next. I hated when it was over.
I had high hopes for this one, but I think the audio format killed it for me. The story has good foundations, but I found to hard to follow the bouncing from past to present, India to Canada, reality to fantasy. The narrator's voice was flat, detached, and dreary, which made me feel totally at odds with the character with whom I should have been connecting. I hope the movie was able to capture this story's intended greatness!
I realized when it had finished that this was a book that for once I have not listened to on 2x speed. It's one of those books you wish would go on forever. Read it, I doubt you will be disappointed. I'm sure the film will be good, but I doubt it will capture the magic of the book.
I listened to this audible book in 2003. It was probably my fifth book to listen to, and it became one of my all time favorites. The pace is surprisingly great with a tension line that runs throughout the development of the characters in that big open sea. Great.
The tiger was my favorite character. He was so central to the story movement.
Flying fish scene.
I did cry. Tears came to my eyes at the end of the book, not at any particular moment, just a gratefulness for the deepness of the story.
When not sure which book to get next, I frequently go to the readers evaluations. I couldn't quite figure out how a book about a Castaway Boy and Tiger could be entertaining, but with almost 3000 readers giving it a 5 star, I had to find out. The story was engaging, thought provoking, and humorous. It covers animal lore, religous thinking, seamanship, survival technique, and fantasy all in one masterful story. And what a surprising ending. I add my 5 stars.
Have read the printed version, now experienced the audio, it's almost as good.
"I will turn the miracle into routine! The amazing will be seen every day."
Yes, since the reader did a wonderful job.
When he talked to the Tiger
There was only the one main character who was great.
Would have given this book a high rating if it was not for the end-which was confusing to me. I do plan to see the movie and see how they address the end.
What a tall tale! Yet, how wonderfully done, from the writing to the narrator. It was a delight to get lost in. I am recommending it to all I know, from ages 12 to 100, who love a yarn with a little mystery and much heart.
The narrator was AWESOME!
"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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