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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life Of Pi by Yann Martel

Life Of Pi by Yann Martel  
Rating: 5 out of 5

ISBN (edition I've read): 9781841954257

The plot is like this:

After a tragic sinking of a ship, Pi, the lead character of the book, finds himself lifeboat-bound with no other human being, save for four animals - an organ-utan, zebra with a broken leg, a hyena and a 350-pound Bengal Tiger, named Richard Parker. How did Pi stay alive, all the way, till he met civilization? You will have to read this one.

That's what the plot claims but the novel is more than it. Read the name of the book - Life of Pi. Nothing like Surviving at Pacific or boat-bound with a Bengal Tiger. The point I am trying to make is the story tells more than the pacific adventure.

The picture and the ISBN features above are of my 2003 edition of Life of Pi. I feel lucky for getting my hands on such an old edition of this prestigious book!

The starts with author, Yann, reaching India, in search of a story for his next novel, which starts in India and ends in Portuguese. Like fate would have it, he meets Pi a.k.a. Piscine Patel.

Then, the story fluctuates between the story narrated by Piscine and author's own experience with the narrator.

If you want to get to the thrilling part of the book from page 30, you would be disappointed about this. As I have already told you, this book has more than the plot claims.

Piscine is a Catholis Muslim - Hindu. If there is anything like that. He is a Christian. He is a Muslim. He is an Hindu. He is a Jew. He doesn't have a religion. All he believes in is God and every form of His.

The first part of the story deals with his story how he was born an Hindu; how he started to be a Christian; how he started to worship Allah. Then, about the zoo, his father ran. Then, about Anandi, Pi's love.

One day, Pi's father decides to sell off all the animals of his zoo and thinks of settling in Canada. Of course, Pi wouldn't be happy with his decision. After all, he had his love in India. But then, he was helpless. His father, the head of the family, had taken the decision and it is unalterable.

Finally, the day of the great journey in a Chinese cargo ship, Tsimtsum, loaded with various animals of the zoo, starts.

Few days, into the voyage due to a storm the ship sinks and Pi finds himself, sharing a solitaire lifeboat with a orang-utan, hyena, zebra with a broken and a Bengal Tiger.

The best part of the whole book starts here. The rest of the story describes how he survived from being eaten by the Tiger or hyena, for that matter. How he survived for so many days at see, with not a piece of land in sight. How he befriends the tiger. Yeah! He befriends - trains, actually - the tiger!

What I think about the story:

The book is invincible.If you have come across this book but overlooked it. Believe me, mate, it is the worst day you are going through.

Truly worth the Man Booker Prize. This is my first of my Man Booker reads and it just swept me off my feet.

Personally, I read books on adventure and travels. So this book was like a ultimate survival story for me.

A must read for every human being.

After completing reading this book, everyone has one question in their mind. Is this fiction, as it is claimed? Or, a non-fiction, which it seems?

Well, I don't think anyone could clear that doubt. Not even the author, I could say. The story is so convincing that it is even hard to believe what author claims, if it is against our conception.

At the end of the story, the same story is repeated replacing the animals with humans. That version of the story seems reasonable, too. That's when the reader is thrown into the dilemma. The present question in mind is, "Which version of the story is real? The animal one or the humans one?"

Let me tell you something, the truth doesn't matter. Your believe is all that matters...

Indeed, it is a story that will make you believe in God(you will get it, after reading the author's note)...


  1. I read this book almost eight years ago and have been re-reading it ever since. You say this is a review of the book, but did you mean to say you're writing about the movie?
    You mention: "about Anandi, Pi's love". There was no such character in the book, no Anandi, she's entirely Ang Lee's creation for the movie.
    Makes me wonder whether you are reviewing the book or the movie...

    1. Actually I read this book a long ago and my memory is to bad. Put it other way, reading book is the pleasure in that moment. I thought to review the book only after watching the movie. After watching the Anandi character in the movie, I could swear that there is the same character in the book. Hope I had a better memory!!


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