Life of Pi (Hardcover)
|Author: Yann Martel|
|This brilliant fabulist novel combines the delight of KiplingUs "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 a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan, and a tiger.|
From the Publisher:
Possessing encyclopedia-like intelligence, unusual zookeeper's son Pi Patel sets sail for America, but when the ship sinks, he escapes on a life boat and is lost at sea with a dwindling number of animals until only he and a hungry Bengal tiger remain.
Pi, the precocious animal-loving son of an Indian zookeeper, loses his family in a shipwreck en route to North America--and is left alone in a lifeboat with a man-eating Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, with whom he manages (thanks to his zoo background) to strike up an ingenious truce. When they finally reach land and the tiger disappears, Pi finds that no one will believe his story--and so he creates an alternative tale, one that is false but sounds true. This whimsical fantasy was short-listed for Canada's Governor General's Literary Award and won the Booker Prize in 2002. Also a New York Times Notable Book for 2002.
"It is an astounding tale....It's enough to make you believe in God, as one character puts it. Well, not really. Yet one has to be grateful to Martel for rediscovering the yarn and making it so tangibly real....There is much to enjoy in the novel, including a playful twist in the tale...." - Sebastian Shakespeare May 2002 Atlantic Monthly
"If Canadian writer Yann Martel were a preacher, he'd be charismatic, funny and convert all the nonbelievers. He baits his readers with serious themes and trawls them through a sea of questions and confusion, but he makes one laugh so much, at at times feel so awed and chilled, that even thrashing around in bewilderment or disagreement one can't help but be captured by his prose." - Charlotte Innes September 2002 Times Literary Supplement
"[T]he thing that makes the book memorable is not the overly cute, bordering on patronizing, narrative of how...Pi came to take his name, adopt many religions and grow up in Pondicherry....It is the story of how he manages to survive for eight-and-a-half months in an open boat in the Pacific in the company of an adult Bengal tiger, keeping both his sanity and all of his organs....[T]his part of the book has the excitement that is one of the things we read fiction for: not for comedies of manners alone, but for an evocation of the unfamiliar or the barely imaginable." - Roz Kaveney 07/19/2002
Customer Reviews of Life of Pi
Couldn't finish it fast enough!10/11/2005
This book's title might mislead you into thinking that it has something to do with math, but Pi is actually the nickname of the main character, a young boy from India, whose father owns and runs a zoo. The story is entirely quirky, but not unbelievable (if you subscribe at all to "suspended disbelief"). Not high drama, but an excellent read.
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