Life of Pi

Life of Pi

A Novel

Book - 2011
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Pi Patel, having spent an idyllic childhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper, sets off with his family at the age of sixteen to start anew in Canada, but his life takes a marvelous turn when their ship sinks in the Pacific, leaving him adrift on a raft with a 450-pound Bengal tiger for company.
Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada, 2011, c2001.
ISBN: 9780676973778
Branch Call Number: FIC Marte
Characteristics: xi, 354 p. ; 21 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

List - The Alchemist
Lisalim Dec 29, 2017

This story evokes a sense of wonder that encompasses all parts of life: physical, emotional, spiritual, rational, survival.

Comment
OPLReads Mar 03, 2016

Oakville Public Library's online book club, Oakville Reads, is discussing Life of Pi in March 2016. Please join us!
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/136571-oakville-reads

Ok, added just for fun--not really about the mathematical Pi!

Comment
alleycat Jun 22, 2010

Well now ... a better book I have not encountered in a very long time. I enjoyed this one *immensely*.


From the critics


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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jun 10, 2020

A novel about mortality, survival and believing in a story that is actually fictional. If you are a fan of survival or faith, I would definitely recommend this novel to you. An Indian boy named Pi is on a journey where he experiences hallucinations due to being in a state of malnourishment. The novel consists of many symbols that represent Pi's faith such as a lifeboat, the ocean and a Bengal tiger. Being an Indian myself, it was amusing to read the explanations on Indian relationships, values, and culture throughout the novel. A very unique book based on religious beliefs, zoology, faith and much more. Give this novel a read! 5/5 stars
@Bookland of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

o
onepandella
Jun 09, 2020

A boy is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger and needs to learn how to survive.

5/5: This story punched me in the gut. This novel is slow and long, but it left me with themes that struck a cord with me. I recommend you read this novel if you're interested in greater ideas of religion, life, and fiction. I really loved this novel.

The twist at the end really flipped everything on it's head for me. The end re-contextualized everything for me, and suddenly the novel's themes were clear. Looking back, I can't really recall what specifically resonated with me in terms of the plot. I feel like this novel as a whole is one big philosophical and abstract lesson, and I didn't expect that, but I loved it. I hope to re-read this one day and take all the details in while understanding the bigger picture.

What I Take Away: We need storytelling in religion to help us understand the bigger moral lessons religion is trying to teach. If we let rational thought ruin our belief in stories, then we miss out on the bigger picture. We live life with suffering. We survive with it. Fiction is necessary. Fiction is important.

a
aleahwinston
Jan 05, 2020

Boring book, but good movie.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Dec 05, 2019

Life of Pi was written by Yann Martel. He is a Canadian author from Saskatoon and wrote this bestselling book in 2002. I hear it is a famous book and the scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and beloved works of fiction in recent years. Exciting, isn't it? But her is the juicy part - the plot. The storyline is set in 1977 to 1978 in the Pacific Ocean for the majority of the book. The main character is called Piscine Patel, shortly Pi Patel. He and his family decide to move from India because in late-70s, they didn't feel safe about their government and really wanted to move to Canada, Winnipeg. The government was one of the push factors of the country. Gotta love Geography as a subject, huh? Anyways, Pi and his family go to Canada on an old Japanese ship called Tsimtsum. But they didn't make it to Winnipeg because their ship sank. Pi, as it not so conveniently happens to be, is the only survivor of the disaster other than a 450 pound Bengal tiger, a female orangutan, a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg and Pi himself. Surprisingly, and I suppose quite obviously, Pi survived or who would be here to tell the story to us, right? But during the book, though I was scared for Pi, and you know, the probability of getting to land in the ocean on a raft is quite low, I felt quite entertained by the book (that might be because I wasn't the one stuck in the ocean on a raft, haha). This part of the article is for great people that stayed till the end. It contains major spoilers about the book but also offers quite a lot of food for thought. Do you remember how Pi spoke to the Japanese officials in Mexico? And how he made that analogy - he is the tiger, the brute cook from the ship was the hyena, the orangutan was his mom and the zebra was a Japanese sailor. I wonder if this is the darker but a truthful story... We will never know this now, huh? 5/5 Stars. @readermariacom of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

VaughanPLDaniela Nov 28, 2019

I have been told this is a book you either love or hate. I love it because it tackles themes of faith, love and mortality through the unlikely relationship between a young man and a wild tiger.

p
pink_dog_6204
Jun 14, 2019

amazing

s
Soffe
Mar 08, 2019

I could not open the file. Cannot listen to the audiobook. Don't know why. Hope the instruction is clearer.

m
mattstrelau
Oct 12, 2017

I found that watching the movie before reading the book actually helped visualize some of the imagery. Pi's view on life and religion is inspiring. Excellent plot and difficult to put down.

d
dewwell
Sep 27, 2017

"This book will make you believe in God."

Or not.

This book made me feel that whoever wrote the line above didn't have a clue about what might make anyone believe in god...or anything about islands or meerkats, either. This book seemed to be a metaphor for a lot of things, but I couldn't care enough about it to waste my time trying to guess what it might be. It was interesting enough to read...and silly enough to make me hoot when the absurdities cropped up. It assumes readers are either a lot smarter or a lot stupider than they probably are; I felt "used" after reading this book. But I was able to finish it and I can't say that for every book out there.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 23, 2017

Life of Pi By Yann Martel is not one of my favourite novels. I first decided to start reading Life of Pi because I was bored, but I honestly found the book pretty slow. I honestly thought the novel was going to be better than it was because it was hyped up in the media (especially because of the newest movie release). For example, I actually really enjoyed the beginning of the book, it was pretty interesting to understand people’s perspectives on zoo animals, and how they actually live a good life. However, once the actual story started and Pi was left with the tiger, the story became way less interesting. In my opinion, I think a person would either love Life of Pi or hate it, because sometimes the story is hard to follow and seems unrealistic. Overall, the book was alright, and I would rate it a 2.5/5. @Montgomery of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

What I have enjoyed mostly about the book Life of Pi by Yann Martel was the creative story line. It was interesting how the author included the concept of religion with the life of a young castaway boy (living on a rescue boat with a tiger). There wasn't anything I had disliked about the book, as the author had done a splendid job with the plot. I felt that this book was like one of those survival genre-based books. If you are interested in these types of books and are interested in learning about some religions this book is for you. When you read this book, you will feel as if you are in his situations. I rate it a solid 5. @SirAbstractCanvas of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, is a fiction, adventure novel about a young Indian boy and his journey with religion and spiritualism. Written with many different changing perspectives throughout the novel, the majority of the book is told by the protagonist, Pi, himself. I feel as though this novel conveys its themes and messages very clearly through the use of literary devices. Although I read this novel for a class assignment, I feel as though this book has helped open a new perspective for me. The message about religion and faith is very original, and something that has changed my view on this topic. I recommend this novel to anyone with an open mind and heart, looking to be enlightened. I give this novel 3.5/5.
@TheCuriousBookworm of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

An inspiring fantasy novel that focuses on faith, the human mind and spirit. This book is about a young boy named Pi Patel who is the son of an Indian zookeeper that is planning on moving to Canada. But the ship that they are on sinks and Pi’s entire family dies. Now the sole survivor and on a lifeboat, Pi is met with a tiger, hyena, zebra, and orangutan. Pi -- an Indian vegetarian that has never been on a ship before -- has to survive in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat full of animals. A story about determination, courage, and heartache which will fascinate, excite, and sometimes bore you. Rating 5/5
- @Henny_Lee of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Age Suitability

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j
jackycwyeung
Mar 28, 2019

jackycwyeung thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

b
blue_dog_8329
Dec 21, 2016

blue_dog_8329 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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eparti
Mar 29, 2015

eparti thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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queenowly
Feb 10, 2014

queenowly thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Kennyn172
Jul 21, 2013

Kennyn172 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 99 and 98

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jbaker0118
Jun 05, 2013

jbaker0118 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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CharlotteStone
Feb 16, 2013

CharlotteStone thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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BieberFever108
Jan 30, 2013

BieberFever108 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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ansonliu1007
Jan 19, 2013

ansonliu1007 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Orange_Dog_338
Jan 11, 2013

Orange_Dog_338 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Quotes

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s
sonu_n
Feb 26, 2019

“Come aboard if your destination is oblivion- it should be our next stop. We can sit together. You can have the window seat if you want. But it's a sad view.”

9
912greens
Jul 14, 2016

Pi, upon being afraid to find a Bengal Tiger in his life boat: "You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did. And as a result I perked up and felt much better, We see that in sports all the time, don't we? The tennis challenger starts strong, but soon loses confidence in his playing. The champion racks up his game. But in the final set, when the challenger has nothing left to lose, he becomes relaxed again, insouciant, daring. Suddenly he's playing like the devil and and the champion must work hard to get those last points. So it was with me."

SPL_STARR Jun 16, 2015

"This book was born as I was hungry."

e
eparti
Apr 03, 2015

"It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go" - 'Pi Patel'

e
eparti
Apr 03, 2015

"There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless"
- 'Pi Patel'

p
Perspots
Dec 23, 2013

"... animals don't escape to somewhere but from some something. Something within their territory has frightened them-the intrusion of an enemy, the assault of a dominant animal, a startling noise- and set off a flight reaction."

AmandaVollmershausen Oct 12, 2012

"Let's hear your story," he said, panting.

"Once upon a time there was a banana and it grew. It grew until it was large, firm, yellow and fragrant. Then it fell to the ground and someone came upon it and ate it."

He stopped rowing. "What a beautiful story!"

"Thank you." (Pg 316)

AmandaVollmershausen Oct 12, 2012

Then I raced up the hill on the right-to offer thanks to Lord Krishna for having put Jesus of Nazareth, whose humanity I found so compelling, in my way. (pg 73)

b
becker
Sep 21, 2012

“All living things contain a measure of madness that moves them in strange, sometimes inexplicable ways.”
― Yan Martel

Summary

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t
thisisnew
Aug 06, 2015

A beautiful book by Yann Martel on the marvels of the imagination and on survival. A great ending and many surprising twists. Made into a movie as well. Well worth it.

b
BieberFever108
Jan 30, 2013

Pi Patel grew up in India swimming and hanging out in his family owned Zoo. He practices Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, after visiting a church, Mosque, and a Hindu Temple on a vacation. When he was 16 his family and him left for Canada on a Japanese Cargo ship but never reached their destination, due to a storm causing the ship to sink. Pi's family died but Pi survived leaving him alone... Yet he wasn't the only one to survive, a 450 pound tiger named Richard Parker survived also along with a Hyena, a wounded Zebra, and an Orangutan. Pi Patel was on a small lifeboat stranded in the middle of the ocean with 4 wild animals. The Hyena eats the Zebra alive and then also kills the orangutan. The Tiger Richard Parker then killed the Hyena. Now Pi was just alone with a grown tiger. Pi and this Tiger survived 227 days stranded in the middle of the ocean until he reached Mexico. Richard Parker walked away into the jungle in Mexico never to be seen again by Pi. After Japanese authorities hear of a Japanese Cargo Ship sinking and one lone survivor they drive down to meet Pi, to get answers out of him. He tells his story, but the Japanese do not believe it and ask him to tell the true story, he then tells of another gruesome version of the story with humans in the place of the animals. Not knowing which story was the true one the Japanese leave and Pi spends the rest of his life in Canada.

The_Light_Particle Dec 19, 2012

A young Indian and his parents cast off to move to Canada when an unexpected storm happens that killed his family.Now all he has is a simple lifeboat and a adult male tiger and has to adapt to it if he wants to survive...

p
pod
Jun 02, 2008

THE LIFE OF PI is one of two of the most unusual books I've ever come across. The other was McCrae's KATZENJAMMER. (A third was ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY by Sedaris, though that book is quite funny as well). LIFE OF PI is told by the central character, Pi, whose real name Piscene (pool) has been distorted in childhood to Pissing, assumes a name that measures the diameter of a circle, the symbol of omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. Pi tells two stories of being lost at sea--one story of a miraculous survival for 277 days of a boy on a boat with a Bengal tiger and another story of cannibalism and murder on that same boat whose occupants are Pi, a cook, Pi's mother, and a Taiwanese sailor. Pi says, "So tell me . . .which is the better story? And so it goes with God." Life of Pi concludes with the investigators for the shipwreck's cause choosing the first story in which the caged animals somehow all escaped from their cages as the ship Tsimtsum sank suddenly to the bottom of the Pacific as the more believable, but is the reader to do so? Before choosing to believe the first story, Mr. Chiba, one of the investigators, makes associations between the hyena in the first story and the cook in the second; he sees the zebra in the first as the Taiwanese sailor in the second. The orangutan in the first was Pi's mother in the second, and the tiger Richard Parker from the first is Pi in the second. Then Mr. Chiba asks, "What about the island? Who are the meerkats? What about the teeth? I don't know. I am not inside this boy's head." Must also recommend KATZENJAMMER by McCrae and the novel BARK OF THE DOGWOOD for two other great reads.

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