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208 of 231 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight
Life of Pi was, for me, a delight throughout. The first portion of the book seems to have garnered criticism in some corners but I found it to be a gentle and drily witty look at the way the world works. It provides the grounding for what follows, including the religious journey the book takes. Bearing in mind that I'm atheistic, I didn't feel like I was being preached to...
Published on 11 April 2004 by Anthony Lynas

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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't really get it!
For many years people have told me I MUST read this book. So I thought it was about time I did so before the film comes out. I found the pace of the book rather slow, the switching of topics and discussions of swimming pools and such rather quite odd. In all honesty I did not particularly enjoy this book. As a novel the story is boring with no proper ending and as a...
Published 20 months ago by TANIA ANDERSON


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208 of 231 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight, 11 April 2004
By 
Anthony Lynas (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
Life of Pi was, for me, a delight throughout. The first portion of the book seems to have garnered criticism in some corners but I found it to be a gentle and drily witty look at the way the world works. It provides the grounding for what follows, including the religious journey the book takes. Bearing in mind that I'm atheistic, I didn't feel like I was being preached to at any point in time. What's important here is that Yann Martel doesn't ram anything down the reader's throats. Pi relates all the events that occur to zoology and / or religion but the reader is always allowed to make their own judgement as well.
The story really picks up post-shipwreck and has some lovely twists and turns along the way. It's a paean to the survival instincts of the human spirit told through a series of increasingly bizarre and imaginative anecdotes. Wonderfully, everything is thrown askew at the end with a marvellous plot twist that leaves the reader considering the book long after they have finished it.
I read through Life of Pi in a little over two days; it was both enthralling and captivating and is that rare thing in modern art and literature - a positive and hopeful comment on the nature of the human being.
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230 of 262 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big cats, big love, big impression, 23 Jun 2003
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
Life of Pi stands with Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude as the most surprising and inventive book I have ever read. The description I read of the book said simply that it was the tale of a boy marooned on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific with only a zebra, orangutan, hyena and tiger for company. I was prepared for a fantasy with talking animals who help Pi throughout an adventure until they inevitably wash up on the shore. What I didn't expect it to be was a savagely brutal tale of survival teeming with blood, viscera, fear, despair and the very real teeth and claws of a 450 pound Bengal tiger. What I also didn't expect it to be was a beautiful, moving, heartfelt, loving exploration of loss, determination, belief and spirituality. That it can be both these descriptions at the same time tells you something of the power of this work of art. Life of Pi will be to some people a cracking adventure story, to some a philosophical treatise on the nature of belief and religion and to some a dizzying and confusing mix of the real, the assumed and the fantasy. To me it was quite simply astounding. The realisation of the point the narrator makes to the Japanese investigators at the end made me laugh and cry at the same time and for the first time in ages I felt a tug at my soul towards a higher power. Everyone in the world should read this book and after the last word, close it, take a deep breath and come out changed.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't really get it!, 24 Dec 2012
By 
TANIA ANDERSON "Tania" (Scarborough, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life Of Pi (Kindle Edition)
For many years people have told me I MUST read this book. So I thought it was about time I did so before the film comes out. I found the pace of the book rather slow, the switching of topics and discussions of swimming pools and such rather quite odd. In all honesty I did not particularly enjoy this book. As a novel the story is boring with no proper ending and as a great philosophical work I found it rather lacking. I studied philosophy at university and could recommend far better books if one is interested in tackling such concepts as freedom and survival. On the whole I would not recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST-READ!, 8 May 2004
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
There is much to learn from Martel's careful study into animal and human behaviour. These animals come to life and bring different elements to the story. Each one is believable and comparable to humans, and Pi does just that in relating his second story.

Cast into the direst of situations survival and its simplistic need demolish the line between animal and human. Soon Pi comes to the realization that his ravenous eating habits have paralleled that of the tiger. To survive the elements he himself has become an animal and surprisingly the boy feels little shame and accepts this fate.
At the end of the book we are being tested when Pi relates a second story altogether more believable but dry and factual. By now we are such believers to Pi's incredible story that we still accept it even in the face of the far more sensible one. His adventure is so wondrous, so full of fantasy we do not want to accept cold hard facts.
This book is a study into what it is to be human and the motions it goes through are natural and effortless. With storytelling at this high a quality one can not help but be completely drawn in and surrender themselves to the story. This book is wise as it is original and I can honestly say that reading it will change you. I congratulate Martel on such a wonderful read and the thoughts it provoked in my mind.
A good book makes us look at life in a new perspective and I can say with complete confidence that Life of Pi exceeds in this respect and then some. Once it has drawn you in there is honestly no returning. There are such fresh insights and wisdom to be found in this book and a universal quality that has it destined to become a classic. It's a strange and wonderful read deserving of the booker prize and I'm sure anybody can and will enjoy it. Another Amazon pick I loved is THE LOSERS CLUB by Richard Perez
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139 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life and How to Live It, 14 Oct 2002
This review is from: Life of Pi (Hardcover)
At the time of writing, Life of Pi is on the shortlist for the Booker Prize, and by the time of you reading this, it has either won (hurrah) or lost (hurroo). Because of the three novels I've read from the shortlist, Life of Pi stands head and shoulders above the others for being entirely original, good-natured, sparky (unlike the sluggish, grounded others), and extremely moreish: it took me only two days to navigate its 320 pages. You can put it down but it's such enjoyable fun why would you want to?
The blurb is somewhat misleading, suggesting that Life of Pi is only about the travails of a boy trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger: in fact there are 100 pages before this main event. But the miracle is that even when restricted to one human character and a twenty-odd foot lifeboat, Martel is never boring, and never resorts to childish anthropormism with the animals either: Pi really does have to survive with a 450-pound Bengal tiger, hungry and uncartoonish and nearby.
Speaking of miracles, the narrator's pushy insistence throughout the book that it will "make you believe in God" is the only chunk of the novel I couldn't quite swallow. There's no godliness whatsoever - unless it's moving in mysteriously subtle ways or something and I'm just too much of an atheistic blockhead to see it - unless you count the instances of Pi praising God when something good happens to interrupt the terrible attrition of life on the lifeboat. And frankly who wouldn't hedge their bets a bit in such a situation? In fact, thinking of it, one particularly memorable section of the book - the island, a staggeringly inventive set piece which put me in mind of the land of the mulefa in Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass - indicates, if anything, evolution at work rather than Creation, and the narrator even makes respectful mention of Darwin.
However. This small gripe does nothing to detract from the fact that Life of Pi will have you grinning like a tiger for days. Prize-winner or not, if it doesn't become a classic in the next few years, I'll eat that carton of emergency rations. Well he won't be needing it will he?
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who said Zoology and Theology don't mix?, 24 May 2004
This review is from: Life of Pi (Hardcover)
I was slightly unprepared for the tale of Piscine Patel and Richard Parker, but picked up the book on a recommendation. I'm pleased that I did!
Pi's character is complex, yet clearly defined. His formative years, where he learns of religion (taking on three diversifying religions at the same time), and his more harshly-imposed lessons on the true nature of animals is an enjoyable read in itself.
The majority of the book is set on a lifeboat, lost in the Pacific ocean with nothing but a handul of animals on board. It was here where I was expecting either a boring narrative where every second sentence made a banal observation to God (almost like those Richard Bach novels), or would develop into a surreal metaphysical discourse with the animals. I am again pleased to say that neither happened. The book maintained a strong foothold in reality despite the bizarre situation that Pi found himself in. The tale of Pi's survival on the lifeboat, and finding his strengths and hindarances from the animals on board was again, pleasurable reading.
All in all, "The life of Pi" is a bittersweet tale of loss and salvation, simply told and easily absorbed. There is nothing heavy-handed about any of the ideas in the book, and the writing style flows along.
Unfortunately, I did not feel that it is one of those books that begged a second reading, rewarding as it was. However, it is still a recommended read to both those seeking an intelligent book, filled with questions, as well as those simply seeking a light afternoon's escapism.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clever, but very entertaining, 14 July 2005
By 
Chris Chalk "Chris" (Croydon, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
I gave my review the subject I did because if you are anything like me, you will very often read books that are clever, you know you should have enjoyed them but you just found yourself finding it all a little boring. Well Life of Pi bucks the trend here. This book is clever, don't get me wrong, the painstaking attention to detail of the writing really allows the reader to understand where Yann Martel is trying to lead you, whilst holding out on you so the story can evolve into what it ultimately becomes.
Pi is a young boy who's parents own a zoo. His voyage to Canada (with his interesting menagerie of animals) is rudely cut short by the boat sinking. Alone, in danger, in a life boat Pi is in trouble. However things get worse when he discovers he is on a life boat with Richard Parker. A Bengal Tiger. A couple of other animals are there - a hyena and a zebra - but what concerns Pi most, is understandable, Mr P.
Now I know this all sounds rather fanciful and something you might expect in a children's library but I assure you it isn't. What follows is a wonderful narrative skilfully written. Remember that the author has really restricted himself and to what he can use to set the scene, they are in the middle of the ocean in a boat! Give the book time and ensure you stay right to the end, you really won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it, and pass it on…, 2 Jun 2004
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
I have never offered a review before but I feel I must comment on Life of Pi.
This book is so easy to read, so accessible, such a good yarn – but also so surprising.
I used to agonise over the meaning of life, pouring over science, religion, even science fiction ideas.
Just one simple sentence in this book changed the way I think (those who have read will have no doubt which one I’m talking about!). I was on a beach abroad when I read this and I cried!
Its message is so simple, so obvious and so beautiful.
If everyone in the world thought like Piscine, what a wonderful world it would be.
I am still searching for answers but I don't agonise - this little book has my heart and soul to the wonderful possibilities out there.
Read it, and pass it on…
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book made me think., 4 Feb 2005
By 
franicusxx (Prague, Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life of Pi (Audio CD)
When I started this book I thought I was going to have to give it up and read something else but then the character of Pi intruiged me and I wanted to read on.When Pi had trouble choosing a religion it made me think of all the the different traditions and rituals conected with religions around the world and how each of the corresponding religions vary in the way they introduce followers and keep them.
When Pi finally gets stranded in the ocean with only an Orangutan named orange juice,a zebra with a broken leg,Hyena and a tiger named Richard Parker I was gripped and from then on I couldn't put the book down.Sometimes I still pick up the book to confirm my ideas of whats really happening in the story.This book really is a book of deception and mystery.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strange life Pi, 1 April 2013
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This review is from: Life Of Pi (Kindle Edition)
This book was chosen for book club. I found this book very strange and not at all what I expected. It begins with religion and then goes very strange indeed. Despite this book not being particularly long it did take a long time to read. I did also question a number of times if the author was on drugs. I did not enjoy this book.
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Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
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