Reader reviews and comments on Life of Pi, plus links to write your own review.

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Life of Pi

By Yann Martel

Life of Pi
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  • Hardcover: May 2002,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: May 2003,
    336 pages.

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Alysia Hegg (08/06/03)

The book Life of Pi writen by Yann Martle was a total page turner! I read it slow at first but ended up finishing it in a couple days. It helped show me how human beings need companionship to live healthily.While Pi was at sea for 277 days, he realized what he needed to do to stay alive and he went to any length to do it. In a way it seems hard to believe the story line because a man survived that long with a tiger on a lifeboat, but he did it! Over all, this was an excellent and suspensful story. I recommended it to EVERYONE!
Danielle Cse (08/06/03)

I too believe the novel was partially about Pi's internal spiritual journey and struggle. I aslo believe it was about the will to survive. - A few days after he was thrown onto the life boat he was about to give up. It seemed obvious he would die a painful death from Richard Parker. However, he chose to continue on. Richard Parker being on the life boat gave Pi the will to live. Without Richard Parker I doubt Pi would have survived the ordeal. If he hadn't spent time wondering how he would feed Richard and how he would train him, he would have had hours to sit and dwell on what would happen next. Richard Parker is what kept Pi alive, along with Pi's strong sense of faith. These two things are how Pi made it through.
- Although there are a few events which are questionable, (such as the island) for the most part I believe the story is believeable, because of the detail and depth Yann included.
Sean (08/05/03)

[For those who have finished the book]

I disagree with what seems to be the consensus view on the meaning of this story. Most people have seemed to take the story as saying that you can arbitrarily choose your own reality and that those who choose the "better story" are enlightened. I don't think that Martel intended for the truth to be left open to interpretation. To ascribe equal validity to the two versions of the story told by Pi trivializes Martel's definition of faith as described in chapters 21 & 22. I think Martel sees the religious experience as an indescribably awesome experience that can only be explained through imperfect metaphors.

So I don't think the "true" story fits either of the two accounts given in the book. I think the book is actually about an internal spiritual journey and struggle. What actually happened in the physical world is not as important (though I think it is probably closer to the version without animals), but Pi is trying to convey this fantastic religious experience that is even more of a miracle than any events he could describe. I think the reader is supposed to believe that the story with animals is a better description of the true personal spiritual experience that Pi had, since it is colored by his own background and experience growing up at the zoo in Pondicherry, and better captures the incredible nature of the experience.

Some will probably read my review as just a third version of events that is equally valid, but to focus on the physical events is to miss the entire meaning of this book: A meaningful religious experience requires a leap of faith. Pi's story is much less extraordinary than believing in or experiencing God.
Tina Alexander (08/04/03)

I recently read life of pi for my ap english summer reading assignment. At first I wasnt to happy about it, i really didnt wabt to read over the summer.But then the book turned out to be great. The only part i didnt get was the ending, which story was true:the one with the animals or the one with the humans?I was thinking the one with the humans because he thouhgt of the story really quickly, and it was detailed......well I was confused on that part....and when he started crying. I'd definitly read it again and recommend it to anyone.
Billie Zahurak (08/04/03)

A truly wonderful book...a must read. Martel's writing is beautiful and sad. I didn't want it to end.
RITA MORRIS BLUE STOCKINGS BOOK CLUB (07/29/03)

Blue Stockings Book Club (new members of Bookbrowse Forum): Please would readers of The Life of Pi give their opinions on the following themes for discussion?
Main Themes, Characters, Setting/Context, Tone/Point of View, Opening, Author, Does the reader learn something? (if it applies), Is the story believable, Ending
Star Rating:
* Below Average
** Average
*** Good (enjoyed the reading)
**** Very Good (would definitely recommend it)
***** Excellent (would like to read again)
Jason (07/28/03)

Excellent. This should be required reading
Jay Ess (06/23/03)

One of the few books I've read recently which did not disappoint in the least. I have read it cover to cover twice and plan to read it yet again. Beautiful writing, incredible humor. The story exists on so many levels that one reading does not do it justice.
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