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)
Definitely worth listening to. The only reason that I didn't give it five stars is because it is a bit slow at times. Interesting story, with plot twists and some bits of humor that temper the overlying sadness of Pi's situation.
OK story, more than just a story, but a fable shouldn't read as if the author is being paid by the word. I almost began feeling like I was adrift in a lifeboat with no hope for rescue. That may be the author's point, but who wants to feel like they're in a lost and pointless story? The ending was doubly satisfying...finally, the book ended...I was beginning to think it would never end, and yes, the ending of the book made me feel like I hadn't wasted my time, thankfully. After reading so many gushing reviews of this title, I was thinking "the emperor isn't wearing any clothes"! It's OK, but I can't see 5 stars!!
This was an awesome book! It begins a bit tedious and explanatory but unwinds into a whirlwind of a story that will keep your imagination running. This is a book that will keep you thinking long after you're done with it. I highly recommend it!
A savory story which swells the heart and sparks the mind. The author is an inspired artist well rooted in his medium. The narration was superb and proved the Indian accent to be a proud member of the wonderful spices of India.
This book was a treat! More so because of the super narration. I was hooked immediately and completely forgot that this is a work of fiction. If I'm ever stranded on a desert island, this is the book I want to have with me--in case I run into a tiger!
This is now one of my favorite books of all time. Mixing zoology, religion, and suvivalism, Yann Martel has written a moving and vastly interesting book. Rarely do you find a book with such elegant writing paired with an intriguing plot. I urge you to read this book.
The book did start a little slow - description and reviews set high expectations - but the quality of the writing, and of the narration really paid off. The combination of different accents by the narrator, intriguing plot development, delicious philosophical nuances and an intriguing twist at the end made for a thought-provoking but not pretentious work of literature.
An ending worth waiting for. If listening to diatribes on religion and animals in zoos isn't your thing the first half of the book may be too much. But, it maintains thoughtfulness without getting bogged down in any one topic (philosophy, religion or otherwise).
A stunning book - a masterpiece of imagination and intelligence. Its so full of subtle observations about the human (and animal) condition that you can't possibly capture them all with a single reading (or listening). Brilliantly conceived and brilliantly told.
The audiobook rendition is excellent - there are not many things that will have me lying in bed at 2 in the morning with a pair of headphones! I'm well into the second run through.
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