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)
This book sucks. You cant see it in the reviews, but Its really a story about selling religion!
Great story and a great listen. The narrator was absolutely perfect and never came across as "too much" like some narrators do. This story was imaginative and had so much humor injected into it I couldnt help but smile almost the whole reading. The only complaint I have is that the very end got a little confusing but it was easily forgivable.
Mostly I read horror but Im glad I branched out for this one, well worth a listen!
I had this book in my queue for more than a year before finally listening to it - It's remarkable, implausible in it's main thrust, and yet written and performed so well, I had to check and confirm it was a novel at end. The main character's early years' narrative is not uninteresting but less than riveting and having no knowledge of the book whatsoever - it was an accidental purchase under embarrassing impression it was something else entirely, left me wondering where it was going , but it was all part of flow. It's so well done and the calamity unfolds and continues. It was purchased as a mistake but it's one I'm very glad I made. Film trailers for director Ang Lee's film version are out now. If he has captured the this book, it will be worthwhile.
In spite of the great reviews for this book, it is probably the only audio book that I have purchased and decided not to finish. I just did not find it enjoyable at all. I kept hoping it would get better, but by Chapter 46, I gave up. I only regret not having gave up on it sooner, as the detailed, gruesome deaths of the animals was disturbing to me.
His fake indian accent. If you want a indian to narrate a book, just hire an indian. Don't make a non-indian fake a weird accent.
Yes! many times yes. This is the first book that (as an adult) left me actively caught in the story. I realized the story to such a degree that I felt like it was progressing in real time (without me) while I had to be away from the book, working w/ clients. I worried about what was happening in the boat while I was away and could hardly manage life calmly until I could get back in.
Many ages and 'types' have found this superb!
Listening to books is very liberating for me. I am free to work with my hands while "reading" a book. Total relaxation.
One of the best books I have had this year.
After being interviewed by the Japanese, Pi asks which of the two accounts of his story did they prefer. Their answer reinforces Pi's personal feelings on religion and spirituality.
His soft Indian accent is very gentle on the ear and brings the characters to life.
No, the book is quite intense.
This wonderfully philosophical book was food for thought. I am not especially interested in religious debate, being at peace with my own feelings on the matter. Yann Martel, however, offers such a fascinating and refreshing perspective on certain issues. Really pleased that I read it.
The narration was really good. The story is really good. Its a great experience. You really care for him.
Learning about religions, and when found the land. Also the floating island. The lightening hitting the water.
great book. I recommend it to everyone.
The glimpses of Indian life, the mental runs of thinking the author outlines in Pi's mind about God, religion, zookeeping and ocean life. At times I could almost see Pi in my mind's eye on the lifeboat.
Expressive voice. Just the right amount of Indian accent with proper English inflections. I prefer lighter male voices as performers and his was just right.
Creative tigerkeeping on the Pacific Ocean
Wonderful flights of fancy. Great intrusion of REALITY at the end of the book, but as the listener/reader, I refused to believe in reality and held tight to Pi's version of events.
Was the first audiobook I ever listened to. I was driving home to PA from SC alone and got the book at a stand to try and help me keep awake. I was captivated.
Yes. I was engaged throughout by vivid descriptions and by trying to imagine what I would have done. This book stayed with me for a long time....still pondering.
The island and the unusual ending among many others
I felt I was hearing the experience in Pi's own words.
"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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