After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a ...Show synopsisAfter the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one 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 zebra with a broken leg, a female orang-utan - and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. Since it was first published in 2002, "Life of Pi" has entered mainstream consciousness and remains one of the most extraordinary works of fiction in recent years. In October 2005 Canongate launched a competition with "The Times" to find an artist to illustrate Yann Martel's international bestseller. Soon the competition expanded as the "Globe" and "Mail" and "The Age" newspapers also launched a search in Canada and Australia. From thousands of entries, Croatian artist Tomislav Torjanac was chosen as the illustrator for this new edition of "Life of Pi". Now readers can enjoy this extraordinary tale with his glorious colour illustrations.Hide synopsis
Life of Pi (Vintage Books Canada) – Trade paperback (2002)
Trade paperback, Vintage Books Canada 2002
ISBN: 0676973779 ISBN-13: 9780676973778
Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe. Growing up in Pondicherry, India, Piscine Molitor Patel -- known as Pi -- has a rich life. Bookish by nature, young Pi acquires ...Show moreLife of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe. Growing up in Pondicherry, India, Piscine Molitor Patel -- known as Pi -- has a rich life. Bookish by nature, young Pi acquires a broad knowledge of not only the great religious texts but of all literature, and has a great curiosity about how the world works. His family runs the local zoo, and he spends many of his days among goats, hippos, swans, and bears, developing his own theories about the nature of animals and how human nature conforms to it. Pi's family life is quite happy, even though his brother picks on him and his parents aren't quite sure how to accept his decision to simultaneously embrace and practise three religions -- Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. But despite the lush and nurturing variety of Pi's world, there are broad political changes afoot in India, and when Pi is sixteen his parents decide that the family needs to escape to a better life. Choosing to move to Canada, they close the zoo, pack their belongings, and board a Japanese cargo ship called the "Tsimtsum." Travelling with them are many of their animals, bound for zoos in North America. However, they have only just begun their journey when the ship sinks, taking the dreams of the Patel family down with it. Only Pi survives, cast adrift in a lifeboat with the unlikeliest of travelling companions: a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Thus begins Pi Patel's epic, 227-day voyage across the Pacific, and the powerful story of faith and survival at the heart of Life of Pi. Worn and scared, oscillating between hope and despair, Pi is witness to the playing out of the food chain, quite aware of his new position within it. When only the tiger is left of the seafaring menagerie, Pi realizes that his survival depends on his ability to assert his own will, and sets upon a grand and ordered scheme to keep from being Richard Parker's next meal. As the days pass, Pi fights both boredom and terror by throwing himself into the practical details of surviving on the open sea -- catching fish, collecting rain water, protecting himself from the sun -- all the while ensuring that the tiger is also kept alive, and knows that Pi is the key to his survival. The castaways face gruelling pain in their brushes with starvation, illness, and the storms that lash the small boat, but there is also the solace of beauty: the rainbow hues of a dorado's death-throes, the peaceful eye of a looming whale, the shimmering blues of the ocean's swells. Hope is fleeting, however, and despite adapting his religious practices to his daily routine, Pi feels the constant, pressing weight of despair. It is during the most hopeless and gruelling days of his voyage that Pi whittles to the core of his beliefs, casts off his own assumptions, and faces his underlying terrors head-on. As Yann Martel has said in one interview, "The theme of this novel can be summarized in three lines. Life is a story. You can choose your story. And a story with an imaginative overlay is the better story." And for Martel, the greatest imaginative overlay is religion. "God is a shorthand for anything that is beyond the material -- any greater pattern of meaning." In Life of Pi, the question of stories, and of what stories to believe, is front and centre from the beginning, when the author tells us how he was led to Pi Patel and to this novel: in an Indian coffee house, a gentleman told him, "I have a story that will make you believe in God." And as this novel comes to its brilliant conclusion, Pi shows us that the story with the imaginative overlay is alHide
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The 2 star rating I have given this book implies nothing about the allurement held within its pages. The beautiful plot (based on a true story) is one of the best ever written. It *could* have been my new favorite novel. What ruined it for me? The foul language. Sadly, there was much of it mixed in. So much that my 5 star rating had to drop down to only 2 measly stars.
The story itself is (as I have already mentioned) BEAUTIFUL. It starts in Pondicherry, India, with Piscine Molitor Patel, the son of a zookeeper. The chapters fly by with colorful descriptions. Vibrancy illuminates off the pages. Then---the shipwreck, and the endless weeks spent at sea. So accurately written. Every detail that one could think of has been packed into this novel. Yes, there are gruesome parts. "Life of Pi" is not intended for the weak in stomach, heart, or imagination. But learning about this struggle for survival is well worth it.
Religious notes: Atheism is mentioned a few times. Also, in addition to Christianity, the religions of Hinduism and Islam are discussed in much detail. As a Christian myself, I naturally desired the Christian aspects brought up in the storyline, and found the details of the other religions quite interesting, to at least learn about.
Overall, I found the book to exude such a memorizing tie that led me to relish in the story, actually wishing that I was there experiencing the hardships of trying to live at sea. Again, I say, it's a beautiful book. If the foul language didn't have to mess it up for me, I would have gained a new favorite.
Many of us have read Life of Pi in soft-cover or hard-cover editions. The illustrated edition is for those who want to keep the book on their shelves forever and ever. The copy I received is in perfect condition: I couldn't be more pleased.
The youngster whose tale is told in this book was already a fascinating person before he found himself adrift in a lifeboat in the Pacific with no one but a quartet of zoo animals, including a 450-pound Bengal tiger. I was so impressed, I bought an extra copy to lend to friends.
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