Life of Pi: A Novel

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001 - Fiction - 319 pages
3291 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.

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User Review  - Lord_Boris - LibraryThing

This was a kind of adventure story with a theological undercurrent that seems to suggest that your own life story would be better with God. Whether God exists or not. For me, this religious aspect of ... Read full review

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User Review  - electrascaife - LibraryThing

Ohmygosh. So, so, SO good. The writing was excellent, with lovely turns of phrases everywhere you look (or listen, as the case may be). And the story was fabulous; I am a great fan of mythologies and ... Read full review

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The Pacific Ocean
Benito Juárez Infirmary Tomatlán Mexico
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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.

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