Life of Pi Book (Summary - Review - Order Book - About Yann Martel)


Author Yann Martel
Original title Life of Pi
Country Canada
Language English
Genre Fiction
Publisher Knopf Canada
Publication date
11 September 2001 (Canada)
ISBN 0-676-97376-0 (first edition, hardcover)
OCLC 46624335
Preceded by Self 
Followed by Beatrice and Virgil

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 themes of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded in a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

The novel has sold more than ten million copies worldwide. It was rejected by at least five London publishers before being accepted by Knopf Canada, which published it in September 2001. The UK edition won the Man Booker Prize for fiction the following year. He was also chosen for Canada Reads 2003 by CBC Radio, where he was championed by author Nancy Lee.

The French translation L'Histoire de Pi was chosen in the French version of CBC of the contest Le combat des livres, where it was defended by Louise Forestier. The novel won the 2003 Boeke Prize, a South African novel prize. In 2004, he won the Asian / Pacific American Literature Award for Best Adult Fiction for the years 2001-2003. In 2012 he adapted to a film directed by Ang Lee with a script by David Magee.

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it truer?

A passionate defense of zoos, a trans-Pacific maritime adventure that defies death to the "Kon-Tiki" and a fun story of furry dogs starring a four-hundred-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker: this bold novel manages to be all this, since it tells the improbable story of Pi Patel, a young Indian named for a pool (his full name is Piscine) who remains seven months in a lifeboat with only one hungry feline and large for the company . This saga of man and cat, hastily apolitical and without apology, is a practical and convincing guide to deal with what Pi calls, with typically underestimated energy, "the main pests of lifeboats".

About The Author
Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Yann Martel, the son of diplomats, was born in Spain in 1963. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Alaska, and Canada and as an adult has spent time in Iran, Turkey, and India. After studying philosophy in college, he worked at various odd jobs until he began earning his living as a writer at the age of twenty-seven. He lives in Montreal.

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