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Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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Life of Pi (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Yann Martel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
33,30184021 (3.92)2 / 1065
Member:generalkala
Title:Life of Pi
Authors:Yann Martel
Info:Canongate Books Ltd (2003), Edition: New Edition, Paperback, 319 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2012
Rating:***
Tags:gross, animals, ocean, shipwreck, india, religion

Work details

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001)

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English (808)  Dutch (13)  German (5)  Italian (4)  French (3)  Swedish (3)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Russian (1)  All languages (844)
Showing 1-5 of 808 (next | show all)
Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

What an amazing powerful story. The book was really enjoyable on many different levels. It was easy and quick to read and his skill of the use of words was unique. Martel is a creative writer. He combines an array of similes with strong, clean sentences, and involves the narrative with ideas and themes that kept me turning the pages. Every page was crammed with charm, elegance, wit and wisdom, and excellent writing. Martel also used subtle humor as well as personal insight to get his points across. The main character was charming, intelligent, and most captivating. I felt like the detailed ocean voyage was also its own character filling in for the setting.

The story starts out with the boy Pi, the son of a zoo director living in the remote surroundings of Pondicherry, India. Being young, he was filled with knowledge of animals and their behaviors. Pi was also fascinated with religion and became a Hindu, Muslim, and Christian with high-spirited involvement in all. Then life became difficult for his family, and his father decides to sell the zoo and immigrate to Winnipeg, Canada.
Pi father makes the arrangement to board an old Japanese freighter because they decided to transport some of the exotic animals with them. On their way across the ocean the ship sinks losing everyone but Pi. He was thrown overboard into a lifeboat by one of the shipmates who did not follow which left Pi confused and alone.

Moving on to second part of the story where Pi watches sadly as the ship sinks with his family aboard. This is when he realizes he is not on the life boat alone. Accompany him is a zebra, an orangutan (name Orange Juice), a spotted hyena, and a 450 pound Bengal tiger (named Richard Parker). Like I said he had some knowledge of their animals but when it came to a tiger he had to think fast… Half the life boat was covered with a tarp and that is what he landed on when he was thrown overboard. Now, he decides he needs to train the tiger to stay on his side of the boat or under the tarp. So Pi starts off with urinating on top of the tarp to mark his territory and the tiger stayed mostly under the tarp at first because of sea-sickness…..it didn’t take to long for Pi and the tiger to understand the rules. The reader must be ready for some awful events and keep in mind that Pi is a survivor, just as much as the tiger (Richard Parker)…. There’s plenty of exciting adventure, sadness and humor to enjoy through the entire two-hundred seventy-seven days they spent at sea and at the end of their voyage…Who survives…?

The story is focused on survival and confronting unrelenting challenges to one’s beliefs in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
The movie made such a splash, that I was reluctant to read Life of Pi, but am glad I did. There are many themes at work here-- life and family, spirituality, politics, immigration, survival and psychology. Pi's relationship with and mastery of a tiger with whom he's swept out to sea, is perfectly believable in the context of his upbringing as a zookeeper's son. His quest for spirituality under the bemused gaze of his sectarian, modern parents reminds one of how all young people become aware and start to sort out the world. Equal parts tragedy, comedy and adventure, it is a worthwhile read. ( )
  varielle | May 31, 2016 |
As soon as I had finished reading this, I had to go back to the beginning and start again. Not because I liked it so much, but because the beginning started near and then at the end and I hadn't known who or what was going on. Confused?...So was I! The story was a good one. Claustrophobic? Probably intentional. I struggled with imagining Pis inventions, but I'm not practical, so to be expected and I was bored by the spiritual side of the character, but I'm not spiritual, so ditto. An excellent book and any perceived failings are my own. ( )
  jackandvera | May 31, 2016 |
This is my second reading of this fantastic novel. I read it again because a friend of mine read it and was desperate to discuss it with me, but I had forgotten large chunks of it! What a book! The whole novel is an examination of truth, from the author's claim in the forward that this is non-fiction, to Pi's whole story and his versions thereof. It is manifested in Pi's change of name and his search for the "true" religion and the conclusion is that truth is what you believe is the best story. Life of Pi relies on the reader's willing suspension of disbelief as the author carries the reader inch by inch into more and more preposterous territory without the reader suspecting a thing. The end of the novel forces you to question everything you have just read and to examine Pi as an unreliable narrator. I was along for the ride 100 percent and allowed the author to take me into his world willingly. What a masterful stroke of trickery and duplicity! ( )
  mmacd3814 | May 30, 2016 |
Re-reading this :) ( )
  GwenMcGinty | May 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 808 (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 (9 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
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

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)

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)

» see all 20 descriptions

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8 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

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