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211 of 234 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok.... worthy of accolades..... not so sure!
There are aspects of this book I loved... one particular scene is gold, Richard Parker, Treeee.... Treeeee..... etc. absolutely brilliant... I won't fill you in on the scene but it's worth reading for that scene alone. Another scene is the most horrifically traumatic experience ever, for which alone I would advise against reading the book!!! Aside from these two aspects,...
Published on 19 Aug. 2011 by Loupop


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211 of 234 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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231 of 264 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
4.0 out of 5 stars twisting reality, 13 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
A must read! Winner of `The Man Booker prize 2002,' The Life of Pi.
This loveable fiction book has a unique plot, full of surprises, based upon the main character Piscine (Pi), a young Indian boy living in Pondicherry, India. We get an insight on his background and childhood growing up surrounded by zoo life. As he enters his teen years, Pi searches for religion and God.
The first part of the story focuses on Pi's life growing up, certain points from his childhood that he should remember forever. We meet him here as a young boy, as he enters the second part of the book, the journey across the pacific ocean, we see him become a man.

The book refers to clever situations with the animals from the zoo and makes you think about them in a genius and different way. With his dad being a zoo-keeper, Pi spends a lot of time there, all the time learning about the animals, their behaviours, how to approach them, how they want to live etc. Which then leads to his survival later on in the book. It brings religion into the plot and leads to a debate, is life better with God in it? If so which one? Should we choose just one God? Or are a combination of Gods the best outcome?
With a sailing over to Canada, for a fresh start, a new life, their boat sinks which leads to Pi being stranded on a lifeboat with many animals including a Bengal tiger, named Richard Parker, an injured zebra, a hyena and an orang-utan. 227 days later, they find land, but what is interesting is what happened on the lifeboat? It uses your imagination to challenge what's possible and what's magical.
It faces a dilemma through belief. What Pi goes through on the boat and with the murder of his mother, he struggles with the concept of belief and of God.

The writing style of this book is outstanding. With short chapters it's an easy read. Yann Martel writes the book in a way that confuses you to begin with, in the first part, until your grasp what is going on. He is recollecting from Pi's past and then talks about his life now. The second part of the book is sad but thrilling, with unexpected twists and turns throughout.
The ending of this book makes you think even more. Once you have finished the book, you will definitely want to read it again but will look at it in a different way. Your understanding of man and of animals will definitely grow, and so will the connection between them. The big question is, will you believe the story?
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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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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 Sept. 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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140 of 163 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok.... worthy of accolades..... not so sure!, 19 Aug. 2011
By 
This review is from: Life Of Pi (Paperback)
There are aspects of this book I loved... one particular scene is gold, Richard Parker, Treeee.... Treeeee..... etc. absolutely brilliant... I won't fill you in on the scene but it's worth reading for that scene alone. Another scene is the most horrifically traumatic experience ever, for which alone I would advise against reading the book!!! Aside from these two aspects, it's a nice, funny, easy read. Spiritual? Well, I didn't get that! A book to make you believe in God? Well, I think not (and again, maybe I simply didn't get it)! All in all, it's a funny, sad, traumatic story...BUT, how it won all the accolades that Yan Martel now houses on his mantel piece..... i'm not sure, I think he was lucky... timing perhaps! It certainly wasn't a GREAT read, i've read many better in the same guise.

Pick it up and have a go but take note, one scene was worth it, one scene was most definitely something I would rather never have had the misfortune to experience, I still have nightmares! The rest..... i'm not so sure. My opinion for what it's worth.
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Life Of Pi
Life Of Pi by Yann Martel
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