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The Life of Pi [Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Yann Martel , Jeff Woodman , Alexander Marshall
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)

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Library Binding CDN $24.42  
Paperback CDN $15.16  
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Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged CDN $24.42  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, June 1 2004 --  
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Book Description

June 1 2004
This title is winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2002. After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy. The scene is set for a most extraordinary piece of literary fiction. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60 per cent of the author's work and as low as 30 per cent with characters and plotlines removed.

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From Amazon

Serious novels about young boys being drawn closer to God while trapped on lifeboats with dangerous wild animals ought to be impossible. Life of Pi, Yann Martel's second novel, proves they're not. Its plot stretches the limits of credibility into new and exciting shapes, and the fact that Martel has made his materials into an enchanting story is almost unbelievable. Martel's Pi is Piscine Molitor Patel, a boy from Pondicherry, one of the few Indian towns to be colonized by France. Pi is an intelligent, unusual child: he has a scientific turn of mind but is also a practising Hindu, Moslem, and Christian. Pi's family runs a large zoo, but they decide to sell their animals to zoos in the United States and emigrate to Canada. Crossing the Pacific (with their animals), they're shipwrecked halfway between China and Midway. Pi survives, only to find himself sharing a lifeboat with an injured zebra, a spotted hyena, an orangutan, and Richard Parker--an immense Bengal tiger.

Most of these animals are doomed, but Pi and Richard Parker cling to life, establishing a tacit order on the lifeboat. Martel handles this part of the story perfectly: one would expect Life of Pi to become cute, or perhaps preachy, but it is neither. Life on the boat proceeds in strict accordance with the rules of ecology and territorialism, and the interdependence of the passengers is both believable and absorbing. Life of Pi is a superb novel, both for its story and for its rich examinations of religion, isolation, and love. If this is an indication of what is to come, we can expect great things from Yann Martel. --Jack Illingworth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient, this novel is an impressive achievement "a story that will make you believe in God," as one character says. The peripatetic Pi (ne the much-taunted Piscine) Patel spends a beguiling boyhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper. Growing up beside the wild beasts, Pi gathers an encyclopedic knowledge of the animal world. His curious mind also makes the leap from his native Hinduism to Christianity and Islam, all three of which he practices with joyous abandon. In his 16th year, Pi sets sail with his family and some of their menagerie to start a new life in Canada. Halfway to Midway Island, the ship sinks into the Pacific, leaving Pi stranded on a life raft with a hyena, an orangutan, an injured zebra and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. After the beast dispatches the others, Pi is left to survive for 227 days with his large feline companion on the 26-foot-long raft, using all his knowledge, wits and faith to keep himself alive. The scenes flow together effortlessly, and the sharp observations of the young narrator keep the tale brisk and engaging. Martel's potentially unbelievable plot line soon demolishes the reader's defenses, cleverly set up by events of young Pi's life that almost naturally lead to his biggest ordeal. This richly patterned work, Martel's second novel, won Canada's 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. In it, Martel displays the clever voice and tremendous storytelling skills of an emerging master.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life unlike any other 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful piece of literature! 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and symbolic - I loved this book May 30 2002
By Booknut
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb adventure; A survivor-guide's companion! 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
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so magic realism Oct. 25 2003
By Aurelio
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story telling of an unbelievable story May 11 2011
By Melissa
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Pi!
Had seen the movie,then read and loved the book. The movie did a remarkable job of creating the story. Could not put the book down!
Published 27 days ago by Shopaholic
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
quite boring, no better than the movie
Published 29 days ago by Lyne Song
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read. Ends abruptly.
The premise of the book drew me to read it. I liked the understated humour. It was definitely too long and drawn out though... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Curious George
4.0 out of 5 stars great story
This was a story of God and creatures for whose brilliance I was completely unprepared. Bravo, it is a masterpiece of fiction!
Published 2 months ago by Chris
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't get the one I wanted
Ordered this anniversary edition but ended up with the original. Other than that disappointment, it arrived fast and in perfect condition.
Published 4 months ago by JL Magnusson
5.0 out of 5 stars An adept story-teller
To successfully write a novel like Life of Pi requires a skilful author capable of revealing the fantastic in a credible, engaging manner. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lorina Stephens
3.0 out of 5 stars Item shipped was not item ordered
My rating is based on the experience of receiving this item, not on the item itself. I loved the book, but was disappointed that the edition I received was not the same one that I... Read more
Published 6 months ago by ladygoodgreen
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this
It was such an entertaining story. I kept reading pieces aloud to my kids so much that my daughter purchased the print edition (she prefers print to her kindle) and read it too.
Published 9 months ago by Lynda Gernon
2.0 out of 5 stars Classic Read
I read Life of Pi by Yann Martel just because the movie was coming out. I had also heard that is was an incredible read and wanted to see what all of the buzz was about. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sam Couture Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the film
Better than the film. Read it before you see it. Very good life lesson. Must read once in a life.
Published 9 months ago by Francis
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