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Life of Pi Paperback – Oct 10 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada; 1 edition (Oct. 10 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676973779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676973778
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael Cox on Nov. 4 2002
Format: Paperback
Yann Martel's novel takes us from a small community in India to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where a boy and a tiger share a lifeboat and develop, if not a friendship, a unique understanding of one another. The novel begins slowly and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but I also couldn't put it down, especially once on the high seas. Like any seafaring tale, it may be "tall" in parts, and you can, if you wish, choose to believe an alternate story provided for you near the end, but I prefer the taller of the two tales, and was bleary-eyed but well rewarded for reading it in one long sitting.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dan Goddard on Dec 5 2002
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most powerful novels I have ever read. It begins with a section that builds up the main character flawlessly. Then it shifts to wonderfully written story of survival, exploring almost every angle of human nature in the face of adversity. It delves into relationships in the most interesting of ways, and makes one think twice about their own. The third and final section of the book brings a bit of a twist in the plot; it left me enjoying the book in it's entirity even more. It is one of those feel good books, which I could not put down.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Booknut on May 30 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read between 50 and 80 books a year and it is the rare novel that does not disappoint me on some level. This book never let me down, I was never bored and I never felt the author cheated or left loose ends. The language was simple and lyrical but full of symbolism and symmetry. I loved the main character's honesty and optimism and his simple will to survive. Above all I loved the choice of an alternate ending, neither story is a perfect fit leaving the reader the choice to make up their own mind. I laughed, I cried and I'm recommending it to everyone I know.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Aras Geylani on Nov. 15 2002
Format: Paperback
For many immigrants who arrived in Canada, a new life of economic prosperity seems to be the beacon that attracted them. However, for some smaller number of immigrants, like myself, arriving here felt like a happy chapter of a life mostly blanketed with sorrow, loneliness and utter helplessness. I had never read a book that related so well with my past. As you read it, you will be taken on an incredible adventure that out does many if not all "castaway" movies and stories you may have seen or read. We may have read about survivors floating on a lifeboat after loosing their entire family to a ship accident and encountering all kinds of terrible things and places, some funny some deadly. Here, it is not these that matter. What matters in Mr. Martel's “Life of Pi” is how can we all discover, like Martel’s young hero Piscene Molitor Patel (Pi) does, that deep in each of us there really is God, Allah, Yahweh, Love, Hope, Christianity, Islam, Szerelem (Hungarian), Sevgi ve Umut (Turkish), Amal (Arabic), Arzu (Farsi), or whatever else your label may be, its a Good Thing. As I started the book, excitement of a beautiful spring rain bathed my senses, as I turned to the last page, I wept tears of joy. I will read this book again. I recommend that you do too. You will be surprised how much goodness you have inside. Take this book with you on your next voyage (beyond your supermarket, city, town, country), it will not only keep you company like Richard Parker does Pi, but it well help you go on living even if life seems to have handed out it last thread of hope.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Aurelio on Oct. 25 2003
Format: Paperback
In the book jacket one of the reviewers compares this book to the works of Magic Realism. I myself find that comparison erroneous and offensive.
The book is charming and well written, but it is a lot more "A Beautiful Mind" than any magic realism. That the character does not have a solid ground on truth is already exhibited by the premise that one may combine all three major religions, please God equally as it were. That would only be possible by disassociating himself from the true demands of any faith, by separating the Christian in oneself from the hindu, etc. How schizophrenic is that?
Then there is the matter of how the rest of the story goes. Yes, perhaps a necessary way in which the character manages to cope with a horrible reality... none of the faiths seem to work, because none of them is truly accepted ... thus, something else needs to be invented, this communion with the animals.
A story that makes you believe in God? Hardly, perhaps a new-age type of deity that pleases neither God nor man.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melissa on May 11 2011
Format: Paperback
A 16 year-old Indian boy, Pi Patel, is travelling to Canada with his family and the majority of his father's zoo animals when their cargo ship sinks. The only human survivor, Pi must survive the high seas while stuck in a life boat with a zebra, hyena, orangutan, and Bengal tiger. This was a very original story, absurd and really stretching the boundaries of my imagination, but the writing made me a believer. I found Pi's voice to be engaging ' at times, a little over-descriptive, especially about the gruesome details of killing animals and fish, but still very endearing.

I really liked the ending of the book, particularly the last few chapters; it made me critically analyze the entire novel and see all the events from a new perspective. This is one of those books that, after you have read the last page, require time to digest before moving on to another book. I almost liked the book more after I had finished it than I did while I was reading it. Overall, recommended.
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