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)
Audio books are a different experience from reading. I find that I tend to forget what I listened to, perhaps because I am usually working out, pulling weeds or doing some other painfully mundane task while I listen to my book. The Life of Pi was an exception.The images so vivid, the story so entertaining ,the character, Pi, is enchanting. I had to go on the web to read about the author. I expect this will be my favorite read for the year. Try it. You will enjoy the ride.
If you are like me, I am very hesitant to use my credits--they are like gold. I want a good return for my purchase. So, if you are at the stage where you want to read other listeners' reviews to confirm your desire to purchase this book--STOP and just hit "ADD TO CART" now. You will NOT be disappointed. This story is so well written, so rich, that I started to believe it was a true story! Honestly, I checked! This book has it all--humor, despair, hope, and an unbelievable uniqueness. You have not heard this story before, it is not a carbon copy book. It is truly something special! Plus, the narration of this book is perfect. I have listened to Jeff Woodman before and was SHOCKED to realize (later) he was the narrator. I pictured a young Indian man, not a skinny white guy. 10-stars to you, Jeff! He made the book even more magical.
A few minutes into this book I began to worry that I had wasted my purchase on an uninteresting, navel-gazing, mystical study of relativistic, religious pap. The writing seemed clear enough the narrator's voice was just fine, but I had to force myself to remain interested. The story-within-a-story structure seemed to indicate that a deeper level was still to come, so I suspended my skepticism in order to really buy into the main character and his flashbacks and childhood memories. Soon I was almost fascinated by this young man and where he was headed, and I found myself in a kind of disappointed state of shock when the story abruptly changed, slathering me in the kind of plot-driven action that I had been craving in the earlier chapters. But I soon became so absorbed in this new plot that the other became a faraway memory-- the earlier flashbacks now became my own as I tossed in the book's new drama. From this point on I was riveted. I squirmed with a real desire to join Pi in his dilemma, and I reacted to his every decision and thought as if my own. At the end of the book, after an odd and unsettling ending, I had to admit that I had been hooked, had struggled, and had been reeled with resistance into a layered, colorful, and fascinating world that I could never have entered on my own. Only the best of authors can pull this kind of thing off, and I glowed for days afterward. As a matter of fact, I've been inspired to write my first and only review of anything-- this one-- so read this book and stick with it; it's worth it.
What a beautiful book. I am left at the end not feeling sure of what really happened, but with a strong idea of what I wish had been the truth. Pi and Richard Parker are painted so clearly I grew equally attached to both characters, and the relationship between them is heartwarming and shocking.
The narration is excellent as well, and drew me in so completley that immediately upon completion I wish to start the book over from the beginning.
This is the most fascinatingly brilliant book I've read in years.
I have listened to about 30 audiobooks in the past two years and this one is arguably the best. Compelling story, beautifully written and by far the best adaptation to an audiobook because the reader catches so much of the essence of the narrator. I believe that the reader made this book better than the written word can possibly cover because he puts such a perfect emphasis on the narrator's emotions. It is a far fetched tale, but stay with it, it is well worth the trip.
This is a wonderful book to hear read. I have never been moved to write any type of review but this proves there is always a first! The book carries the listener away on a journey that touchs one deeply on many levels. This is not religious proselytizing but a lesson learned by a young boy in the power of believing. I really look forward to listening to this book over and over. Do yourself a favor, sit back and take the journey!
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said. I'm sorry I waited so long to listen to it. Bought it years ago and couldn't bring myself to pick it up. Purchased this in a $5 sale and held onto it for months. Delighted I finally gave this book the time. Incredible tale of a boy who sets upon a multi-categorical religious quest. One of my top 10 favorites of all time.
I have been listening to audiobooks for over an hour/day for over 4 years and Life of Pi is one of the most magical blends of "narration" (what should be called reading), writing, and spiritual adventuring I've ever experienced. The Alexander McCall Smith books, the James Herriot books and the Harry Potter series (which I hope that Audible will be able to afford some day) are similarly blessed with perfect reading, but the strength of this novel is in its writing and story. I think that it works better in the story-telling realm, and is one of the few books that I've found a better listen than a read.
WARNING: I am a Comparative Literature scholar, so I was excited and delighted by literary devices that may put off other readers. However, I truly believe that anyone who can just relax and listen to the story develop (for example, the reviewer listening while driving as opposed to the listener who needed more out of the story sooner than it was given) will feel that they have experienced something even greater than a good read.
I am embarrassed to admit that because Life of Pi was recommended to me by a math teacher, I avoided reading this book for years because I thought it was about math! (Had I bothered to read a synopsis I would have discovered my error immediately, but anyhow...) It is a great story, and unlike some of the other reviewers, I thought it was engaging from beginning to end. With so much insight into the lives of animals, it made me reevaluate my position on this planet as an almighty human, and I found it beautifully humbling.
"Life Of Pi" is a great book, the start is a little slow but needed, though once it picks up, it never slows down. You feel like you are right there with him. The ending will blow you away! Don't miss this one!
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