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Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on
ISBN: 9780547416113
List price: $8.99
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Availability for Life of Pi
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This is one of those books when you finish reading, you realize you need to take a breath. The words I could use to describe how it made me feel, amazing, inspiring, imaginative, emotional, heroic, and more. There were so many wonderful moments in this book.... a couple times my throat clenched and the tears flowed. I laughed out loud. I cheered and I shouted for and against. It raised everything it could in me.And I am so glad this is not someones' real life story. That would be the utmost tragic thing to conceive. But for a story, this will be the one to beat for my favorite of the year. Man, I wish I read this sooner, but I've read it, and now can see the film. I hope it's half as good.more
If you've not read it yet (or seen the movie), this is probably not the book you think that it is. It's not a tale of talking animals and Alice-in-Wonderland nonsense - at least not at first. I expected something a lot more unconventional from the get-go. It reminded me of Umberto Eco's "Baudolino" when it later takes a turn for the odd - an almost clear-cut line between realism and fantasy. But then in this case, there comes that ending ... There's fascinating information here about zoos and circuses and animal psychology, and a pretty amazing survival story. The writing is so straightforward, you can hardly imagine anything is being hidden from you. How many layers actually exist in this story is open to interpretation, and to re-reading pleasure. I may revisit this one sometime, and I definitely look forward to renting the movie.more
Well I just finished this today and I feel a little like Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te'o (look up story if u r interested as I won't bore y with details); but I feel a little ripped off! I was falling in love with Pi as a heroic figure; a person who had it all together; someone who could overcome any obstacle;a kid who can never be beaten; I child who walks with God in his foremost thoughts!! Then I find that he is probably a weak human boy who went thru what none of us can even imagine and he failed miserably; the only success he had was staying alive; even his mislead/misconstrued/misunderstood and wishy/washy devotion to God was a failure as he can't even decide WHAT he really believes in; the story of the animals is absolutely beautiful; the tragic true ending is just mind numbing; I want fiction ; not reality; I get enough of that every day; probably won't watch movie now due to ending; how sadmore
If you begin by saying this story will make you believe in god, well, it better deliver or it is nothing but a tiger boat load of disappointment.more
Excellent writing, amazing visualization. All my senses were engaged, and I could feel fear and exultation. The book started a little slow for me, but soon grabbed me and would not let me go. Highly recommended.more
A book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I'm glad I haven't seen the film as the images in my head will last me a long time. I found the floating island the hardest bit to believe but who cares, the whole thing was a treat.more
That'll keep me thinking for a while.more
I was disappointed and underwhelmed with this book. It started out wonderfully, but the second half of the book dragged on and on. It has been so highly rated that I continued it only in the hope that eventually it would get better. It didn't. I really don't see what the fuss is all about...more
Ultimately, this book wasn't really for me. I couldn't get into it, and the details -- for the most part -- don't stick in my head. I read it in little bitesize bits, which probably didn't help. Anyway, the part I did really like was close to the end, with the interrogations...

Overall, I don't even really have much to say about the book. Just... totally ambivalent.more
I think it's fair to say that this book blew my mind. I enjoyed the beginning, was intrigued by the middle, and amazed with the ending. The rest of that evening after I finished the book, I could not get it out of my head; it stuck with me. Books usually don't affect me that way. It's one of my top 5, I think.more
I didn't particularly like this book and I'm not particularly interested in exploring why. It's a competent work and the reveal is heartbreaking and ratchets up the horror of the disaster that befalls Pi. I skimmed the final third. I think for me there was too much horror and too little of something I can't quite define. A firmer link between the parts of the story, perhaps? Or maybe I just don't have the desire to give the book the thinking it needs to reap its rewards?

My advice is read other reviews before you decide not to read it based on this. I'm sure there's a reason it was very popular.more
One of those books everyone read, which means I should have avoided it but I love books about the sea. I would have to say this is one of my favourite books: full of wonder, clever meta narrative and page-turning freak outs.more
Clearly I was unprepared for this book. Someone had told me it was "cute" and although I knew there was quite a bit of hype about the book, I didn't know what it was about so I was expecting sort of a light read. I guess I should have educated myself a bit more. If I had I probably would have given it 4 stars and that is really what my rating should be, but I'm still biased against what was my idea of the book.

I did like the book, and the style of writing. I loved the descriptions and the workings of the zoo along with the psychology of animals in the book. I understood how he was comparing life views with religion and the sort, but felt he was a little black and white in his theory.

The end of the book hit me like a slap in the face. Quite honestly it threw me and put me off for a time (mostly because I thought it was a "cute" book) but I still liked it.

(I just like it better with the animals in it. And I don't care what that says about me.)more
I think this book can be VERY SLOW... but dammit if the last few pages don't make it a worthwhile read.more
inished up the book, Life of Pi, last week and overall I really enjoyed it. The story is about a young boy whose family decides to emigrate from India to Canada. The family owned a zoo in India and because they were travelling with some of the animals that they sold to zoos in North America they travel on a cargo ship.


Initially the voyage is uneventful, but eventually it sinks and the main character, Pi, barely manages to escape to a life boat. At the same time that Pi finds his refuge a large bengal tiger finds safety in the same boat. A few other animals make it to the boat as well but with the tiger on board the dinghys crew quickly shrinks back to two, Pi and the Tiger. The rest of the book is about the voyage and survival of both Pi and the Tiger.


The entire voyage is quite remarkable and seems fairly unbelievable - much like the stories of religion. I only mention this parallel because as it turns out Pi is also a very spiritual boy who considers himself Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. While that trifecta may seem like a strange combination Pi's logic makes it all seem entirely reasonable. One of the marketing blurbs for the book says "..a story that will make you believe in God.." I don't know if the spiritual message is that strong but, at a minimum it does get you thinking. Something that few books have managed to do to me in a long time.


The book is pretty short, written in the first person (generally), and overall was an excellent tale. I give it a thumbs upmore
Update:01/28/13 Just watched the movie version of this, and I gotta say: While I was reading the book I wondered how big that boat was. Thanks, movie, for clearing that up. Awesome movie, made a few but acceptable changed, except in the end, when instead of the author researching about the Japenese interview, Pi hands him the transcript. But I see that a lot of people liked the movie, so, eh, what the heck. You gotta love the tiger, right?.

Update:06/21/12 There's gonna be a movie for this. Woah. They should of just titled it Pi. Honestly, how can you attract an audience with a title like Life of Pi. I love this book, but the title isn't one of its strengths. Hohoho. Anyway, looking at the trailer, I'm kind of skeptical. They made it look like Pi and Richard Parker became friends but that isn't so.And yet, it's almost worthy to watch just for the part in the island. But of course I'll watch it whether or not it's good.

I don't know why, but I've always liked books that end well. Or, the ones I most remember are the ones whose endings were remarkable. Life of Pi is one of them.

I got interested in reading it because of the God-thing, and I'm really interested in spiritual fiction.

I must say that some parts were dragging, the first time I read it. Reading it through again, I am better able to appreciate this novel. Some parts were funny, especially the part where the three godly men find out about Pi's participation in 3 religions. I found myself agreeing with Pi, it doesn't matter which religion you practice, it's all about loving God.

It was full of wisdom and humor, and Pi's narration did it very well.

And then we come to the ending. What a twist! It turned my world upside down. And I began to question my own sanity. It hit me, it impacted me, and I would never be able to forget it. And that's why it's one of my favorites.more
I was really looking forward to reading this, considering that it (mostly) gets rave reviews and people seem to love it. I came away disappointed. Maybe it's just me - but I just don't get the love for this. The first half of the book is so slow and I was bored; once I got to the second half, it did pick up and get somewhat interesting, thankfully, or I would've quit reading it.

Overall, it was a tedious read and not a book I'd recommend or revisit.more
i will never forget Roger Parkermore
meh. Slow starting and kind of weird. Never really did much for me.more
 I know some people rave about this, but I'm afraid I found the ending a real let down. left me feeling that it hadn't been finished, somehow.more
This book started off very slow for me. I am an atheist so all this talk of God and religion was a big struggle for me to get through. Thankfully there was something else to get me through it. Animals. All the sections about the zoo and animals was what made it possible for me to continue on.

And I'm glad I did. Once the story reached it's main point, Patel and Richard Parker, my interest picked up. I know there was a lot of religious allegory underneath the story but I just ignored that and focused instead on the idea of survival at see with a tiger. It was captivating and enthralling.

This book didn't change my life. I wouldn't run around trying to get anyone to read it. But it was interesting and entertaining and I'm glad I finished it.more
A deceptively simple, engrossing tale that reminded me strongly of The Little Prince, one of my very favorite books. It's definitely a feat to write such a strong book that is mostly about animal behavior.

I don't know if I entirely agree with the perspective of the novel, but it's both an appealing and a challenging perspective and nudges you into thinking important thoughts about the nature of truth and storytelling. By the same token I'm willing to forgive the rather troubling ending, because the questions it raises, and the context it puts the novels in, are valuable.more
This book is one of the biggest piles of crap I've ever read in my life.

Given that the main character is one of the most irritating self-righteous bastards ever put to print, I can't believe I made it through (well, I *paid* for it, and it's been listed on 1001 book lists).

It's religious clap-trap... badly done. If you want to ignore the religious bits of the book, and you're in for some over the top gory suffering, it's in there, too. Oh, and for a character who is (theoretically) a zoologist, he needs to go back to school. And for one who claims to dislike anthropomorphizing animals, he does it more than (and worse than) any other character I can think of.

In the end - do you prefer the story with or without animals? Well, sir, I prefer the truth, whether or not there are animal present.

more
Somehow me and Man Booker Prize don't mesh well. This was pretentious, religiously tainted bullshit so high on the bullshit-o-metre that I couldn't finish. Oh yeah, a tiger foregoing juicy boy. Not.

Why can't books getting prizes be better?more
I don't normally consider myself a squeamish person (I grew up hearing stories from my mom's work in the ICU while we ate dinner), but some of the descriptions in this seriously disgusted me. But I didn't really factor that into my rating. Mostly, I couldn't deal with the author's emphasis on religion, especially in the tedious first part and the philosophically puzzling third part that read, to me, like it was way too conscious of imparting a Deep Meaning. Not for me.

This is also reminded me how much I hate when authors insert themselves into their books. It automatically takes me out of the story.more
This was a beautiful read; one I find hard to explain in words. It's most certainly the most sensual book I have ever read, and I found myself completely absorbed. There were actually points in the book where I felt uncomfortable because I genuinely felt as if I was curled up on that raft, not Pi. Very interesting characters, and a very thought provoking ending. I loved it.more
The sign of a really good book is re-reading-worthiness. I read this twice the first year I ever picked it up. When I got to the end I wanted to read it again right away, actually.

There are several things I really love about this book - the strange, Odyssey-like story, the surreality, the odd and inventive episodes, the religious outlook of the main character.more
The story in Life of Pi describes the book itself. It is the impossible tale of a boy, trapped on a lifeboat alone with a 450-pound tiger for 227 days. It is a story that, like the ocean waves, has its ups and downs. Just when it seems like you’ll never reach dry land, you do. And when you look back on this book, much like being adrift at sea, the ordeal blurs together into one journey that has a clear beginning and ending, but no clear middle. And that ending—boy, it’s a day you’ll never forget.

The 2002 Man Booker Prize winner was a highly refreshing read. Even considering the absurd premise, it was not what I expected. Yet, this novel wasn’t absurd at all. It almost seemed believable. And although Life of Pi had many comical passages, it also had just as many dramatic ones. It is such a well-rounded title I barely can imagine a better stab at the marooned premise.

Life of Pi’s highest points happen as the protagonist of the story, Pi, explores his choice of religion. These moments provide both comical relief and careful consideration, and Martel handled both with care. And of course there is the final part of the book, where Pi explains his ordeal to two Japanese men. These final pages are the books greatest: hilarious, heart wrenching, and brilliant.

The lowest points are not so low, they are tedious, but this is necessary. What is a “lost at sea” book that doesn’t drag out the trials of being adrift? Otherwise, what joy is there in the reader of being found? So, the longest part of Life of Pi chronicles the 227 days Pi and the tiger are together on a solitary lifeboat. And since tigers don’t talk, much of the novel is filled with descriptive narrative.

Before starting Martel’s prize winning novel, I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of it. Now I must admit I was quite surprised. Like the castaway experience, however, I wouldn’t want to go through the ordeal again, but I will not likely soon forget the story.more
Originally Posted at Novel Reveries“I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.” (23)A beautiful and remarkable story of faith and endurance. Provided with meticulous detail, this book pushes it's readers to the depths of human conviction and explores the journey for the will to live.I found this story sensational with it’s wonderful descriptions and meticulous research on even the smallest detail. Whether discussing zoological history, or a daily routine, Yann Martel makes us feel like we’re thrashing right along with Piscine, his misfortunate and what led up to his building beliefs. A seed was planted with Piscine and his investigative and curious mind in different religions and how, not only can they relate to one another and dwindle down to one central factor, but also how the elements of each religion benefit the soul in a variety of ways.“Things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, but what can you do? You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.” (120)Zoomorphism. It is foreshadowed (page 110,) and yet when we experience this trait with Pi Patel, it’s still incredible. Faith wasn’t the only factor in this plot, Pi’s education and experience with zoo’s and animals provided him with the patient skill of dealing with the animals on his boat, as well as the mysterious island he encounters. In essence, Faith provided him with the will to survive, while knowledge provided him with the tools.Offhand, I understand (for it is mentioned in the story; page 381) that the author needs the story to last 100 chapters, but some parts seemed unnecessary. I’m not just talking about the 1-2 sentence chapters, but also some of the deeply researched and extreme detailed parts of chapters. At times it made it difficult to focus and made me want to skim through parts of the chapter. This is the only main drawback I had with the novel.This being the illustrated version of the book, I can’t continue on with the review without stating how extraordinarily beautiful the illustrations were. I would buy and re-read the book again for the illustrations alone. Tomislav Torjanac is truly a master, his art in bright bold colors, depicts the scenes with perfection. I’m now a huge fan of his!“Life is so beautiful that death has fallen love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.” (4)In all this story has the ability to lift spirits when you think about all one can endure in a span of seven months.Seven months. A divine number, seven is.First Line: “My suffering left me sad and gloomy.” (1)Last Line: "Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger." (425)---------------Quotes“When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.” (4)“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” (35)“This story has a happy ending.” (122)more
Read all 410 reviews

Reviews

This is one of those books when you finish reading, you realize you need to take a breath. The words I could use to describe how it made me feel, amazing, inspiring, imaginative, emotional, heroic, and more. There were so many wonderful moments in this book.... a couple times my throat clenched and the tears flowed. I laughed out loud. I cheered and I shouted for and against. It raised everything it could in me.And I am so glad this is not someones' real life story. That would be the utmost tragic thing to conceive. But for a story, this will be the one to beat for my favorite of the year. Man, I wish I read this sooner, but I've read it, and now can see the film. I hope it's half as good.more
If you've not read it yet (or seen the movie), this is probably not the book you think that it is. It's not a tale of talking animals and Alice-in-Wonderland nonsense - at least not at first. I expected something a lot more unconventional from the get-go. It reminded me of Umberto Eco's "Baudolino" when it later takes a turn for the odd - an almost clear-cut line between realism and fantasy. But then in this case, there comes that ending ... There's fascinating information here about zoos and circuses and animal psychology, and a pretty amazing survival story. The writing is so straightforward, you can hardly imagine anything is being hidden from you. How many layers actually exist in this story is open to interpretation, and to re-reading pleasure. I may revisit this one sometime, and I definitely look forward to renting the movie.more
Well I just finished this today and I feel a little like Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te'o (look up story if u r interested as I won't bore y with details); but I feel a little ripped off! I was falling in love with Pi as a heroic figure; a person who had it all together; someone who could overcome any obstacle;a kid who can never be beaten; I child who walks with God in his foremost thoughts!! Then I find that he is probably a weak human boy who went thru what none of us can even imagine and he failed miserably; the only success he had was staying alive; even his mislead/misconstrued/misunderstood and wishy/washy devotion to God was a failure as he can't even decide WHAT he really believes in; the story of the animals is absolutely beautiful; the tragic true ending is just mind numbing; I want fiction ; not reality; I get enough of that every day; probably won't watch movie now due to ending; how sadmore
If you begin by saying this story will make you believe in god, well, it better deliver or it is nothing but a tiger boat load of disappointment.more
Excellent writing, amazing visualization. All my senses were engaged, and I could feel fear and exultation. The book started a little slow for me, but soon grabbed me and would not let me go. Highly recommended.more
A book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I'm glad I haven't seen the film as the images in my head will last me a long time. I found the floating island the hardest bit to believe but who cares, the whole thing was a treat.more
That'll keep me thinking for a while.more
I was disappointed and underwhelmed with this book. It started out wonderfully, but the second half of the book dragged on and on. It has been so highly rated that I continued it only in the hope that eventually it would get better. It didn't. I really don't see what the fuss is all about...more
Ultimately, this book wasn't really for me. I couldn't get into it, and the details -- for the most part -- don't stick in my head. I read it in little bitesize bits, which probably didn't help. Anyway, the part I did really like was close to the end, with the interrogations...

Overall, I don't even really have much to say about the book. Just... totally ambivalent.more
I think it's fair to say that this book blew my mind. I enjoyed the beginning, was intrigued by the middle, and amazed with the ending. The rest of that evening after I finished the book, I could not get it out of my head; it stuck with me. Books usually don't affect me that way. It's one of my top 5, I think.more
I didn't particularly like this book and I'm not particularly interested in exploring why. It's a competent work and the reveal is heartbreaking and ratchets up the horror of the disaster that befalls Pi. I skimmed the final third. I think for me there was too much horror and too little of something I can't quite define. A firmer link between the parts of the story, perhaps? Or maybe I just don't have the desire to give the book the thinking it needs to reap its rewards?

My advice is read other reviews before you decide not to read it based on this. I'm sure there's a reason it was very popular.more
One of those books everyone read, which means I should have avoided it but I love books about the sea. I would have to say this is one of my favourite books: full of wonder, clever meta narrative and page-turning freak outs.more
Clearly I was unprepared for this book. Someone had told me it was "cute" and although I knew there was quite a bit of hype about the book, I didn't know what it was about so I was expecting sort of a light read. I guess I should have educated myself a bit more. If I had I probably would have given it 4 stars and that is really what my rating should be, but I'm still biased against what was my idea of the book.

I did like the book, and the style of writing. I loved the descriptions and the workings of the zoo along with the psychology of animals in the book. I understood how he was comparing life views with religion and the sort, but felt he was a little black and white in his theory.

The end of the book hit me like a slap in the face. Quite honestly it threw me and put me off for a time (mostly because I thought it was a "cute" book) but I still liked it.

(I just like it better with the animals in it. And I don't care what that says about me.)more
I think this book can be VERY SLOW... but dammit if the last few pages don't make it a worthwhile read.more
inished up the book, Life of Pi, last week and overall I really enjoyed it. The story is about a young boy whose family decides to emigrate from India to Canada. The family owned a zoo in India and because they were travelling with some of the animals that they sold to zoos in North America they travel on a cargo ship.


Initially the voyage is uneventful, but eventually it sinks and the main character, Pi, barely manages to escape to a life boat. At the same time that Pi finds his refuge a large bengal tiger finds safety in the same boat. A few other animals make it to the boat as well but with the tiger on board the dinghys crew quickly shrinks back to two, Pi and the Tiger. The rest of the book is about the voyage and survival of both Pi and the Tiger.


The entire voyage is quite remarkable and seems fairly unbelievable - much like the stories of religion. I only mention this parallel because as it turns out Pi is also a very spiritual boy who considers himself Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. While that trifecta may seem like a strange combination Pi's logic makes it all seem entirely reasonable. One of the marketing blurbs for the book says "..a story that will make you believe in God.." I don't know if the spiritual message is that strong but, at a minimum it does get you thinking. Something that few books have managed to do to me in a long time.


The book is pretty short, written in the first person (generally), and overall was an excellent tale. I give it a thumbs upmore
Update:01/28/13 Just watched the movie version of this, and I gotta say: While I was reading the book I wondered how big that boat was. Thanks, movie, for clearing that up. Awesome movie, made a few but acceptable changed, except in the end, when instead of the author researching about the Japenese interview, Pi hands him the transcript. But I see that a lot of people liked the movie, so, eh, what the heck. You gotta love the tiger, right?.

Update:06/21/12 There's gonna be a movie for this. Woah. They should of just titled it Pi. Honestly, how can you attract an audience with a title like Life of Pi. I love this book, but the title isn't one of its strengths. Hohoho. Anyway, looking at the trailer, I'm kind of skeptical. They made it look like Pi and Richard Parker became friends but that isn't so.And yet, it's almost worthy to watch just for the part in the island. But of course I'll watch it whether or not it's good.

I don't know why, but I've always liked books that end well. Or, the ones I most remember are the ones whose endings were remarkable. Life of Pi is one of them.

I got interested in reading it because of the God-thing, and I'm really interested in spiritual fiction.

I must say that some parts were dragging, the first time I read it. Reading it through again, I am better able to appreciate this novel. Some parts were funny, especially the part where the three godly men find out about Pi's participation in 3 religions. I found myself agreeing with Pi, it doesn't matter which religion you practice, it's all about loving God.

It was full of wisdom and humor, and Pi's narration did it very well.

And then we come to the ending. What a twist! It turned my world upside down. And I began to question my own sanity. It hit me, it impacted me, and I would never be able to forget it. And that's why it's one of my favorites.more
I was really looking forward to reading this, considering that it (mostly) gets rave reviews and people seem to love it. I came away disappointed. Maybe it's just me - but I just don't get the love for this. The first half of the book is so slow and I was bored; once I got to the second half, it did pick up and get somewhat interesting, thankfully, or I would've quit reading it.

Overall, it was a tedious read and not a book I'd recommend or revisit.more
i will never forget Roger Parkermore
meh. Slow starting and kind of weird. Never really did much for me.more
 I know some people rave about this, but I'm afraid I found the ending a real let down. left me feeling that it hadn't been finished, somehow.more
This book started off very slow for me. I am an atheist so all this talk of God and religion was a big struggle for me to get through. Thankfully there was something else to get me through it. Animals. All the sections about the zoo and animals was what made it possible for me to continue on.

And I'm glad I did. Once the story reached it's main point, Patel and Richard Parker, my interest picked up. I know there was a lot of religious allegory underneath the story but I just ignored that and focused instead on the idea of survival at see with a tiger. It was captivating and enthralling.

This book didn't change my life. I wouldn't run around trying to get anyone to read it. But it was interesting and entertaining and I'm glad I finished it.more
A deceptively simple, engrossing tale that reminded me strongly of The Little Prince, one of my very favorite books. It's definitely a feat to write such a strong book that is mostly about animal behavior.

I don't know if I entirely agree with the perspective of the novel, but it's both an appealing and a challenging perspective and nudges you into thinking important thoughts about the nature of truth and storytelling. By the same token I'm willing to forgive the rather troubling ending, because the questions it raises, and the context it puts the novels in, are valuable.more
This book is one of the biggest piles of crap I've ever read in my life.

Given that the main character is one of the most irritating self-righteous bastards ever put to print, I can't believe I made it through (well, I *paid* for it, and it's been listed on 1001 book lists).

It's religious clap-trap... badly done. If you want to ignore the religious bits of the book, and you're in for some over the top gory suffering, it's in there, too. Oh, and for a character who is (theoretically) a zoologist, he needs to go back to school. And for one who claims to dislike anthropomorphizing animals, he does it more than (and worse than) any other character I can think of.

In the end - do you prefer the story with or without animals? Well, sir, I prefer the truth, whether or not there are animal present.

more
Somehow me and Man Booker Prize don't mesh well. This was pretentious, religiously tainted bullshit so high on the bullshit-o-metre that I couldn't finish. Oh yeah, a tiger foregoing juicy boy. Not.

Why can't books getting prizes be better?more
I don't normally consider myself a squeamish person (I grew up hearing stories from my mom's work in the ICU while we ate dinner), but some of the descriptions in this seriously disgusted me. But I didn't really factor that into my rating. Mostly, I couldn't deal with the author's emphasis on religion, especially in the tedious first part and the philosophically puzzling third part that read, to me, like it was way too conscious of imparting a Deep Meaning. Not for me.

This is also reminded me how much I hate when authors insert themselves into their books. It automatically takes me out of the story.more
This was a beautiful read; one I find hard to explain in words. It's most certainly the most sensual book I have ever read, and I found myself completely absorbed. There were actually points in the book where I felt uncomfortable because I genuinely felt as if I was curled up on that raft, not Pi. Very interesting characters, and a very thought provoking ending. I loved it.more
The sign of a really good book is re-reading-worthiness. I read this twice the first year I ever picked it up. When I got to the end I wanted to read it again right away, actually.

There are several things I really love about this book - the strange, Odyssey-like story, the surreality, the odd and inventive episodes, the religious outlook of the main character.more
The story in Life of Pi describes the book itself. It is the impossible tale of a boy, trapped on a lifeboat alone with a 450-pound tiger for 227 days. It is a story that, like the ocean waves, has its ups and downs. Just when it seems like you’ll never reach dry land, you do. And when you look back on this book, much like being adrift at sea, the ordeal blurs together into one journey that has a clear beginning and ending, but no clear middle. And that ending—boy, it’s a day you’ll never forget.

The 2002 Man Booker Prize winner was a highly refreshing read. Even considering the absurd premise, it was not what I expected. Yet, this novel wasn’t absurd at all. It almost seemed believable. And although Life of Pi had many comical passages, it also had just as many dramatic ones. It is such a well-rounded title I barely can imagine a better stab at the marooned premise.

Life of Pi’s highest points happen as the protagonist of the story, Pi, explores his choice of religion. These moments provide both comical relief and careful consideration, and Martel handled both with care. And of course there is the final part of the book, where Pi explains his ordeal to two Japanese men. These final pages are the books greatest: hilarious, heart wrenching, and brilliant.

The lowest points are not so low, they are tedious, but this is necessary. What is a “lost at sea” book that doesn’t drag out the trials of being adrift? Otherwise, what joy is there in the reader of being found? So, the longest part of Life of Pi chronicles the 227 days Pi and the tiger are together on a solitary lifeboat. And since tigers don’t talk, much of the novel is filled with descriptive narrative.

Before starting Martel’s prize winning novel, I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of it. Now I must admit I was quite surprised. Like the castaway experience, however, I wouldn’t want to go through the ordeal again, but I will not likely soon forget the story.more
Originally Posted at Novel Reveries“I know zoos are no longer in people’s good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both.” (23)A beautiful and remarkable story of faith and endurance. Provided with meticulous detail, this book pushes it's readers to the depths of human conviction and explores the journey for the will to live.I found this story sensational with it’s wonderful descriptions and meticulous research on even the smallest detail. Whether discussing zoological history, or a daily routine, Yann Martel makes us feel like we’re thrashing right along with Piscine, his misfortunate and what led up to his building beliefs. A seed was planted with Piscine and his investigative and curious mind in different religions and how, not only can they relate to one another and dwindle down to one central factor, but also how the elements of each religion benefit the soul in a variety of ways.“Things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, but what can you do? You must take life the way it comes at you and make the best of it.” (120)Zoomorphism. It is foreshadowed (page 110,) and yet when we experience this trait with Pi Patel, it’s still incredible. Faith wasn’t the only factor in this plot, Pi’s education and experience with zoo’s and animals provided him with the patient skill of dealing with the animals on his boat, as well as the mysterious island he encounters. In essence, Faith provided him with the will to survive, while knowledge provided him with the tools.Offhand, I understand (for it is mentioned in the story; page 381) that the author needs the story to last 100 chapters, but some parts seemed unnecessary. I’m not just talking about the 1-2 sentence chapters, but also some of the deeply researched and extreme detailed parts of chapters. At times it made it difficult to focus and made me want to skim through parts of the chapter. This is the only main drawback I had with the novel.This being the illustrated version of the book, I can’t continue on with the review without stating how extraordinarily beautiful the illustrations were. I would buy and re-read the book again for the illustrations alone. Tomislav Torjanac is truly a master, his art in bright bold colors, depicts the scenes with perfection. I’m now a huge fan of his!“Life is so beautiful that death has fallen love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.” (4)In all this story has the ability to lift spirits when you think about all one can endure in a span of seven months.Seven months. A divine number, seven is.First Line: “My suffering left me sad and gloomy.” (1)Last Line: "Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger." (425)---------------Quotes“When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.” (4)“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” (35)“This story has a happy ending.” (122)more
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