Life of Pi: A Novel

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001 - Fiction - 319 pages
537 Reviews
Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true?
Life of Pi is at once a realistic, rousing adventure and a meta-tale of survival that explores the redemptive power of storytelling and the transformative nature of fiction. It's a story, as one character puts it, to make you believe in God.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thornton37814 - LibraryThing

Piscene "Pi" Patel grows up in a zookeeper's family in India. His father teaches him to respect and fear the animals. He embraces Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. When the family moves to Canada ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SetsunaMin - LibraryThing

2/12/2017 - enjoyable book, liked it more than i thought i would. had to take a break with less than an hour left to read Oathbringer... kinda spoiled the mood a little, but meh, it was still good. Read full review

All 14 reviews »


The Pacific Ocean
Benito Juárez Infirmary Tomatlán Mexico
Back Cover

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Yann Martel, the son ofdiplomats,was born in Spain in 1963. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Alaska, and Canada and as an adult has spent time in Iran, Turkey, and India. After studying philosophy in college, he worked at various odd jobs until he began earning his living as a writer at the age of twenty-seven. He lives in Montreal.

Bibliographic information