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Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Yann Martel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
32,33379423 (3.92)2 / 1034
Title:Life of Pi
Authors:Yann Martel
Info:Canongate Books, Edinburgh (2002), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Stewart's Read
Tags:Y02, fiction

Work details

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001)

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    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (JFDR)
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    The Elephant's Journey by José Saramago (joririchardson)
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    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (tandah)
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    Bcteagirl: Both are Canadian survival stories, involve animals, are dark at times but never depressing.
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    Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Booksloth)
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    Mr Vertigo by Paul Auster (Smiler69)
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    The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books contain elements of magical realism and tigers!
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    I Am an Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran (FFortuna)
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    The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel (meggyweg)
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    Incendiary by Chris Cleave (LDVoorberg)
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    sipthereader: A true story of survival at sea.
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(see all 28 recommendations)

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English (762)  Dutch (12)  German (5)  Italian (4)  French (3)  Swedish (3)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Russian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (796)
Showing 1-5 of 762 (next | show all)
I began this book expecting it to be a satisfying read. At first I was, but then I began to retract that impression. Instead, I was greatly impressed. The story of a boy on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger is nothing short of awe-inspiring, but combine that with a multitude of days lost out at sea, then it's really a story about faith and miracles. You have to read it through to the end to truly understand the meaning of the book, and once you do, it will give you an entirely new perspective on the story, and life, as a whole.

Life of Pi is a simple story about survival, but also a complex story about spirituality. Is it okay to believe in three gods from three different religions at the same time? Or would it be better to be an atheist? What is it that keeps the human spirit going even in the face of mortal danger and an unfortunate circumstance? Is it pure survival instinct? Or is there something more? These questions you ought to ask yourself as you read through this story, and also as you travel through your own life.

Enjoy Life of Pi as either the story that it is, or it really is. Either way, it's a miracle. ( )
  jms001 | Aug 25, 2015 |
I'm so glad I read The Life of Pi before the movie came out. While Ang Lee does a beautiful job, the inner struggle of the main character is difficult to capture in film. Pi Patel, son of a zookeeper in Pondicherry, India, is a sensitive, philosophical young man, who is interested in world religions. After a shipwreck, he ends up sharing a lifeboat with a terrifying Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. In this harrowing coming-of-age journey, Pi's physical strength, courage and spirituality are all tested.

The Life of Pi novel shares a thematic basis with J.P. Donleavy's The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B, a literary wonder. The protagonist, Balthazar, is studying zoology, while his friend Beefy studies theology. Balthazar and Beefy come of age while exploring their hedonistic and spiritual natures. I love the way Donleavy breaks all the rules of grammar and goes straight to the funny bone.

I recommend both of these books to readers who enjoy beautifully crafted stories that take on animal vs. spiritual themes. ( )
  RobinGregoryAuthor | Aug 20, 2015 |
Normally, I prefer to read a novel and watch the movie after but this time it was the other way around. I watched the movie a while ago and I did not really enjoy it but I knew that the novel was highly recommended so I wanted to give it another try.
It is an exceptional and very wise story. I felt that you have to take some time to read it because it is kind of philosophic at times. I enjoy books that make you think about life and this one also focuses on God and the different religions. It is very clever and I liked the frame story as it makes you wonder what really happened.
Having finished the novel I feel the movie did not do it justice, the adventure on the sea only starts about one third into the novel and there is so much more to it than just pretty lights and a dangerous tiger but then again would it even be possible to capture something in a movie that everyone understands differently? ( )
  Jeb2323 | Aug 2, 2015 |
greatest + imagination. greatest - superficiality in dealing with religion. ( )
  addrea | Jul 12, 2015 |
Life of pi is a serious piece of JUNK. even if there was a scale of 100 I would still give it a score of 1.

The author is not great in storytelling. But thats ok if the story is good. Life of pi is a VERY SLOW PACED NOVEL. I stopped reading it many times but then forced myself to complete it since everyone had given such good reviews.

the story simply goes like this: theres a boy whose name is patel piscene (or something like that) so everyone calls him pissing. So he has shortened his name to pi.

hes going on a ship with his family and the ship crashes. He survives on a life boat with some animals. (This happens after 1/3rd of the book is complete). Now our story is supposed to begin.

Some unbelievable events happen like him finding a treasure chest (which contains a huge list of elementary supplies like 132 half liter cans of water, vomiting bags etc). The author summarizes what he has now.. we see a huge list of items. The last item on the list is "1 god".

(At this point I simply skipped a 100 pages and noticed that it doesn't make much difference in the thrill of the novel. You start reading and don't feel you've missed something. Its all a huge load of rubbish)

He finds an island made of bananas, has a conversation with god (with god giving vague "one liners" or "one word answers") and finally gets rescued. The resuers don't buy his story of how he survived with animals and met god. So he tells them another story in which instead of animals there are people and there is no god. They still don't believe him. So he tells them "either way you don't believe my story. so which one do you find more fascinating the one with god or the one without?" And they say "the one with god".

And so the book compels the reader to believe in god. Its a load of bull. In fact you can directly skip to the last chapter and you'll still know the complete story.
( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 762 (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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à mes parents et à mon frère
First words
My suffering left me sad and gloomy.
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.

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

Life of Pi is the adult book selection for 2004. Life of Pi is a daring, redemptive tale of adventure and survival where the most unusual Pi manages to survive on a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker.

(summary from another edition)

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

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Canongate Books

3 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 184195392X, 1841958492, 1847676014


An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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