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Life of Pi

by

Life of Pi Cover

 

Awards

2002 Man Booker Prize

Staff Pick

I admit it; before reading Life of Pi, I thought, There's just no way that Yann Martel can write a whole book about a teenage boy and a tiger stranded together in a lifeboat for 277 days. But, I was so wrong; he pulls it off beautifully. You will love this utterly charming and unforgettable book.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. 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 while 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?

Review:

"This breezily aphoristic, unapologetically twee saga of man and cat is a convincing hands-on, how-to guide for dealing with what Pi calls, with typically understated brio, 'major lifeboat pests.'" The New Yorker

Review:

"Martel's Life of Pi might sound ridiculous, but by the time Martel throws Pi out to sea, his quirkily magical and often hilarious vision has already taken hold....Martel is so mesmerized by Pi that one can't help but be enchanted too....Pi's lost-at-sea story never drags. The slow journey is spiked with fascinating survival scenes....Pi's story is so extraordinary that when he finally makes it ashore, he offers a comparatively boring version of the tale to two researchers, acknowledging that humans don't have much of a taste for the miraculous. This played-down version makes Pi's true tale, thanks to Martel's beautifully fantastical and spirited rendering, all the more tempting to believe." Suzy Hansen, Salon.com

Review:

"A work of wonder....[T]he kind of twist-and-turns spellbinder that's almost impossible to forget." Paul Evans, Book Magazine

Review:

"An impassioned defense of zoos, a death-defying trans-Pacific sea adventure a la Kon-Tiki, and hilarious... : This audacious novel manages to be all of these." The New Yorker

Review:

"Life of Pi could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Life of Pi is a real adventure: brutal, tender, expressive, dramatic, and disarmingly funny....It's difficult to stop reading when the pages run out." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction." Los Angeles Times Book Review

Synopsis:

This brilliant novel combines the delight of Kipling's "Just So Stories" with the metaphysical adventure of "Jonah and the Whale, " as Pi, the son of a zookeeper, is marooned aboard a lifeboat with four wild animals. His knowledge and cunning allow him to coexist for 227 days with Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

Synopsis:

National Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book of 2002

Pi Patel, a God-loving boy and the son of a zookeeper, has a fervent love of stories and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family and their zoo animals emigrate from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship. Alas, the ship sinks — and Pi finds himself in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi. Can Pi and the tiger find their way to land? Can Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they do?

Synopsis:

More than seven million copies sold...

New York Times Bestseller * Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Washington Post Bestseller * San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller * Chicago Tribune Bestseller

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. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years.

Universally acclaimed upon publication, Life of Pi is a modern classic.

About the Author

Yann Martel, the child of diplomats, 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 at Trent University, he worked at odd jobs until he began making a living as a writer at the age of 27. He lives in Montreal.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 11 comments:

janqu, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by janqu)

It fascinated me that Pi, in the first part of the novel, raised as a Hindu,introduced to Christianity and Islam, tries to follow all three religions. He tries to understand and love God through each religion accepting the benefits of each.

When his family decides to sell their zoo over a land dispute with the government, we get insights into the politics and complications of Indian government. The storytelling becomes wild after his family's death when survivor Pi is in a small lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, and an orangutan. My favorite part was the incredible relationship that Pi and Richard Parker create...very bizarre and totally unbelievable but I could not put the book down.

In the third part of the novel, two Japanese government officials doubt Pi's story and I loved the way he creates a different explanation which might be the truer one and he asks them to pick their preferred one! I am always amazed when a person creates such a complicated plot. I will want to read this book again but am not sure I want to see the movie!


Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
WNCGal, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by WNCGal)
Martel is a superb storyteller and writes sentences with many a wonderful turn of phrase.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Isabella, November 26, 2012 (view all comments by Isabella)
I started this book thinking it was going to be another survival story, only with a tiger thrown in. I was so wrong. Yann Martel's story was amazingly written and made me feel like I was there on the lifeboat experiencing the character's thoughts and feelings. The situations and settings that Pi found himself in were both beautiful and brutally horrific at once. And then there was the ending.... Fantastic.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 11 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156027328
Author:
Martel, Yann
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Location:
Orlando, Fla.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Action & Adventure
Subject:
Human-animal relationships
Subject:
Religious - General
Subject:
Ocean travel
Subject:
Orphans
Subject:
Teenage boys
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Pacific ocean
Subject:
Storytelling
Subject:
Tigers
Subject:
Zoo animals
Subject:
Adventure fiction
Subject:
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks, etc.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Survival after airplane accidents, shipwrecks
Subject:
Popular Fiction - Adventure
Subject:
Movie or Television Tie-In
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Harvest ed.
Edition Description:
Lst Harvest
Series Volume:
108-107
Publication Date:
May 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9 to 12
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.7 lb
Age Level:
from 14

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Life of Pi Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Mariner Books - English 9780156027328 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

I admit it; before reading Life of Pi, I thought, There's just no way that Yann Martel can write a whole book about a teenage boy and a tiger stranded together in a lifeboat for 277 days. But, I was so wrong; he pulls it off beautifully. You will love this utterly charming and unforgettable book.

"Review" by , "This breezily aphoristic, unapologetically twee saga of man and cat is a convincing hands-on, how-to guide for dealing with what Pi calls, with typically understated brio, 'major lifeboat pests.'"
"Review" by , "Martel's Life of Pi might sound ridiculous, but by the time Martel throws Pi out to sea, his quirkily magical and often hilarious vision has already taken hold....Martel is so mesmerized by Pi that one can't help but be enchanted too....Pi's lost-at-sea story never drags. The slow journey is spiked with fascinating survival scenes....Pi's story is so extraordinary that when he finally makes it ashore, he offers a comparatively boring version of the tale to two researchers, acknowledging that humans don't have much of a taste for the miraculous. This played-down version makes Pi's true tale, thanks to Martel's beautifully fantastical and spirited rendering, all the more tempting to believe."
"Review" by , "A work of wonder....[T]he kind of twist-and-turns spellbinder that's almost impossible to forget."
"Review" by , "An impassioned defense of zoos, a death-defying trans-Pacific sea adventure a la Kon-Tiki, and hilarious... : This audacious novel manages to be all of these."
"Review" by , "Life of Pi could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life."
"Review" by , "Life of Pi is a real adventure: brutal, tender, expressive, dramatic, and disarmingly funny....It's difficult to stop reading when the pages run out."
"Review" by , "A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction."
"Synopsis" by , This brilliant novel combines the delight of Kipling's "Just So Stories" with the metaphysical adventure of "Jonah and the Whale, " as Pi, the son of a zookeeper, is marooned aboard a lifeboat with four wild animals. His knowledge and cunning allow him to coexist for 227 days with Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger.
"Synopsis" by , National Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book of 2002

Pi Patel, a God-loving boy and the son of a zookeeper, has a fervent love of stories and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family and their zoo animals emigrate from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship. Alas, the ship sinks — and Pi finds himself in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi. Can Pi and the tiger find their way to land? Can Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they do?

"Synopsis" by , More than seven million copies sold...

New York Times Bestseller * Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Washington Post Bestseller * San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller * Chicago Tribune Bestseller

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. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years.

Universally acclaimed upon publication, Life of Pi is a modern classic.

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