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Life of Pi Audiobook

Life of Pi

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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 (13134 )
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4.4 (8073 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kathy Massie Costa Mesa, CA USA 12-13-03
    Kathy Massie Costa Mesa, CA USA 12-13-03 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    128
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Different"

    Kept thinking I had fallen asleep and missed something so I would rewind only to find I had heard every word... Just couldn't get into it but I mainly listen to Mysteries so that could be it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regis KINGSTON, NY, USA 12-07-03
    Regis KINGSTON, NY, USA 12-07-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    2
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    "Forced allegory"

    The Life of Pi was recommended by friends who thought that I would have an enjoyable theological experience with this extended allegory. The book sunk as soon as the ship sunk in the beginning of the book. A survival story of life on a raft with a tiger, an orangutan, a zebra, flying fish, provisions..., was boring as a story and boring as a metaphor. Within two of the 227 days at sea, the reader/listener knows that neither Pi nor his companions have any fictional value of themselves but are always forced to stand for something else. The metaphorical message, that all of life is inter-related and indeed one and that all belief systems are road maps to the same ontological end, is not carried by the allegorical story. Effective allegory is an engaging discovery rather than a forced-fed message. I wanted this book to be entertaining and inspiring. It wasn't.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. AmersfoortNetherlands 12-06-03
    G. AmersfoortNetherlands 12-06-03
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    2
    Overall
    "a great read"

    Not only a great book, but extremely well read! Time flies by as you go from work to home and the other way around, while you're submersed in this ultimate survival fantasy... or is it?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SL Auburn, AL United States 12-05-03
    SL Auburn, AL United States 12-05-03 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    32
    9
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    0
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    "different"

    I was rather disappointed in this book. It was good, but I apparently missed what everyone else found so intriguing. It was good, but I expected more.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graham Hong KongHong Kong 12-04-03
    Graham Hong KongHong Kong 12-04-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    9
    7
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    "Life of Pi a Wonderful Novel"

    I enjoyed this book tremendously. Very funny as well as thought provoking. A definite read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Anaheim Hills, CA, CA, USA 12-01-03
    Karen Anaheim Hills, CA, CA, USA 12-01-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Pretty Good"

    I couldn't finish this book. I listened to most of it but found the parts about the animal deaths painstakingly drawn out and detailed. I even fast forwarded through some portions trying to bypass but it just kept on coming. Other than that I enjoyed what I heard.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Cary, NC, USA 11-17-03
    Steve Cary, NC, USA 11-17-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Excellent - definitely one of the best!"

    A little slow at the beginning, but keep listening...once this story got going, I didn't want it to stop. I couldn't wait to get in my car to listen each day to and from work. So incredible and rich with detail and feeling, I thought it must be a true story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie WAKE VILLAGE, TX, United States 11-16-03
    Stephanie WAKE VILLAGE, TX, United States 11-16-03 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    180
    5
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    "Don't judge this one too soon."

    Jeff Wood does an excellent job bring the character of "Pi" to life in this wonderful fiction. It is so well written that at times I forgot it was fiction and had actually happened. It does start out a little slow, but that is necessary to lay the foundation upon which the story develops. I really enjoyed this book and recommended it to everyone I know.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calvin Alexandria, VA, USA 11-15-03
    Calvin Alexandria, VA, USA 11-15-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    5
    4
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    "Worth the trip"

    I saw the review that said this book started a little slowly. It was true, but it did all tie together eventually. Once they hit the sea, all was saved! Great story, great reading, made my commute seem to go by in minutes. I've given this book to a friend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kipp Washington, DC, USA 11-10-03
    Kipp Washington, DC, USA 11-10-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    2
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    Overall
    "Funny, funny..."

    This was an excellent book. It was so good that part of the way through I was wishing I had bought the book and read it instead of downloading it. Hindsight. You'll love it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Sandra
    Redditch, worcestershire, United Kingdom
    12/17/06
    Overall
    "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.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Matt Gibson
    Bristol, UK
    10/21/07
    Overall
    "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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    1/6/13
    Overall
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus
    Oxford, United Kingdom
    5/7/12
    Overall
    "Good listen"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Tom
    Brighton, United Kingdom
    6/9/11
    Overall
    "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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    6/23/10
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Nick
    Stevenage, United Kingdom
    3/25/09
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mikey
    poole, United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An exciting story, but with a touch of repetition!"
    Would you try another book written by Yann Martel or narrated by Jeff Woodman?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Not particularly exciting or surprising, as expected really.


    Was Life of Pi worth the listening time?

    Yes. It has urged me to seek out the film on DVD.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Laurel
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    4/20/09
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Germany
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "??????????????"

    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.....

    10 of 15 people found this review helpful

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