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 was a rambling mess, with far too much time spent on the zoology and animal husbandry scientific details. I know the author was just trying to help the reader understand some of the animal's behavior, but I fell asleep more than once while listening to those sections. I haven't seen the movie, (and probably won't), but my guess is they took the basic premise of boy and tiger on a boat, and that was it as far as using the book for source material. Would not recommend, and won't purchase any other books by this author.
It took me a long time to get engaged in this one. I particularly disliked the vivid descriptions of how carnivores kill and eat their food. Slowly, the story pulled me in, but I wasn't sure I'd stay with it at first. I did like the way the author concluded the story with an alternate explanation of the events. It made me revisit the different events of the story that I took more at face value as I read them, and see them in a new light.
Ok, yes, I confess. I'm another paranormal geek.
I've heard several great things about this story, so I was happy to try it. But, after several attempts to get into it... I simply, couldn't. It wasn't enough for me. I got bored of the tangents the author went on about the animals diets, reproductive habits and environments needed. I didn't want to listen to a biology lesson, I simply wanted a story. I couldn't make it half way through the book. Maybe if I could have pushed through the rest I would have enjoyed it, but I simply was too bored.
No because the rambling on about philosophy bored me.
No, I want my time back.
not sure why I listened to the whole thing. :(
Another person reading the book.
NO! I had a hard time with Yann's reading, no voice inflection and I did not find where he added personality to the characters. I had such a tough time that I only heard about 2 hours of the book and had to put it down - I never finished the book!
Sad that I used up a point for this book.
Add some personality.
I never got that far to be able to answer this one.
I'm disappointed that I wasted a point to purchase this book. I truly tried to listen to more but after having some amazing readers in the past (Kate Reading with The Wilderness series) I was hoping for another one. I could not get into the book, could not get into the characters or into the story. I had heard it was a great one so who knows, maybe I'll watch the movie.
Yann's accent seemed forced and was not consistent.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
Just as the narrator concludes at the end of the story, this is the most incredible story in the history of shipwreck survivors. That is what is so appealing about it. Nearly 100 chapters long, some as short as mere seconds, you can't help but feel that you are in the life boat with Pi and his Bengal tiger. Surprisingly, the "end" of the story is revealed midway through the book, so you are not left in suspense. . . rather you remain engaged from the descriptions of Pi's despair; the intellect he uses to survive; and the way in which man and beast relate.
The first half of the book is an amazing prologue to Pi's survival at sea. . . and you will learn much about fauna and flora through the experiences of a boy whose father owns a zoo. Perhaps even more interesting, you will learn a great deal about the major faiths of the world as the twelve year-old Pi investigates each and becomes at once, an Islam, a Christian, a Hindu, and a Buddhist. Fascinating.
This was generally a good and gentle listen, although there are plenty of gory segments that will alert your senses. I loved the narrators' voices and enjoyed the imaginative story of the shipwreck that placed Pi on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.
Would anyone believe his story in the end? Listen to the book to find out.
I am so glad I finally purchased Life of Pi and especially pleased that it was in the form of an audiobook. The journey on which this book takes you is simply unforgettable. The performance of the narrator added colour and depth. A great listen!
Did not read print, but loved the audio
It's a completely realistic fantastic story. I hung on every one of Pi's words. I could imagine that events would have unfolded just that way. Pi's spirituality and his parent's bafflement at this was touching. Mostly, to me, his connection to the animals who were as they were. This was not Disney.
When Pi decided that he has animal management skills and started to train Richard Parker.
The realism and drama were continued as Pi continued to re-enforce the training as needed, always aware, always alert.
Never relying on a perceived "connection" to Richard Parker.
I could not wait for the movie, which was done well, though, as usually, could not transmit all that the book did. Also, it was toned down for the children who probably expected a Disney animal story.
Loved the visuals. It struck me by how much I had the sense of deja vu, since the words had already painted the pictures for me, shade by subtle shade.
This is the kind of styles I like: good pace, cerebral, well-documented, meaty, mind-bending.
** I am trying to write this with no spoilers (bar what you already know from the book cover) **
Yes, for the vast majority of the book, this is a story of one young man, a boat lost at sea and a tiger and, while it may seem interesting as an oddity or even as a short story, I would challenge anyone to come with a scenario for a complete book.
Amazingly enough, the book takes these ingredients and makes of it infinitely more. It is a tale of the daily life of a young Indian boy with a greatly interesting family as well. It is tale of survival when stranded with no water or food. It is tale of companionship between potential foes. It is a tale of adventures in the high seas. The book really kept me on my toes with new things happening at every page and great combination of humor and dramatic tension.
I should also mention that the narrator is absolutely fantastic; some may think that he is overdoing it with the indian accent but, in my opinion, it is delightful to hear. It's just not only the accent he does, but the boyish naive talk and the tension when something sad or unexpected occurs. He is also an artist with other voice acting when needed, from japanese to french. I have listened many voice actors on audible, and gave 5's quite often but on that same scale, this would be easily a 9 or 10.
A fellow listener inclined to share my opinion on these productions. Maybe even inspire someone toward a powerful, or educational audiobook!
I really love a book that can run me through my emotions. This book was able to play my heart strings, from the beginning to the end! The character Pi has been developed so well, you can not help but love him, and root for his safe rescue or return to safety. If you like books where you are wiping tears off your face so you can finish an intensely written page, you are gonna love this(I predict future classic) in audible form, as you don't have to dry your eyes to continue along the trail of magnificent literature. Don't you dare hesitate to buy this one!!
Excellent narration of the story of Pi Patel. The exquisite scientific vocabulary vividly portrays the intelligence of Pi and the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. A must.
"Enter a world of spirituality"
The narrator takes you on an incredible journey. Can't wait to see the film now!
"A journey in the mind..."
I listened to this book nearly 2 years ago, and I'm prompted to review it now as the film has appeared.I won't be going to watch it for sure, as this book has endured in my mind in that best of formats - the ' imagined'. Listening to ' The Life of Pi' was like living through the experiences of the boy Pi, with constant tension and heart-stopping moments -all completely enjoyable from the comfort of home or train journey.I particularly liked the narration, and would not wish to hear the story in any other voice. The book also left me with a tantalising sense of wondering - where was the line between reality and imagination in the tale? Still searching for another book as good as this one.
You know a book is really something special when you are still thinking about it days after finishing. It is well narrated, and the story will stay with you. Recommended.
"loved the fairytale story"
I struggled at first to get into this audiobook, but I think it might be because it was my first ever audiobook. However, the ease with which I could listen while waking to and from school was surprising.
The story was a lovely tale and one which I'm glad I chose. I'm going to let my children listen to this before I let them watch the film. Tough in places, and thought provoking, but that's what you want in a book isn't it?
"Excellent book brilliantly narrated"
The titled of this review says it all. It is an amazing story of survival filled with excitement, tears and also joyful humour at times. I suspect some people might become a little bored at some of the detail about the zoo animals at the beginning of the book, but personally I found it fascinating. There are also a few chapters with very explicit details of animals being killed which some may find hard to stomach.
The narration is excellent.
Great book, read by an excellent actor. Understandably an award winning book, which stays for you for life after you have finished with it. Recommended!
"Bored and disappointed"
I was extremely disappointed by this book, I have been told to avoid Booker prise winners and now I know why. Martel takes the reader on a laboriously slow and tedious journey through the Pi's childhood in the build up to the main storey which doesn't start until chapter 37 and then plods along with much unnecessary detail and little to keep the reader interested. The central character is so irritating that I found myself shouting out for the Tiger to eat him. However this is a storey of survival to which you already know the outcome as the storey is told in the first person so I could even relish in the prospect of his dimise. I was delighted when the book appeared to be was reaching it's conclusion only to find it was like a slow death with excruciating pain at the end.
"A satisfying experience"
I had stayed away from this book, since I picked it up in the shop and couldn't get a feel for the narrating voice. However, when my little brother raved about it, I gave it a go.
I loved the narrator of this audiobook, and the first time, listened to it as a simple story, with interest in Pi's knowledge of animals and enjoying his incisive observational style. The second time,I enjoyed listening to it again with the benefits of the clues to ( the various means of ) interpretations dropped along the way the first time.
"Life of Pi"
Disappointing ending but the story held my interest all the way through
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