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Life of Piby Yann Martel
Synopses & Reviews
The Jungle Book meets Not Wanted On the Voyage in a triumph of storytelling and originality: a novel, as one character puts it, to make you believe in God.
Piscine Molitor Patel, nicknamed Pi, lives in Pondicherry, India, where his family runs a zoo. Little Pi is a great reader. He devours books on Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, and to the surprise of his secular parents, becomes devoted to all three religions. When the parents decide to emigrate to Canada, the family boards a cargo ship with many of the animals that are going to new zoological homes in North America, and bravely sets sail for the New World.
Alas, the ship sinks. A solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the surface of the wild blue Pacific. In it are five survivors: Pi, a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.
With intelligence, daring and inexpressible fear, Pi manages to keep his wits about him as the animals begin to assert their places in the foodchain; it is the tiger, Richard Parker, with whom he must develop an inviolable understanding.
Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is a transformative novel: a book to delight in, to talk about and treasure. It will convince the most jaded among us — and remind the rest — that something grander is afoot in our lives than we may have realized.
About the Author
Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963 of peripatetic Canadian parents. He grew up in Alaska, British Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Ontario and Mexico, and has continued travelling as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India. After studying philosophy at Trent University and while doing various odd jobs — tree planting, dishwashing, working as a security guard — he began to write. He is the prize-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, a collection of short stories, and of Self, a novel, both of them published internationally.
His latest book, Life of Pi, won the 2002 Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Governors General Award and is an international bestseller. He has been living from his writing since the age of 27. He divides his time between yoga, writing and volunteering in a palliative care unit.
Yann Martel lives in Montreal.
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