Yann Martel

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Yann Martel

Author profile


born
in Salamanca, Spain
June 25, 1963

gender
male

genre


About this author

Yann Martel is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi.

Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963 of peripatetic Canadian parents. He grew up in Alaska, British Columbia, Costa Rica, France, Ontario and Mexico, and has continued travelling as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India. Martel refers to his travels as, “seeing the same play on a whole lot of different stages.”
After studying philosophy at Trent University and while doing various odd jobs -- tree planting, dishwashing, working as a security guard -- he began to write. In addition to Life of Pi, Martel is the prize-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, a collection of short stories, and of Self, a novel, both publi

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Average rating: 3.85 · 800,491 ratings · 39,381 reviews · 16 distinct works · Similar authors
Life of Pi
3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 783,094 ratings — published 2001 — 233 editions
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Beatrice and Virgil
3.08 of 5 stars 3.08 avg rating — 12,640 ratings — published 2010 — 54 editions
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The Facts Behind the Helsin...
3.47 of 5 stars 3.47 avg rating — 2,267 ratings — published 1993 — 32 editions
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Self
3.36 of 5 stars 3.36 avg rating — 1,602 ratings — published 1996 — 17 editions
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What is Stephen Harper Read...
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 280 ratings — published 2009 — 5 editions
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101 Letters to a Prime Mini...
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 66 ratings — published 2011 — 4 editions
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Teaching Yann Martel's Life...
3.53 of 5 stars 3.53 avg rating — 51 ratings — published 2007
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The Facts Behind the Helsin...
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 2014
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The Secret History of Fantasy
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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87 avg rating — 246 ratings — published 2010 — 2 editions
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Darwin's Bastards: Astoundi...
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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 157 ratings — published 2010 — 3 editions
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More books by Yann Martel…

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Interviews

April 2010, Yann Martel
"War, for example, is constantly being treated by artists, oftentimes with scant regard for the reality of war. Why is this not only permissible but good? Because in doing so we come to a full understanding of what war means to us. I believe the same must apply to the Holocaust." ...More

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“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

“I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.”
Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Polls

79756
What should we read first?

For more info on each of these, look to the "This Poll Is About" section below the Answers.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

On the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick's wife Amy disappears. There are signs of struggle in the house and Nick quickly becomes the prime suspect. It doesn't help that Nick hasn't been completely honest with the police and, as Amy's case drags out for weeks, more and more vilifying evidence appears against him. Nick, however, maintains his innocence. Told from alternating points of view between Nick and Amy, Gillian Flynn creates an untrustworthy world that changes chapter-to-chapter. Calling Gone Girl a psychological thriller is an understatement. As revelation after revelation unfolds, it becomes clear that the truth does not exist in the middle of Nick and Amy's points of view; in fact, the truth is far more dark, more twisted, and more creepy than you can imagine. Gone Girl is masterfully plotted from start to finish and the suspense doesn't waver for one page. It's one of those books you will feel the need to discuss immediately after finishing because the ending doesn't just come; it punches you in the gut.
 
  5 votes 35.7%

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

Telegraph Avenue

Michael Chabon

“Telegraph Avenue,” Michael Chabon’s rich, comic new novel, is a homage to an actual place: the boulevard in Northern California where Oakland — historically an African-American city — aligns with Berkeley, whose bourgeois white inhabitants are, as one character puts it, “liable to invest all their hope of heaven in the taste of an egg laid in the backyard by a heritage-breed chicken.” The novel is equally a tribute to the cinematic style of Quentin Tarantino, whose films its characters study and discuss, and whose preoccupations pepper its pages: kung fu, cinematic allusions and the blaxploitation films of the 1970s; and an interest in African-American characters and experience. Chabon and Tarantino make an unlikely duo; while the latter’s films tend toward gaudy eruptions of violence, Chabon bends Tarantino’s sensibility to a warmhearted novel about fatherhood in which the onstage violence consists of two graphic childbirth scenes and a 15-year-old boy whacking a chubby thug with a wooden sword. A self-help book in the style of Andrei Tarkovsky would be hardly more oxymoronic.

 
  4 votes 28.6%

To Sell Is Human  The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others

Daniel H. Pink

To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it's no longer "Always Be Closing"), explains why extraverts don't make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an "off-ramp" for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.

Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another's perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. The result is a perceptive and practical book--one that will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home.

 
  2 votes 14.3%

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft

The Call of Cthulhu

H.P. Lovecraft

An American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction (crucial in the development of the sub-genre, weird fiction). The Call of Cthulu, the tale of a horrifying underwater monster coming to life and threatening mankind, is H.P. Lovecraft's most famous and most widely popular tale, spawning an entire mythology, with the power to strike terror into the hearts of even the Great Old Ones.
Lovecraft's guiding aesthetic and philosophical principle was what he termed "cosmicism" or "cosmic horror", the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally inimical to the interests of humankind. As such, his stories express a profound indifference to human beliefs and affairs.

He is now regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century. According to Joyce Carol Oates, an award-winning author, Lovecraft—as with Edgar Allan Poe in the 19th century—has exerted "an incalculable influence on succeeding generations of writers of horror fiction".The popular science fiction and fantasy author Stephen King called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." King made it clear in his semi-autobiographical non-fiction book Danse Macabre that Lovecraft was responsible for King's own fascination with horror and the macabre, and was the single largest figure to influence his fiction writing.

 
  1 vote 7.1%

Party Monster  A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland by James St. James

Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland

James St. James

"Disco Bloodbath" is a dazzling, dizzying, amazingly vivid, and startlingly fresh look at a subculture that for several years pranced its hedonistic way across the dance floors of New York City's trendiest clubs. It is also perhaps the funniest book about a murder you will ever read. Like its author, who experienced it all and has lived to tell the tale, it's a true original.

When self-proclaimed king of club kids and party promoter extraordinaire Michael Alig was convicted in November 1996 of killing a drug dealer known as Angel, a spotlight was trained on a world few people even knew existed. Author James St. James knew that world, of course; in fact, he was one of its creators. He also knew the rules, knew them inside out, because he helped write them. And while it was a life and a lifestyle in which just about anything was acceptable so long as it wasn't boring, murder was considered a no-no. So when Alig confessed his part in the crime to St. James, our author knew that there could be no going back -- and that this time the party really was over.

 
  1 vote 7.1%

Mathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato

Mathilda Savitch

Victor Lodato

Fear doesn’t come naturally to Mathilda Savitch. She prefers to look right at the things nobody else can bring themselves to mention: for example, the fact that her beloved older sister is dead, pushed in front of a train by a man still on the loose. Her grief-stricken parents have basically been sleepwalking ever since, and it is Mathilda’s sworn mission to shock them back to life. Her strategy? Being bad.

Mathilda decides she’s going to figure out what lies behind the catastrophe. She starts sleuthing through her sister’s most secret possessions—e-mails, clothes, notebooks, whatever her determination and craftiness can ferret out. More troubling, she begins to apply some of her older sister’s magical charisma and powers of seduction to the unraveling situations around her. In a storyline that thrums with hints of ancient myth, Mathilda has to risk a great deal—in fact, has to leave behind everything she loves—in order to discover the truth.

 
  1 vote 7.1%

Behind the Beautiful Forevers  Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

Katherine Boo

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting“ in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl“—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

 
  0 votes 0.0%

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi

Yann Martel

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.

 
  0 votes 0.0%

14 total votes
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