Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, an astonishing work of imagination that will delight and stun readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God. After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wide, wild ...
Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, an astonishing work of imagination that will delight and stun readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God. After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wide, wild Pacific. The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, one zebra (with broken leg), an orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy. As the 'crew' begin to assert their natural places in the food chain, Pi's fear mounts, and he must use all his wit and daring to develop an understanding with Richard the tiger. Life of Pi takes the reader on an extraordinary journey - geographical, spiritual and emotional. A rare thing, here is a novel that will change your view of the world.
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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.
May 16, 2013
A spectial edition of a special book
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.
Jan 3, 2013
Life of Pi
Appreciated the remarkably short time between ordering and receiving the book which was in perfect condition.
Aug 3, 2012
Astonishing book -- bought a second copy!
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.
Aug 2, 2012
I sent this to family as a gift. They seemed to enjoy getting it.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-04-08 A fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient, this novel is an impressive achievement "a story that will make you believe in God," as one character says. The peripatetic Pi (n the much-taunted Piscine) Patel spends a beguiling boyhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper. Growing up beside the wild beasts, Pi gathers an encyclopedic knowledge of the animal world. His curious mind also makes the leap from his native Hinduism to Christianity and Islam, all three of which he practices with joyous abandon. In his 16th year, Pi sets sail with his family and some of their menagerie to start a new life in Canada. Halfway to Midway Island, the ship sinks into the Pacific, leaving Pi stranded on a life raft with a hyena, an orangutan, an injured zebra and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. After the beast dispatches the others, Pi is left to survive for 227 days with his large feline companion on the 26-foot-long raft, using all his knowledge, wits and faith to keep himself alive. The scenes flow together effortlessly, and the sharp observations of the young narrator keep the tale brisk and engaging. Martel's potentially unbelievable plot line soon demolishes the reader's defenses, cleverly set up by events of young Pi's life that almost naturally lead to his biggest ordeal. This richly patterned work, Martel's second novel, won Canada's 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. In it, Martel displays the clever voice and tremendous storytelling skills of an emerging master. (June) FYI: Booksellers would be wise to advise readers to browse through Martel's introductory note. His captivating honesty about the genesis of his story is almost worth the price of the book itself. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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