Life of Pi – Yann Martel

LifeofPi

READ FOR BOOKCLUB

Chosen by Nadine

A fantasy adventure in which the protagonist, Pi, is shipwrecked and must endure life at sea with a Bengal Tiger.

Life of Pi explores questions around faith, friendship and fiction in the tale of a religious Indian boy nicknamed Pi who becomes stranded on a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Pi draws upon his life experiences with a zookeeper father to establish peace between himself and the tiger, which he sees as his only possibility for survival.

“The novel is a unique blend of religious exploration, a meditation on the nature of truth, and the shipwreck survival tale. It won both the 2002 Man Booker Prize and the 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction.

“Life of Pi was inspired in part by a story written by Brazilian author Moacyr Scliar. In Scliar’s Max and the Cats, a young Jewish man flees Nazi Germany on a ship bound for Brazil, but when the boat sinks, he finds himself sharing a lifeboat with a jaguar from the Berlin Zoo.”

“I had to stop hoping so much that a ship would rescue me. I should not count on outside help. Survival had to start with me. In my experience, a castaway’s worst mistake is to hope too much and to do too little. Survival starts by paying attention to what is close at hand and immediate. To look out with idle hope is tantamount to dreaming one’s life away.”

“I really enjoyed Life of Pi, especially the twist at the end. Although, I still have some unanswered questions like who was the Frenchman?!” – Nadine

“I have solidly resisted watching the movie, despite it’s fantastic reviews.  Would much rather keep the story’s amazing imagery firmly slotted into my own imagination.  I found this book uncomfortable reading at the best of times, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed it.  A classic.” – Suzy

“I love a seemingly simple story with a twist. But I adore a book that makes me turn back to page one immediately upon completion for a re-read! Martel writes as if combining fact and fiction, with a narrator who is likeable and believable. The zoo animals and Pi’s ringmaster type control of them lends the book a fable type atmosphere that kept me spellbound. A clever and interesting story.” – Rachel

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Published 2003
Mariner Books
236 pages

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