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Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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Life of Pi (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Yann Martel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
30,858None25 (3.93)2 / 956
Member:rightantler
Title:Life of Pi
Authors:Yann Martel
Info:Canongate Books, Edinburgh (2002), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Stewart's Read
Rating:
Tags:Y02, fiction

Work details

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001)

1001 (120) 1001 books (103) adventure (385) animals (459) book club (125) Booker (117) Booker Prize (380) Booker Prize Winner (124) Canada (175) Canadian (274) Canadian literature (198) contemporary (104) contemporary fiction (175) fantasy (284) fiction (3,582) India (742) literature (227) magical realism (210) novel (472) ocean (114) own (146) philosophy (274) read (400) religion (570) shipwreck (377) survival (638) tigers (436) to-read (335) unread (148) zoo (206)
  1. 70
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (tandah)
  2. 70
    The Elephant's Journey by José Saramago (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Both books involve an exotic animal (a tiger and an elephant) and a young man who journeys with them. Both have a spiritual undertone, though "Elephant's Journey" is funnier.
  3. 125
    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (JFDR)
  4. 40
    Lost in the Barrens by Farley Mowat (Bcteagirl)
    Bcteagirl: Both are Canadian survival stories, involve animals, are dark at times but never depressing.
  5. 41
    Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Booksloth)
  6. 31
    Mr Vertigo by Paul Auster (Smiler69)
  7. 20
    The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books contain elements of magical realism and tigers!
  8. 10
    The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson (Booksloth)
  9. 00
    I Am an Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran (FFortuna)
  10. 11
    Incendiary by Chris Cleave (LDVoorberg)
    LDVoorberg: Both are graphic stories about (in part) how people deal with trauma. Narrative style is also similar.
  11. 11
    We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee (Smiler69)
  12. 11
    The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel (meggyweg)
  13. 00
    The Dolphin People: A Novel (P.S.) by Torsten Krol (Booksloth)
  14. 11
    Max and the Cats by Moacyr Scliar (JGKC)
  15. 01
    From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón (rrmmff2000)
  16. 12
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Hedgepeth)
  17. 01
    Nothing by Janne Teller (Freiesleben)
  18. 35
    I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: These two books are very different in plot, themes, etc., but they have similar whack-you-on-the-back-of-the-head type endings.
  19. 02
    Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch (Iudita)
  20. 24
    The Master and Margarita by Mihail Bulgakov (Smiler69)

(see all 26 recommendations)

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English (719)  Dutch (11)  German (5)  Swedish (3)  Italian (3)  French (3)  Finnish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Russian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (750)
Showing 1-5 of 719 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the originality and he imaginative power of this book immensely, and I still think this is a great adventure story. I have to say, though, that I did not find the twist at the end a stroke of genius or some incredibly thought-provoking moment, the way other readers did. I thought it sounded more like the author had been thinking far too much about how to end his story, and after all that thinking he came up with a philosophical twist that is both simplistic and pessimistic.
Simplistic because it assumes that all religion is about is "just a different way to tell the same story". True in part, but a ridiculously shallow perspective: saying that billions of people have a certain Faith, whatever it is, only so that they can tell themselves fairy tales in order to better survive life is definitely missing the point (and also it is underestimating people!). It's missing the fundamental realization that multiple levels of truth can cohexist in our lives. It's missing completely the depth and richness of what communicating with God is about.
Pessimistic because, from an emotional point of view, the author ends up spoiling the story he just told us, by telling us "by the way, everything I just told you is actually s**t". This is how that ending felt to me. I couldnt care less about the author's philosophical thinking on faith, shallow or not. That had nothing to do with the book. The main problem is that the emotional momentum, and the soul of this book, so masterfully constructed until the last chapter, get shredded in pieces by that last artificial comment. You just don't do that, it's not respectful to the story itself, and to the readers, who at the end of the day gave you their trust from the beginning. Or perhaps the author thought too much about how to give his book a special "higher place" in the editorial world, and thought it would make it cooler if it had some grand philosophical statement at the end. Again, I see his point, as it is obvious and simplistic, but I cared about THE story, I didnt care about some wishy-washy idea on how we should interpret religion and God. ( )
  tabascofromgudreads | Apr 19, 2014 |
This book was pretty cute. Poor Pi, with a name that his school friends deliberately mispronounce, has a very cool childhood in India, the younger son of a zookeeper/owner. He is a spiritual boy, who even though born Hindu, decides to investigate Christianity as well as Islam, & ends up becoming a convert to all three religions. Oddly enough, it works for him. His parents decide to sell the zoo & emigrate to Canada, on a Japanese tanker ship. One night, something happens, & the ship sinks. Pi finds himself the sole human survivor of the shipwreck, & his lifeboat companions are a zebra, a spotted hyena, & a tiger. It takes all of Pi's survival skills, ingenuity, intelligence, & faith, to get him & Richard Parker, the tiger through 277 days at sea before they wash up on shore in Mexico, where Richard Parker disappears into the Mexican jungle, never to be seen again. Kind of a sad story, but entertaining in it's own way! ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
My favorite of 2012. The images this author was able to capture on the printed page held my continued interest. ( )
  suline | Apr 10, 2014 |
"How can I not dwell on this brief, cramped view I have of things? This peephole is all I've got."

I love the above quote from the book, an introspection from Pi himself. The meaning doesn't necessarily sum up the story for me though it does touch on the struggle of finding God amidst great suffering. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | Mar 28, 2014 |
I'd like to re-read this book. It's been about four years since I've read it.

I loved the imagery - I loved the symbolism.

When I re-read this, there will be a better review.

In the mean time - I'd suggest trying it out. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 719 (next | show all)
The story is engaging and the characters attractively zany. Piscine Molitor Patel (named after a family friend's favourite French swimming pool) grows up in Pondicherry, a French-speaking part of India, where his father runs the local zoo. Pi, Hindu-born, has a talent for faith and sees nothing wrong with being converted both to Islam and to Christianity. Pi and his brother understand animals intimately, but their father impresses on them the dangers of anthropomorphism: invade an animal's territory, and you will quickly find that nearly every creature is dangerous
added by dovydas | editThe Guardian, Aida Edemariam (Oct 23, 2002)
 
Granted, it may not qualify as ''a story that will make you believe in God,'' as one character describes it. But it could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life -- although sticklers for literal realism, poor souls, will find much to carp at.
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martel, Yannprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allié, ManfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baardman, GerdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bridge, AndyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castanyo, EduardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engen, BodilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempf-Allié, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marshall, AlexanderNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ottosson, MetaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Southwood, BiancaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stheeman, TjadineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Targo, LindaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torjanac, TomislavIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
à mes parents et à mon frère
First words
My suffering left me sad and gloomy.
Quotations
The reason death sticks so closely to life isn't biological necessity — it's envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.
Evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.
I know what you want. You want a story that won't surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won't make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeastless factuality.
Animals in the wild lead lives of compulsion and necessity within an unforgiving social hierarchy in an environment where the supply of fear is high and the supply of food is low and where territory must constantly be defended and parasites forever endured.
If you take two steps toward God, God runs toward you
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship in the Pacific, one solitary lifeboat remains, carrying a hyena, a zebra, a female orangutan, a Bengal tiger, and a 16-year-old Indian boy named Pi. His story is a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound listeners in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will as one character puts it, make you believe in God. (from PPL catalog record)
Haiku summary
Boat on the ocean
Was there really a tiger?
We will never know.
(mamajoan)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

After the sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.

(summary from another edition)

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Three editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Canongate Books

Three editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 184195392X, 1841958492, 1847676014

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