The Life of PI by Yann Martel is a highly inventive story and the winner of the Man Booker Prize. Pi Patel has a pleasant, albeit somewhat unusual, childhood. His father runs a small zoo in Pondicherry. Pi’s full name is Piscine Molitar Patel, children being cruel young brutes it is easy to see the possibility for unpleasant nicknames. Pi re-names himself when he switches schools, thus repairing the one dark cloud in his young horizon. He has an intense interest in spirituality and is drawn to Christianity, Islam, and Hindu religions. His parents, who are of a more secular temperament, are a bit befuddled by their son’s intense interest in religion. They suspect he should settle on one, Pi finds value in all three. Everything goes swimmingly for young Pi until his parents decide to immigrate to Canada Pi’s lovely little world shreds. It takes a while for his father to find places to for the animals. Soon buyers are found, papers of transit secured, and most of the animals end up headed for the new world too. At sea during the night the ship carrying most of the animals and the Patel family sinks. Pi ends up the only survivor, sharing a life boat with a 450 pound Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker. For a while there are a few other animals but tigers are hungry creatures, the lifeboat will have a tiger and a boy for 227 days.
— Deon Stonehouse
A MODERN CLASSIC AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
After the sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a wounded zebra, an orangutan??—??and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.
Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi Patel, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with the tiger, 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?
"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction." ??—?? Los Angeles Times Book Review
About the Author
YANN MARTEL was born in Spain in 1963 of Canadian parents. Life of Pi won the 2002 Man Booker Prize (among other honors) and was adapted to the screen in the Oscar-winning film by Ang Lee. Martel is also the author of the novels The High Mountains of Portugal, Beatrice and Virgil, and Self, the collection of stories The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, and a collection of letters to the prime minister of Canada, What Is Stephen Harper Reading?. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada.
PRAISE FOR LIFE OF PI
"Life of Pi could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life."— The New York Times Book Review
"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction."— Los Angeles Times Book Review
"A gripping adventure story . . . Laced with wit, spiced with terror, it's a book by an extraordinary talent."— St. Paul Pioneer-Press
"A terrific book . . . Fresh, original, smart, devious, and crammed with absorbing lore."— Margaret Atwood
"An impassioned defense of zoos, a death-defying trans-Pacific sea adventure a la Kon-Tiki, and a hilarious shaggy-dog story . . . : This audacious novel manages to be all of these." — The New Yorker
"Readers familiar with Margaret Atwood, Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje and Carol Shields should learn to make room on the map of contemporary Canadian fiction for the formidable Yann Martel." — Chicago Tribune