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)
It is imparative that you start this book nearly exactly halfway through, about when Pi boards the boat America. If not, you will end up not finishing the book which would be a shame. Once Pi embarks on his actual adventure Martel draws an imaginative world that raises eyebrows and teases common sense.
Nothing in the first half of the book is necessary except to know that Pi was once taught to fear and respect the tiger, and that his father owns a zoo. Beyond that, skip it and you will join a young man on a truly unbelieveable adventure.
I had this book on my wish list for a long time before I bought it. It didn't seem like it would appeal to me, but the reviews from other listeners finally "sold" me. I found the book very boring. It started slowly and ended strangely. I don't see what the attraction was to merit such great reviews. I wish I hadn't bought it.
Too bad. I was engaged throughout most of the book; personal relationships, science, zoology, religious philosophy; east indian culture, etc. The story, fortunately or unfortunately (I'm not sure which) became more and more fantastic and then from the point of the island experience through the twist in storylines at the end I felt cheated and even used. I can appreciate a good unexpected storyline but it felt rather disingenuos of the writer and didn't really fit with any of the rest of the book. This along with the fact that the writer was not consistent with Pi's philosophical and other views throughout (e.g., the comment about how horrible Japanese whale fishing is juxtaposed against his own and the Tiger's carnivorous ways) was disappointing. I got something from it and will not de-recommend. Nuff said.
This book started interestingly, but slow. Mid-way through, I was hooked! The book was fantastic and has left me thinking about it still. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys an unusual and interesting story.
I am amazed so many found this book "magical". I found it replete with newage bombastic pontifications of philosophic pomposity coupled with supercilious boring repetition which leads me to think he was paid by the word! It was as if he regurgitated everything he could think of about everything he talked about. Next time I read "stick it out and you will be rewarded in the end", I will rather listen to my gut feelings...don't waste your time. PI is not 3.14 but a 1.0! The only good thing about this book was that it ended and that was a long tedious time coming.
This book is not as clever as it pretends to be actually, the wordplay and puns are more juvenile and don't really mesh with the story. If fact, he doesn't really know how to tell a coherent story with believable and likable characters. What a pity. This book has been much overhyped by people who don't know what good literature is.
This book was actually fun. Not very deep, not very probable, but an interesting concept. If you want something that doesn't require alot of thinking, unraveling, or deep thought, this is a quick, easy to follow, light, and humorous story. A good diversion from some of the mundane literature that's out there today. Enjoy it.
This book stank so bad I could barely finish it. If I had to hear the author recite one more run on sentence listing (not describing, mind you) every kind of animal or food or some other thing he could think to throw into a sentence to make it the length of a paragraph I thought I would throw myself from my car screaming. Thank God for fast forward is all I can say. It's the only way I made it through this disaster. Boring beyond belief.
I'm generally a fan of philosophy type books, and I always prefer to read before I watch. The movie previews for this title looked great, so I thought I would listen to the book. I was sorely disappointed. The story was slow, which would have been okay if it eventually took me somewhere. I couldn't wait for the end; not because I was excited for the ending; I was excited it was over, and I could move on to something else.
Better then the movie, it's a philosophical book, much more so then one would think at first read. if you remember your literary teachers all trying to tell you about what this author was trying to say about this or that when you thought you were just reading a story, this would be one of the ones that makes it pretty clear at the end that the author really WAS talking about deeper subjects. So it's easier to digest these thought processes without pictures.
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