Life of Pi: A Novel

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001 - Fiction - 319 pages
70 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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Good book for all ages

User Review  - lellaj -

All ages should read this book. Reading assignment for my son. I read all his reading assignment books also even if I already read them in school years ago! Good quality book great story. Read full review

Life of Pi: A Novel

User Review  - Staff - Book Verdict

Wherein Hero temporarily enters a different world and is greatly changed by his experiences there. He returns improved, perhaps, writes Booker, "moved from ignorance to knowledge." Five stages begin ... Read full review

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The Pacific Ocean
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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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