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Life of Piby Yann Martel
Synopses & Reviews
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?
"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
"A work of wonder....[T]he kind of twist-and-turns spellbinder that's almost impossible to forget." Paul Evans, Book Magazine
"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
When his ship sinks, a teen emigrating with his family from India to North America finds himself alone in a lifeboat — his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger.
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 twenty-seven. He lives in Montreal.
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