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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strange life Pi
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.
Published 20 months ago by Debbie


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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful tale of love, death, religion and fantasy., 11 Jan 2010
By 
Chloe Curme - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life of Pi (Paperback)
`The Life of Pi' by Mantal is an exquisite tale about the exploration of different cultures, ideologies and influences, and the effect they have on the protagonist, Pi. This opening of the novel lays down the basis of the storyline, and appears to be mundane, however the tale unfolds to be gripping and thought provoking. As a teenager, Pi has many influences in his life, his mother who encourages discovering new ideas, particularly through literature. He also acquires a vast knowledge of animals, through his father, who is the proprietor of the zoo. The novel draws together many different elements of life, ranging from spiritual to technical elements, particularly as Pi is unable to decide on one religion, following Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. Pi's family move to Canada, due to his father disagreeing with the political views of India's Prime Minister and on the voyage, the boat sinks, which results in Pi being shipwrecked for 227 days before recovered. He was shipwrecked with an orang-utan , a zebra, a hyena and a tiger, `Richard Parker'. All of the animals besides Richard Parker are eaten, and Pi tames him. The fast paced nature of the story combined with the poetic style of language makes for a hugely vivid story, allowing the imagination of the readers to be pushed to the limits.

The originality and the powerful component of fantasy suggests why, when Pi recounts his story to those who recovered him much preferred his story with the animals, rather than the version with the exchanging of animals for human characters. It is clear why `The Life of Pi' won the `Mann - Booker Award' as Mantal combines life, death, religion and imagination to create an beautiful tale.
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230 of 263 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life of Pi, Yann Martel., 5 Jan 2009
By 
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
Life of Pi is the most adventurous and challenging book I have ever set eyes upon. Each chapter offering the reader a chance to explore and take a glimpse into the life of Piscine Patel a sixteen year old Indian boy. Many journeys are illustrated and captured with great emotion, from Pi's curiosity to explore all religions, to his life as a Zookeepers son, to the most extreme of being stranded on a lifeboat adrift at sea for 227 days with only the companionship of Richard Parker a great and furious Royal Bengal tiger.
Pi Patel's journey of survival, determination and sheer courage begin on July 2nd,1977. Where the cargo ship `Tsimtsum' carrying Pi and his family to a new lease of life sinks, leaving Pi only sole survivor fighting the wild and untrained pacific ocean alone, this is not the worst of his fears as aboard the lifeboat he comes in contact with a hyena, a zebra, and orang-utan and Richard Parker the 450 pound Bengal tiger.
At this very point, the reader follows and extraordinary journey that will test the potential alpha male, will question the belief of a vegetarian, will test the will power against the horrendous weather and everyday teaching a new skill in which will be adapted to this nauseating expedition.
In this novel Yann Martel allows the reader to explore deep imagination throughout this tense journey, as the most outrageous scenario is put into context in a manner in which the unbelievable could that in fact be credible. This harrowing adventure for Pi ends on February 14th, 1978 but this is not the end for the reader as Yann Martel challenges the reader with one final twist leaving great curiosity and challenging you to believe what you thought you knew and understood to be the Life of Pi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful tale written with triumphant imagination!, 4 Jan 2009
By 
J. Shiers "abigail shiers" (england) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
The book begins with a child, called Pi, who has been brought up in India at his fathers zoo. From the introduction of this character we learn of his want for knowledge and his questionable nature of the world around him.

Yann Martell claims his novel is "a story to make you believe in God". Pi slowly starts to have faith in three religions; Christianity, Hinduism and Muslim. He claims this is because he "loves God". As an agnostic, I found it compelling that this young boy had so much belief in God, that he felt the need to practice three religions. It seemed so charming that three conflicting religions can be united in the wild imagination of a child. I especially enjoyed Martel's clever use of depicting ideas from each religion, for example he picks up on the use of capital letters in Christianity, when Pi notes "since Christians are so fond of capital letters, a Story" (pg 53).

His father decides to sell the zoo and travel to Canada for a new life. In the second part of this fictitious novel Martel throws Pi into a whirl wind of surrealism leaving Pi on a lifeboat with no other human life. His only company are the only surviving animals from his fathers zoo; a Tiger, an Orang-utan, a Zebra and a Hyena. The journey for Pi to survive is ever present to the reader throughout.

During the book it is clear to the reader that Pi has an overactive imagination, although Pi's time on the boat with the animals causes the reader to question, has he created the animals in his mind or are they real? The line between realism and surrealism is clearly faint in this novel and creates curious questions for the reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind, 4 Jan 2009
By 
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
There's one word that describes ''Life of Pi'' the best - interesting. Indeed, the word is banal and simple but in case of this novel it fits perfectly. ''Life of Pi'' is unusual. It captures attention, it's one of those books that you can't stop reading and promise yourself to stop reading as soon as you reach the next page, yet you know that these are empty promises and you never really stop when you planned to. In case of the ''Life of Pi'' this happens because of the way the book is written. Yann Martel makes it amazingly easy to read. The flow of thought is addictive in the way that it's hard to stop reading and then return to your own boring thoughts. The author also shows a completely new type of relationship that evolves between the boy and the tiger. It is impossible to describe it with just one word. It's not a friendship yet it's not a selfish co-existence either. It's more of a connection that is hard to explain.
This ''Life of Pi'' isn't just about a certain event in life of the 16-year old Pi; it's about life in general. Yann Martel shares his thoughts on life, religion, psychology, this world; yet his thoughts are a part of the storyline. It's like a big puzzle brilliantly put together, where every single bit fits perfectly and is interesting on its own yet altogether these bits make a stunning picture. ''Life of Pi'' might seem weird but in my opinion, weird is not the word. It's different, in a good way. It's a unique mixture of thriller, philosophy, adventure, story of a person's life, some true facts and some fiction. It's a tasty one of a kind cocktail that is definitely worth trying.
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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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3 of 3 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stick With It, 1 Oct 2006
By 
Mr. D. J. Read (Alnwick, Northumberland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
I feel I had to write a review on this novel, to offer advice which can alter your reading experience of this novel. Stick with it!

People with a short attention span will suffer for the first 93 pages, where we are 'treated' to a history of the events of Piscines life, and his philosophies, generally shaped by a devotion to religion, and not just the one. He also babbles on about his zoo, which, for me, made me give up reading this on the first attempt.

It is only when we get to the meat of the story that this book comes to life. We are treated, essentially, to a fellow on a life raft with a hyena, and oragutang, a zebra and a bengal tiger. As one can predict, these numbers are whittled down. Then we have a tale of survival, but more than that, when a desperate desire for comparison drives him to befriend said tiger, we begin to see the point of the first 100 pages.

I must admit, there are some bizarre scenes. For instance, Pi goes blind, and then finds there is someone else to chat to in the boat, who tries to murder him, and then of course, we have the incident of the living green island which I actually emjoyed.

In short, this is a survival novel, not quite in the same vein as Robinson Crusoe, but with many interesting twists. It is a commentary on religion and philosophy, and friendship in many ways. The tale is vivid after the initial disappointment, and told wonderfully. It's not often I praise a novel, but when I do, it is deserved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific tall tiger tale, 7 Sep 2009
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
A beautifully written shaggy-dog story in which a religiously-minded Indian teenager from a zoo keeping family has an fateful sea accident leaving him alone on a small lifeboat with only a large Bengal tiger for company. Most of the tall tale focuses on the rather exciting battle for survival over many months and adventures with his killer companion. A charming opening part explains how the boy - Pi (short for Piscine, of course) - came to be shipwrecked and a sequel maybe challenges the very veracity of the story. The key is in the engaging style of writing though, one part magic realism and two parts hyper-realism. The saga unfolds in breathtakingly poetic detail, at once sensual, spiritual and scientific. The tensions between the rational and the religious continuously bubble up and the fable-like format opens the book up to all sorts of potential interpretation as a philosophy, metaphor or allegory. You simply can enjoy it as a boy's own adventure, though, so authentically and intricately described it almost seems true. Rightly claimed as a modern classic almost immediately after publication.
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Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
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