What readers think of Life of Pi, plus links to write your own review.

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Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

Life of Pi by Yann Martel X
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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  • First Published:
    May 2002, 336 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2003, 336 pages

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There are currently 82 reader reviews for Life of Pi
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AshNicole

Life of Pi
I think this book is absolutely amazing! The way Piscine Molitor Patel teaches you to believe in yourslef as well as God to survive struck me. It taught me not to fear and that everything would be alright!! I would recommend this book to ANYONE without a doubt!
Kt

I am only 12, yet I loved this book! It is full of fact combined with with fiction which makes it an interesting novel. Everyone I know has really enjoyed it! Don't be put off by the slow introduction, it really gets going into a powerful and emotional fest! I would definitly reccomend it and if you don't like it, re-consider, read it again, one way or another you will enjoy it!
ug8

i am 16. i would like to contradict anyone who appears to think Life of Pi is a simple children's story. While on the surface the book may seem to be as such, the book is actually a much deeper book with tonnes of metaphors, symbolism and philosophy. A more mature reader would be able to understand the hidden layers of meaning in the story and truly enjoy the story as a whole.
Troy

A beautifully written book that certainly succeeds as the book "with a never ending story" so desired by Pi during his ordeal; one he "could read again and again, with new eyes and a fresh understanding each time". As a spiritual being, I view this novel as food for the soul. It vividly describes the human condition as physical beings and more importantly as spiritual beings.
Obviously, I am a believer. This story, however, delivers insights to the atheist and the agnostic just as powerfully as it gives nourishment to those who believe in God. I have read many of the reviews here and find points of agreement with most of them though I have little patience with those who so obviously missed the manifold pearls of wisdom so wonderfully strewn throughout this tale.
Yann Martel displays his true genius as a writer by constructing this epic in such a way that both stories are equally credible. Some of the reviews favor one story over the other while a select few recognize that both stories are true. Two seperate realities coexist throughout this book though the physical reality is not openly revealed until part three. I feel this is the Great truth Martel seeks to convey, namely the way we give rationality to our existence through the seemingly irrational. This is truly a story from which you may take whatever you desire.
Elton

The island is meant to symbolise the leap of faith that you have to take in order to get "the better story." It is a mirage shimmering just on the edge of what we are willing to believe and the investigators disbelief regarding the island shows our distancing from things beyond our experience, which is what being an agnostic is all about.
I like the idea that it should also be a symbol of organized religion that corrupts your soul and diverts your mind from the real principles of the religion - like love to God.
As I see it, the animals are there to represent different aspects of a human. Orange Juice is the maternal instinct, The hyena is our cowardly side and Richard Parker is our animal side/ will to live no matter what. Pi's struggle against Richard could be seen as Pi being unwilling to accept his animal side and he plans to push him in the ocean (the subconsciousness?). As humans we aspire to really high things but we're rooted in our animal condition.
I don't think it's important which story that's true. There told to show that by living in reality we interpret it, and the differences in our interpretations are just caused by our different beliefs. Pi interprets his journey through religion and gets a fantastic story, while trying to understand reality through cold facts will rob you of "the better story."
Rhonwyn

Hi, I've never posted on this board before, but I found the discussion really interesting and just wanted to give my interpretation. Please bear in mind that it is only my interpretation and that I do not believe it is absolutely correct - one of the best things about the book is that it is so open.

I didn't think the question of which story was correct was important at all - after all, both are fictional - so we can see both as correct. I was fascinated by the idea that the tiger represented the "other side" of Pi, the side that is violent and self-serving, but that is unfortunately necessary for survival. I thought the book was saying that normally this part of us is dormant, but that in extreme situations - Pi on the lifeboat, it appears. All the detail of Pi trying to dominate Richard Parker represents our struggle against this.

I heard on another forum that someone thought Orange Juice/Pi's mother represented Hinduism, the zebra/sailor with the broken leg Christianity, and the hyena/cook Islam. This makes some sense, particularly the cook using parts of the sailor as bait - Islam does use elements of Christianity - but I don't really like this interpretation, because it portrays Islam as evil, which was not Martel's intention.

Someone also said that they thought the island represented Islam. it is green, and Pi says it is the colour of Islam. The meerkats all face the same way, like Muslims facing Mecca to pray. They are described as "meek", and meekness and submission before God is one of the ideals of Islam. The island being carnivorous and Pi's remarks about how staying would have destroyed his soul might portray Islam as a relgion that closes your eyes, makes you accept life as it is, and stop thinking for yourself. This might seem quite Islamophobic but I believe that people must have a right to criticise doctrines and religions.

I'm really curious what other people think the island was meant to symbollise...
Bill

Life of Pi was strange. I found myself going back and rereading sections because I couldn't beleive what I thought I had just read. Martel put so many twists that Pi is not a casual read. But the humor just under the surface make it that. I recommend it, it was very enjoyable.
Limor

One of the best books ever! A must read! Good for all ages. Laughter, tears and survival... at it's highest and deepest moments. Sad, the book had to end :o(

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