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Life of Pi

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,129,095 Ratings  ·  44,441 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, Deluxe Illustrated Edition, 315 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 11th 2001)
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Emily I personally found the multiple religions that Pi chooses to embrace quite interesting. Unlike most religious books where the author chooses to…moreI personally found the multiple religions that Pi chooses to embrace quite interesting. Unlike most religious books where the author chooses to develop a character's faith in one religion, Life of Pi is a universal novel that questions the meaning of religion itself. Pi decides for himself, much to the dismay of his parents and teachers, that "all he wants is to love God". With Pi's youthful view on religion, Yann Martel forces the reader to for once look outside their own religion and into what religion really is. I understand this may be offensive to some, but it is a philosophical piece, like the rest of the novel.(less)
Arabella If you can't even spell the book's name right, I don't think is the right book for you. It was also challenging when I read it at the age of 12. So…moreIf you can't even spell the book's name right, I don't think is the right book for you. It was also challenging when I read it at the age of 12. So unless you have extensive vocabulary, I would wait.(less)

Community Reviews

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Eva
Nov 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is not so much that The Life of Pi, is particularly moving (although it is). It isn’t even so much that it is written with language that is both delicate and sturdy all at once (which it is, as well). And it’s certainly not that Yann Martel’s vision filled passages are so precise that you begin to feel the salt water on your skin (even though they are). It is that, like Bohjalian and Byatt and all of the great Houdini’s of the literary world, in the last few moments of your journey – after yo ...more
Jason
LITTLE INDIAN BOY GOES ON WEIRD BOAT RIDE WITH MEAN CAT.
Trevor
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, religion
I found a lot of this book incredibly tedious. I tend to avoid the winners of the Man / Booker – they make me a little depressed. The only Carey I haven’t liked won the Booker (Oscar and Lucinda), I really didn’t like the little bit of Vernon God Little I read and I never finished The Sea despite really liking Banville’s writing. So, being told a book is a winner of the Booker tends to be a mark against it from the start, unfortunately.

I’m going to have to assume you have read this book, as if I
...more
Mary
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
It's not that it was bad, it's just that I wish the tiger had eaten him so the story wouldn't exist.

I read half of it, and felt really impatient the whole time, skipping whole pages, and then I realized that I didn't have to keep going, which is as spiritual a moment as I could hope to get from this book.
Kirstine
I was extremely surprised by this book. Let me tell you why (it's a funny story):

On the Danish cover it says "Pi's Liv" (Pi's Life), but I hadn't noticed the apostrophe, so I thought it said "Pis Liv" (Piss Life) and I thought that was an interesting title at least, so perhaps I should give it a go. So I did. And... what I read was not at all what I had expected (I thought it was a book about a boy in the Indian slums or something). It actually wasn't until I looked up the book in English I rea
...more
Malbadeen
Jul 28, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that can't get enough of Carl Jung and his wack-a-noodle ideas
Sift a pinch of psychology with a scant tablespoon of theology, add one part Island of the Blue Dolphin with two parts philosophy, mix with a pastry blender or the back of a fork until crumbly but not dry and there you have Pi and his lame-o, cheesed out, boat ride to enlightenment.
Actually I liked the beginning of this book- loved Pi's decleration and re-naming of himself, his adding religions like daisy's to a chain, and was really diggin on the family as a whole and then....then, then, then
...more
Jesse
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annalisa
Oct 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: book clubs, thinkers
Recommended to Annalisa by: Crystalyn
I read this book two years ago, but when we discussed it this month for book club, I remembered how much I liked it. A good discussion always ups my appreciation of a novel as does an ending that makes me requestion my givens in the story. I find myself reading contradictory interpretations and agreeing with both sides. That's the beauty of symbolism: as long as you back up your cause, it's plausible.

Initially it took me several weeks to get into the book. The beginning reads more like a textboo
...more
Adrian Rush
Jun 06, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookdragon Sean
On the surface Life of Pi is a funny little book, heart-warming and audacious, but dig a little deeper and you’ll see how complex the story actually is.

The magically real elements make the story doubt itself; they call into question the probability of these events actually happening because they are so ridiculously unrealistic. As Pi says to those that disbelieve him:

"I know what you want. You want a story that won't surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won't make you se
...more
F
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seen-movie, 2013, india
I loved this book! I watched the film before reading the book and I loved both of them.
I enjoy short chapters so this was good for me. Best scene was the 3 religious men arguing about Pi's religion. Found it really smartly done and funny.
Huda Yahya

كي أكون صريحة
الرواية جيدة ولكنها تحمل قدرا لا يُستهان به من الزيف
هل كانت الرواية على مستوى فكرتها؟
هل استطاعت نقل العذوبة الكونية والتناغم الطبيعي
وهل أوفت وعدها بكونها سطور تجعلك تؤمن بالله؟

تعال لنعرف سوياً

في البداية يبدو الكاتب متكلفا قليلا بحيلة هزيلة سبقه إليها البعض
فيوهمك بأن الحكاية حقيقية
وتلاها عليه الهندي الحقيقي باي
وأنه مجرد سارد للأحداث
ًفجاءت الحيلة غير ناضجة دراميا

وبرغم محاكاته لقصة سبق وأن كتبها الروائي مواكير
والتي قدم الكاتب إليه إهداء الرواية
ظاناً ربما أنه بهذا يبرز ذكاءه

فيقول في
...more
Mohammed Arabey
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

ليست رواية قدر ماهي رحلة روحية..رحلة البحث عن الذات..و الله

والفيلم المقتبس عنها ليس مجرد مؤثرات وتمثيل..بل لوحة فنية قدمت جزء من روحانية الرواية بشكل فني بديع

لذا لا تكتفي بواحدة وتترك الأخري

It's One big journey into the Pacific Ocean.
Just you ,an Indian small boy and a royal Bengal Tiger.


But before you're thrown to that small life boat into the wide ocean...you learn so much about your companion Indian boy.. his curiosity about Life, the Creator, Ultimate Reality, Brahman, God ,Allah..

Little Pi
...more
s.penkevich
Aug 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for an uplifting, spiritual story
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Megan
’ Life is a peephole, a single tiny entry onto a vastness.

We have all heard the phrase ‘you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.’ While this is a good life lesson, especially when taken as a metaphor that extends beyond books and into people, places, foods, etc., sometimes the cover of a novel is very telling of what lies within. Yann Martel’s Life of Pi wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve. A quick glance at the cover shows the overzealous stamp of ‘Winner of the Man Booker Prize’, INTERNATIONAL BESTS
...more
Tiffany
Dec 13, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: atheists who want confirmation for their beliefs
Recommended to Tiffany by: media hype
Shelves: 2008, literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teresa Jusino
Aug 11, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readandreviewed
On the surface, it's the story of a 16 year old Indian boy named "Pi" who, when he and his zookeeping family decide to transplant themselves and some animals to Canada, ends up stranded on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a 450-lb Bengal tiger named "Richard Parker."
Don't let the Rudyard Kipling-ness of the plot fool you! In reality, this book is an examination of faith in all its forms. Young Pi loves God, and to prove it he becomes Christian and Muslim in addition to his nat
...more
Jenny
Aug 30, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Life of Pi is a Canadian fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist is Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry who explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
Life of Pi, according to Yann Martel, can be summarized in three statements: "Life is a story... You can choose yo
...more
Jim Fonseca
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For years I noticed this book on display, particularly its cartoonish paperback cover. Was it a children's book? This Pi stuff -- was it something about math? It's a castaway story and like all castaway and shipwreck stories it's about human endurance, indomitable spirit and man vs. nature. The things that distinguish this story from Robinson Crusoe or Tom Hanks in Cast Away, is that the main character (Pi, short for Piscine) is trapped in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. He's Indian and multi-re ...more
Apatt
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is not a story of a boy and his BFF tiger.
This is nothing like Calvin and Hobbes.
The tiger is nothing like Tigger or Lassie.
This is not a YA book.

That is worth pointing out I think, because the movie poster and trailer gave me this impression.

This book has teeth.

My initial thoughts on Life of Pi is that it is a book that demands to be read slowly due to a rambling nonlinear narrative in the first few chapters. Actually it is not, it can be read fairly quickly once you hit your stride with i
...more
Justin
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People often see me walking down the street, casually, minding my own business, and they always stop and ask me, "Yo, Justin, what are you reading these days?"
And I'm always happy to stop and engage in conversation about what I'm reading, and I share a few thoughts about it.
"Yeah, it's not bad. Pretty good so far."
"Really enjoying it! Better than I expected!"
"Oh man, it's alright I guess. Kinda slow."
I like to keep my comments pretty general in nature.
Also, that never actually happens to me.
...more
Miranda Reads
The beginning is rough.

It's all like - Why do we keep going on and on about religion? Where's the boat? Where's the tiger? Stop and enjoy the roses. The book will get to the tiger part when it wants to.

Young Pi ( Piscine "Pi" Patel ) spends the first part of the book joining the Christian, Muslim and Hindu faiths. It's not a matter of he can't choose a religion - it's that he is able simultaneously believe in all of them. The philosophical musings and religious prose provide an extremely inter
...more
Kevin Ansbro
I'm a huge fan of Yann Martel's allegorical story.
I read Life of Pi shortly after it had won the Booker, heavily intrigued by the story's improbable premise (boy in lifeboat with Bengal tiger). I was keen to see how the author could pull this off.
But pull it off he did, taking me back to a wondrous childhood of adventure tales and fables.
And you are welcome to whack me over the head with a leather-bound copy of War and Peace, but I am such a sucker for exotic book covers!
Please read the book, do
...more
Richard Derus
UPDATE: Some will see this as good news...there is a movie based on this piffling 21st-century Kahlil Gibran ripoff, directed by Ang Lee, coming out...trailer here. As one can readily see, no smarm or treacle has been spared.


The whole world has a copy of this book, including me...but not for long. Over 10,000 copies of this on LT, so how many trees died just for our copies alone? Don't go into the forest, ladies and gents, the trees will be lookin' for revenge after they read this book.

There is
...more
Ted
As near as I can say, this should probably be 3.141592654 stars.

I was disappointed in this novel, but not really surprised at this. Rather I was somewhat prepared for it, because the ratings for it, specifically by my GR friends and reviewers (people I follow), are all over the place. While over half of these ratings are good (4s and 5s), fully 28% are bad (1s and 2s). This is the highest percent of bad ratings for a Booker award winner since 2000 among these people.

And, as indicated by my own r
...more
J.L.   Sutton
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a sort of parable on the value of storytelling, Yann Martel's fantastical adventure, Life of Pi, is astonishing. In the most desperate of circumstances, while Pi is on his lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, imagination and storytelling are the keys to Pi's incredible story of survival. Issues about believability, what really happened on the boat, take a backseat to wonder, love, creativity and to a certain extent, madness. The novel is heavy on spirituality, but it is compelli ...more
Megan
Jun 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the entire human race...
Shelves: mind-blown
“The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?”


Life is a story and the story of Pi Patel is one of the most extraordinary stories that I have read in awhile. The story begins before the fateful shipwreck that makes up most of the novel. Pi is a little boy who lives in India on a zoo that his father owns. Pretty much the greatest place to live as a kid is on a zoo. After watching W
...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Oh finally I get it. I read this a couple of years ago and it was supposed to be all about God. But no, it's not a religious allegory at all. It's about the collapse of communism. As the ocean liner of communism sinks under the weight of its own massive incompetence (a good idea, but the captain was drunk and the crew were sticky-fingered rascals), you leap overboard, clamber on to the only available boat (capitalism) only to find that there's a giant tiger on board which will eat you unless you ...more
عبدالعزيز المحيني
من أفضل الروايات التي قرأتها في حياتي
صراع مع التاريخ
صراع مع النفس
صراع مع الطبيعة
صراع مع العقل
وفي كل صراع يتغلب الإنسان على صعوبات الحياة.
اعتبر نهايتها عبقرية، خصوصا عندما يقص عليهم الفتى خبر ما حدث له من غرائب فلم يصدقونه، فيكذب ويقص عليهم قصة عادية فيصدقونها.

إنها رواية عن الإيمان، لم أقرأ لها مثيل.


يظهر يان مارتل تأثرا كبيرا برواية "روبنسون كروزو" للروائي البريطاني دانيال دافو، مع وجود مفارقات وتباينات الحقبات الزمانية، بين الأولى الأكثر كلاسيكية و"حياة باي" الأكثر حداثة.
فالشخصية المحورية
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Here’s another book I read, but never reviewed. I’m going to give you a glimpse into my “creative process,” if you will, when it comes to reviewing.

First, I have to limber up . . .

Commercial Photography

Then I rack my brain for inspiration . . . always making sure it’s super highbrow and spectacularly literary. In this case? This is a book about a boy . . .

Commercial Photography

who survives a shipwreck only to find himself adrift on a life raft with an orangutan . . .

Commercial Photography

a hyena . . .

Commercial Photography

and a tiger . . .

Commercial Photography


Commercial Photography.

Yep, that’s about as good as i
...more
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Play Book Tag: Life of Pi by Yann Martel - 5 stars 16 33 Jun 26, 2018 06:23AM  
Why is his name Pi? Is there a story behind his name? 10 459 Jun 05, 2018 03:09PM  
Cuộc đời của Pi: Vì sao Richard Parker rời bỏ Pi ? 1 1 May 08, 2018 01:18AM  
PenPal Readers: Life of Pi by Yann Martel: 1st May 4 11 Mar 18, 2018 07:24AM  
And so it goes with God 25 1268 Mar 08, 2018 09:09PM  
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Yann Martel is the author of Life of Pi, the #1 international bestseller and winner of the 2002 Man Booker (among many other prizes). He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil, and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. Born in Spain in 1963, Martel studied philosophy at Trent University, worked at odd jobs ...more
More about Yann Martel

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141 trivia questions
11 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.” 4176 likes
“To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” 2771 likes
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