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Life of Pi (2001)

by Yann Martel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
41,14198434 (3.91)2 / 1298
Martel's novel tells the story of Pi--short for Piscine--an unusual boy raised in a zoo in India. Pi's father decides to move the family to live in Canada and sell the animals to the great zoos of America. The ship taking them across the Pacific sinks and Pi finds himself the sole human survivor on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg and Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. Life of Pi brings together many themes including religion, zoology, fear, and sheer tenacity. This is a funny, wise, and highly original look at what it means to be human.… (more)
  1. 146
    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (JFDR)
  2. 70
    The Elephant's Journey by José Saramago (jordantaylor)
    jordantaylor: Both books involve an exotic animal (a tiger and an elephant) and a young man who journeys with them. Both have a spiritual undertone.
  3. 92
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (tandah)
  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. 52
    Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Booksloth)
  6. 52
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Hedgepeth)
  7. 30
    The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both books contain elements of magical realism and tigers!
  8. 31
    Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster (Smiler69)
  9. 10
    Incendiary by Chris Cleave (LDVoorberg)
    LDVoorberg: Both are graphic stories about (in part) how people deal with trauma. Narrative style is also similar.
  10. 10
    The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson (Booksloth)
  11. 00
    The Dolphin People: A Novel (P.S.) by Torsten Krol (Booksloth)
  12. 11
    From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón (rrmmff2000)
  13. 00
    I Am an Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran (FFortuna)
  14. 00
    Baudolino by Umberto Eco (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Narrating reality or imagination?
  15. 22
    In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick (BIzard)
  16. 11
    Max and the Cats by Moacyr Scliar (JGKC)
  17. 11
    We Bought a Zoo by Benjamin Mee (Smiler69)
  18. 01
    Nothing by Janne Teller (Freiesleben)
  19. 34
    The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (Smiler69)
  20. 12
    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (sipthereader)
    sipthereader: A true story of survival at sea.

(see all 29 recommendations)

Asia (1)
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» See also 1298 mentions

English (940)  Dutch (14)  German (4)  Italian (4)  Spanish (4)  Swedish (3)  French (3)  Finnish (2)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Russian (1)  All languages (978)
Showing 1-5 of 940 (next | show all)
This book was so much more than just a tale about a boy marooned on the sea, it was a story of change, both perspective wise as well as location wise. There was such beautiful description of the sea, the various life at sea, the weather surrounding the sea, how the sea can heal as well as harm, and so much more. We really get to see the ocean for what it is to a human—a desolate surface land, lacking the proper tools for one's survival.
Watching Pi grow from a zoo boy to a shipwreck & castaway survivor was incredible to witness. If not for the carnivorous moss island, and this event actually happened to someone, I would've believed it to be a true story. I knew I would like this book from the start and I am happy that my expectations were exactly met.
This is definitely a book I would recommend if you have not read it, or (strangely) haven't heard of it before.
(P.S, this is the second booker prize winner that I have finished in my Booker-Prize-reading journey. Keeping with the sea theme, I think the next Booker Prize winner I read will be "The Sea, the Sea" by Iris Murdoch—I am extremely intrigued by it and am excited to dive into the story (at some point).) ( )
  EvelynNygren | Nov 17, 2022 |
One of the most enjoyable reading experiences I've ever had. ( )
  Pilgriminal | Nov 12, 2022 |
For the record, I think the actual story was the one with people. Sorry Richard Parker ( )
  Katherine74 | Nov 3, 2022 |
At first glance, this piece of literary fiction is the story of Pi, son of a zookeeper, his spiritual development as a student of three religions and his memorable journey across the Pacific Ocean in the company of a 450-pound Bengal tiger, but it can also be read as a fable, metaphor, or commentary on the nature of humankind. Imaginative, compelling, at times gruesome, themes include storytelling, survival, and faith. The narrative provides a juxtaposition of animal instinct and transcendent faith, and how a person can inhabit both ends of the spectrum simultaneously. Each reader will likely have a different reaction to this tale, depending on his or her personal beliefs. At the very least, it provides much food-for-thought about the meaning of life.

Content warnings include detailed descriptions of suffering and slaughter of animals, eating items normally viewed as grossly inedible, dismemberment, starvation, and bodily functions. Recommended to book clubs for the discussion potential, and readers of literary fiction or modern classics. ( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Pointless, pompous, and repulsive. ( )
  PipRosi | Oct 21, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 940 (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 (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martel, Yannprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adam, VikasNarratorsecondary authorsome 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
Nubile, ClaraTranslatorsecondary 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.
This book was born as I was hungry. (Author's Note)
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.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the book. Please do not combine with the film.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Martel's novel tells the story of Pi--short for Piscine--an unusual boy raised in a zoo in India. Pi's father decides to move the family to live in Canada and sell the animals to the great zoos of America. The ship taking them across the Pacific sinks and Pi finds himself the sole human survivor on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg and Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. Life of Pi brings together many themes including religion, zoology, fear, and sheer tenacity. This is a funny, wise, and highly original look at what it means to be human.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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.
-Amazon
Haiku summary
Boat on the ocean
Was there really a tiger?
We will never know.
(mamajoan)

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Canongate Books

3 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 184195392X, 1841958492, 1847676014

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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HighBridge Audio

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.

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