Review of 'Life of Pi'

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi) is a sixteen-year old boy who, survives the tragic sinking of a cargo ship while traveling to Canada with his parents and the animals from their zoo. On board the lifeboat is a hyena, zebra, orangutan and a Bengal tiger (called Richard Parker). The story follows their trip (with a very quickly diminished character count) as they are cast adrift in the ocean. Pi's quick descent from vegetarian to carnivore is dramatic. His daily experiences with Richard Parker are fraught and yet sensitive – The two understand each other and there is an uneasy truce but a truce nonetheless.

While not heavy with allegory the simple story is well told. Martel brings life to his characters – The reader feels what the characters feel. Pi's experiences are ours. While he rambles about his daily trials (and his interesting past) there is something very real about what he says. He is a real person to the reader.

I will not spoil the ending but to say that it was a surprise yet very appropriate.

A worthy Man Booker Prize winner. Sit back and enjoy.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2008-04-14

Genre: General Fiction

Publisher: Canongate Books

Publication Date: 2001