||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.
||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?