Life outlet online sale of 2021 Pi sale

Life outlet online sale of 2021 Pi sale

Life outlet online sale of 2021 Pi sale
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Description

Product Description

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional--but is it more true?

From The New Yorker

An impassioned defense of zoos, a death-defying trans-Pacific sea adventure à la "Kon-Tiki," and a hilarious shaggy-dog story starring a four-hundred-and-fifty-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker: this audacious novel manages to be all of these as it tells the improbable survivor''s tale of Pi Patel, a young Indian fellow named for a swimming pool (his full first name is Piscine) who endures seven months in a lifeboat with only a hungry, outsized feline for company. This breezily aphoristic, unapologetically twee saga of man and cat is a convincing hands-on, how-to guide for dealing with what Pi calls, with typically understated brio, "major lifeboat pests."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Review

PRAISE FOR LIFE OF PI

" Life of Pi could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life."— The New York Times Book Review

"A story to make you believe in the soul-sustaining power of fiction."— Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A gripping adventure story . . . Laced with wit, spiced with terror, it''s a book by an extraordinary talent."— St. Paul Pioneer-Press

"A terrific book . . . Fresh, original, smart, devious, and crammed with absorbing lore."— Margaret Atwood

"An impassioned defense of zoos, a death-defying trans-Pacific sea adventure a la Kon-Tiki, and a hilarious shaggy-dog story . . . : This audacious novel manages to be all of these." — The New Yorker

"Readers familiar with Margaret Atwood, Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje and Carol Shields should learn to make room on the map of contemporary Canadian fiction for the formidable Yann Martel." — Chicago Tribune

From the Back Cover

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK of 2002

Pi Patel, a God-loving boy and the son of a zookeeper, has a fervent love of stories and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family and their zoo animals emigrate from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship. Alas, the ship sinks -- and Pi finds himself in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi. Can Pi and the tiger find their way to land? Can Pi''s fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they do?

"An impassioned defense of zoos, a death-defying trans-Pacific sea adventure a la Kon-Tiki, and hilarious . . . : This audacious novel manages to be all of these." -- The New Yorker

"Life of Pi could renew your faith in the ability of novelists to invest even the most outrageous scenario with plausible life." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Life of Pi is a real adventure: brutal, tender, expressive, dramatic, and disarmingly funny. . . . It''s difficult to stop reading when the pages run out." -- San Francisco Chronicle

Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963 of Canadian parents. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico and Canada, and has traveled extensively on his own. After studying philosophy at university, he worked variously as a dishwasher, tree planter and security guard. Then he began to write. When he''s not living somewhere else, he lives in Montreal.

About the Author

Yann Martel was born in Spain in 1963 of Canadian parents. Life of Pi won the 2002 Man Booker Prize and has been translated into more than forty languages. A #1 New York Times bestseller, it spent 104 weeks on the list and was adapted to the screen by Ang Lee. He is also the author of the novels Beatrice and Virgil and Self, the collection of stories The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, and a collection of letters to the prime minister of Canada, 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER 1

My suffering left me sad and gloomy.
Academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life. I have remained a faithful Hindu, Christian and Muslim. I decided to stay in Toronto. After one year of high school, I attended the University of Toronto and took a double-major Bachelor''s degree. My majors were religious studies and zoology. My fourth-year thesis for religious studies concerned certain aspects of the cosmogony theory of Isaac Luria, the great sixteenth-century Kabbalist from Safed. My zoology thesis was a functional analysis of the thyroid gland of the three-toed sloth. I chose the sloth because its demeanour-calm, quiet and introspective-did something to soothe my shattered self.
There are two-toed sloths and there are three-toed sloths, the case being determined by the forepaws of the animals, since all sloths have three claws on their hind paws. I had the great luck one summer of studying the three-toed sloth in situ in the equatorial jungles of Brazil. It is a highly intriguing creature. Its only real habit is indolence. It sleeps or rests on average twenty hours a day. Our team tested the sleep habits of five wild three-toed sloths by placing on their heads, in the early evening after they had fallen asleep, bright red plastic dishes filled with water. We found them still in place late the next morning, the water of the dishes swarming with insects. The sloth is at its busiest at sunset, using the word busy here in a most relaxed sense. It moves along the bough of a tree in its characteristic upside-down position at the speed of roughly 400 metres an hour. On the ground, it crawls to its next tree at the rate of 250 metres an hour, when motivated, which is 440 times slower than a motivated cheetah. Unmotivated, it covers four to five metres in an hour.
The three-toed sloth is not well informed about the outside world. On a scale of 2 to 10, where 2 represents unusual dullness and 10 extreme acuity, Beebe (1926) gave the sloth''s senses of taste, touch, sight and hearing a rating of 2, and its sense of smell a rating of 3. If you come upon a sleeping three-toed sloth in the wild, two or three nudges should suffice to awaken it; it will then look sleepily in every direction but yours. Why it should look about is uncertain since the sloth sees everything in a Magoo-like blur. As for hearing, the sloth is not so much deaf as uninterested in sound. Beebe reported that firing guns next to sleeping or feeding sloths elicited little reaction. And the sloth''s slightly better sense of smell should not be overestimated. They are said to be able to sniff and avoid decayed branches, but Bullock (1968) reported that sloths fall to the ground clinging to decayed branches "often".
How does it survive, you might ask.
Precisely by being so slow. Sleepiness and slothfulness keep it out of harm''s way, away from the notice of jaguars, ocelots, harpy eagles and anacondas. A sloth''s hairs shelter an algae that is brown during the dry season and green during the wet season, so the animal blends in with the surrounding moss and foliage and looks like a nest of white ants or of squirrels, or like nothing at all but part of a tree.
The three-toed sloth lives a peaceful, vegetarian life in perfect harmony with its environment. "A good-natured smile is forever on its lips," reported Tirler (1966). I have seen that smile with my own eyes. I am not one given to projecting human traits and emotions onto animals, but many a time during that month in Brazil, looking up at sloths in repose, I felt I was in the presence of upside-down yogis deep in meditation or hermits deep in prayer, wise beings whose intense imaginative lives were beyond the reach of my scientific probing.
Sometimes I got my majors mixed up. A number of my fellow religious-studies students-muddled agnostics who didn''t know which way was up, in the thrall of reason, that fool''s gold for the bright-reminded me of the three-toed sloth; and the three-toed sloth, such a beautiful example of the miracle of life, reminded me of God.
I never had problems with my fellow scientists. Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.
I was a very good student, if I may say so myself. I was tops at St. Michael''s College four years in a row. I got every possible student award from the Department of Zoology. If I got none from the Department of Religious Studies, it is simply because there are no student awards in this department (the rewards of religious study are not in mortal hands, we all know that). I would have received the Governor General''s Academic Medal, the University of Toronto''s highest undergraduate award, of which no small number of illustrious Canadians have been recipients, were it not for a beef-eating pink boy with a neck like a tree trunk and a temperament of unbearable good cheer.
I still smart a little at the slight. When you''ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling. My life is like a memento mori painting from European art: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly of human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at it and I say, "You''ve got the wrong fellow. You may not believe in life, but I don''t believe in death. Move on!" The skull snickers and moves ever closer, but that doesn''t surprise me. The reason death sticks so closely to life isn''t biological necessity-it''s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud. The pink boy also got the nod from the Rhodes Scholarship committee. I love him and I hope his time at Oxford was a rich experience. If Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, one day favours me bountifully, Oxford is fifth on the list of cities I would like to visit before I pass on, after Mecca, Varanasi, Jerusalem and Paris.
I have nothing to say of my working life, only that a tie is a noose, and inverted though it is, it will hang a man nonetheless if he''s not careful.
I love Canada. I miss the heat of India, the food, the house lizards on the walls, the musicals on the silver screen, the cows wandering the streets, the crows cawing, even the talk of cricket matches, but I love Canada. It is a great country much too cold for good sense, inhabited by compassionate, intelligent people with bad hairdos. Anyway, I have nothing to go home to in Pondicherry.

Richard Parker has stayed with me. I''ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. That pain is like an axe that chops at my heart.
The doctors and nurses at the hospital in Mexico were incredibly kind to me. And the patients, too. Victims of cancer or car accidents, once they heard my story, they hobbled and wheeled over to see me, they and their families, though none of them spoke English and I spoke no Spanish. They smiled at me, shook my hand, patted me on the head, left gifts of food and clothing on my bed. They moved me to uncontrollable fits of laughing and crying.
Within a couple of days I could stand, even make two, three steps, despite nausea, dizziness and general weakness. Blood tests revealed that I was anemic, and that my level of sodium was very high and my potassium low. My body retained fluids and my legs swelled up tremendously. I looked as if I had been grafted with a pair of elephant legs. My urine was a deep, dark yellow going on to brown. After a week or so, I could walk just about normally and I could wear shoes if I didn''t lace them up. My skin healed, though I still have scars on my shoulders and back.
The first time I turned a tap on, its noisy, wasteful, superabundant gush was such a shock that I became incoherent and my legs collapsed beneath me and I fainted in the arms of a nurse.
The first time I went to an Indian restaurant in Canada I used my fingers. The waiter looked at me critically and said, "Fresh off the boat, are you?" I blanched. My fingers, which a second before had been taste buds savouring the food a little ahead of my mouth, became dirty under his gaze. They froze like criminals caught in the act. I didn''t dare lick them. I wiped them guiltily on my napkin. He had no idea how deeply those words wounded me. They were like nails being driven into my flesh. I picked up the knife and fork. I had hardly ever used such instruments. My hands trembled. My sambar lost its taste.

Copyright © 2001 by Yann Martel

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and
retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work
should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department,
Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

www.HarcourtBooks.com

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4.4 out of 54.4 out of 5
12,849 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

dcitrow
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read it or See it!
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2017
I first saw the movie (excellent movie if you haven''t seen it) and because the movie was so good, I bought the book. I wanted more detail, which books always have. However, I wanted to add a warning. The second half of the book is very gruesome and can get a bit... See more
I first saw the movie (excellent movie if you haven''t seen it) and because the movie was so good, I bought the book. I wanted more detail, which books always have.
However, I wanted to add a warning. The second half of the book is very gruesome and can get a bit tedious with details, sometimes VERY GRUESOME and TEDIOUS with details! It is only the second book I have ever read that I prefer the movie to the book. It has the "heart" of the book without showing all the gore.
That said, I DO recommend the book. I sobbed, smiled and more. Just not for everyone. You''ll definitely remember it awhile after reading.
48 people found this helpful
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BriiShopsHere
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read for the journey, not for a thrill.
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2018
My first recommendation to a reader of Life of Pi is to read it with a highlighter. This book is best consumed for the quotes. I expect that I will be revisiting this books for the wise words gifted to me by Martel among his pages. That being said this book did... See more
My first recommendation to a reader of Life of Pi is to read it with a highlighter. This book is best consumed for the quotes. I expect that I will be revisiting this books for the wise words gifted to me by Martel among his pages.

That being said this book did not tickle my fancy. It may be because I am a lover of thrillers, and writing that thrusts you through the chapters. This is a book for those who love the journey and don''t care to rush to the end. It came repeatedly recommended in my searches for ''books with the best plot twists'', which is how it fell into my hands however what I assume was to be the plot twist was more of a bit of plot confusion. I''m still unsure of what really happened and what the real ending is.

I often found myself checking to see how many pages I had left, but admire Martel''s ability to come up with ways to keep the plot moving forward on 227 days stranded in the Pacific Ocean. An inspirational tale of survival, endurance, resilience and faith but one I would expect to read for a literature class and not voluntarily in my free time.
23 people found this helpful
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Raúl Omar Cereceda
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not (only) a tale about a boy in a boat with a tiger.
Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2016
When I came to the part in the book where Pi is a boat with a tiger and realized that still had many pages ahead, I thought: “well, this is going to be a boring kid in a boring boat with a boring tiger until he is either rescued or death”. I couldn’t have been more wrong.... See more
When I came to the part in the book where Pi is a boat with a tiger and realized that still had many pages ahead, I thought: “well, this is going to be a boring kid in a boring boat with a boring tiger until he is either rescued or death”. I couldn’t have been more wrong. To say that this novel tells the story of a boy in a boat with a tiger reduces into a lame survival plot all the effort the author makes for this book to convey a great deal of wisdom to the reader.

Yann Martell manages to tell the same man vs. nature themed story in a completely new fashion, loaded with questions about life and death, beliefs, family and spirituality. Survival stories remind us not only that life is worth living but that we can cling to the desire to live as long as we can find a reason to keep fighting, what if the reason to stay alive is life itself? Pi shows us that sometimes it is when we lose everything that we might find ourselves.

I’m hesitant to define this tale as a religious one yet it is deeply spiritual. Pi has a great heart and his soul (his mind, if you rather) craves for knowledge, both physical which is made clear by his interest in zoology and metaphysical which leads him to approach religion. Aristotle said that “All men by nature desire to know” and Pi’s desire to know is nothing else that this natural desire common to all humankind.

I believe that what makes Pi different from other boys (and men) is the fact that he is able to realise that both the physical and metaphysical knowledge are rooted in a common true. The spiritual search of Pi is not the search of someone trying to find a messiah, nor of someone looking for a new lifestyle; it is a pursue of a higher truth. That’s the reason why he can be a pious Hindu. And Muslim. And Catholic. Because he understands that both three religions convey a true message. “I told her that in fact she was not so wrong; that Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims”.

Martell gives you a novel with a powerful insight of a very smart and pious boy who clings to life while coexisting with a tiger in the middle of the sea. The words are overwhelming by the deep meaning they convey and at the same time beautifully used to describe an imposing scenario.

This is a book totally worth reading, I totally enjoyed it from beginning to end, loved the characters, yes, it might be a little slow at first and the time spent in the sea to long, but it’s definitely worth it.
58 people found this helpful
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edselone
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
2nnd Reading
Reviewed in the United States on July 12, 2020
I read this book when it first came out. I thoroughly ejoyed it then and recommended to quite a few friends. A couple of days ago, I downloaded it on my pad. All I can say is WOW. I remembered this book being a powerful story, that stays with you long after the last word.... See more
I read this book when it first came out. I thoroughly ejoyed it then and recommended to quite a few friends. A couple of days ago, I downloaded it on my pad. All I can say is WOW. I remembered this book being a powerful story, that stays with you long after the last word. In this, my second reading and almost 20 years later, I am taken aback at how well this book is written. Not only are you reading of Pi'' s "adventure" you feel it in your bones, in your heart. It is heartwrenching and triumphant in places, both investing you in this boy''s life. What a story!

Mr. Martel takes you by the hand and walks you through Pi''s life. Pi''s nativity is his charm, his openness to life at times his curse. You feel his joy at the zoo, you feel his shame in "pissing", his curiosity regarding God, just his general sweetness. What a pleasant story you think, then he and his family board the ship taking them to Canada. And his life takes an almost mystical turn. No spoilers here as all this is on the book''s cover - he finds himself in a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, and a Bengal Tiger. He ''s been transported into a life that is foreign, dangerous, and very, very lonely. Pi''s quiet despair at his hopeless situation and his insuing fight for survival is incredible. This is an amazing story and well worth the read!
4 people found this helpful
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Lily
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Pro Animal Abuse arguments
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2020
Loved the movie so I thought I’d read the book which I’ve known about since I was young. All was going well until the book gets to the part where the author argues that animals deserve to be caged in zoos and that they even prefer living that way instead of in their natural... See more
Loved the movie so I thought I’d read the book which I’ve known about since I was young. All was going well until the book gets to the part where the author argues that animals deserve to be caged in zoos and that they even prefer living that way instead of in their natural habitats, because who wouldn’t love being caged for life (his argument is that since we feed the animals, they’re forever grateful and ecstatic about living in a cage). It is such an archaic, arrogant view of wildlife and an unnecessary assertion of our “superiority” over another sentient being’s intellect. This goes on for pages and pages in the book. How can you pretend to know what an animal prefers when it comes to their entire existence? This book may not have received criticism for this back when it was first written because people advocating for animal rights was not as strongly present as it is now, but now is a shameful view of what the author “knows best” for animals who “prefer” to be pulled from the wild to live in cages for the remainder of their miserable lives. Needless to say I had to stop reading this ridiculous book. Thankfully this section of the book didn’t make it into the movie which paints such a different message about animals.
5 people found this helpful
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Heather
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Slow Start, Great Ending!
Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2017
The first part of this book was a little difficult to get through. I will admit that at several points I was checking to see how far into the book I was and hoping it would just finish already. However, that''s not to say that there were not several points which made me... See more
The first part of this book was a little difficult to get through. I will admit that at several points I was checking to see how far into the book I was and hoping it would just finish already. However, that''s not to say that there were not several points which made me smile. I unquestionably enjoyed this author''s writing style. I am not a religious person, however, I did find Pi''s religious activities very enduring and thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. Once Pi and Richard Parker were on the boat I felt as though this book picked up quiet a bit. The ending of this book absolutely made this a gem for me. I will not give anything away, but I''m very glad that I finished it and even purchased and watched the movie right after finishing the book just for fun with my husband (who has not read the book). We have now nicknamed our ginger cat Richard Parker.
14 people found this helpful
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Du Nguyen
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Overall a great read, and be sure to catch the movie ...
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2017
Life of Pi by Yann Martel is about an Indian boy, Pi, who gets shipwrecked with a tiger. Of course there''s more to it than that. Life of Pi takes place in 1970''s India where we get the story of Pi growing up in a zoo. The book continues with Pi ending in a shipwreck... See more
Life of Pi by Yann Martel is about an Indian boy, Pi, who gets shipwrecked with a tiger. Of course there''s more to it than that.
Life of Pi takes place in 1970''s India where we get the story of Pi growing up in a zoo. The book continues with Pi ending in a shipwreck and having to share a lifeboat with a tiger.
The way Martel tells the story is very interesting. There''s the parallel story of Martel himself going to visit an older Pi who tells the story that we are now reading. There''s the occasional zoology lesson interspersed and an examination of faith. All this combined with the brutality of surviving in the Pacific Ocean. All of this is told through Pi, through Martel, through Pi which makes it quite a third hand telling.
The ending is however genius as it completely flips the story on its head and you might have a revelation from it.

Overall a great read, and be sure to catch the movie as well!
12 people found this helpful
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whit893
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Ok read with extra fluff
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2017
I''ve been meaning to read this book for a long time, and maybe the build-up is why it was such a let down. The story was interesting but it took a long time to get there. The first 20 pages and the last 20 pages were unnecessary in my opinion. It seemed like the author... See more
I''ve been meaning to read this book for a long time, and maybe the build-up is why it was such a let down. The story was interesting but it took a long time to get there. The first 20 pages and the last 20 pages were unnecessary in my opinion. It seemed like the author needed to make a quota so he added in fluff that didn''t need to be there.

The style that the story was told was peculiar as well, the words didn''t seem to flow, seems like the book was poorly translated. Overall easy read, I think I was expecting a lot from this book and I''m disappointed it didn''t meet my expectations.
8 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

A. Nichol
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Starts well, ends well, but with a few damp patches
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2015
I read this off the back of Clancy, and so the contrast couldn''t have been more stark. Too many books I''ve come across lately lack any emotional or philosophical depth, so it was lovely to read something so whimsical and heart-felt. The story is incredibly simple - a boy...See more
I read this off the back of Clancy, and so the contrast couldn''t have been more stark. Too many books I''ve come across lately lack any emotional or philosophical depth, so it was lovely to read something so whimsical and heart-felt. The story is incredibly simple - a boy survives a ship wreck and finds himself on a lifeboat with a bengal tiger - which leaves a LOT of room for emotional and philosophical exploration. Probably too much room. It opens wonderfully, painting an imaginative and technicolour picture of Pi''s life and family that draws you into his world. Sadly, any momentum is then lost in the following tedious exploration of religious context spanning many, many chapters. So the boy worships many gods; a funny joke told too many times, before the punchline is explained in excruciating detail. Once castaway, the story picks up again. The first half of this adventure is packed with variety and answers to those "what if" questions that naturally spring to mind. After a while, though, it just gets boring. I started looking at the progress bar at the bottom of my kindle, willing it to come to an end. I had mixed feelings about the ending. While I was reading it, I was cursing Martel for dragging it out needlessly. But by the time I''d finished it, I totally understood why he had to. Ultimately, there are some damp patches throughout, but it starts well and ends well, with a few really nice set-pieces in between. It also leaves you with some great "what do you think really happened" discussion material when it''s all over.
3 people found this helpful
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Dyl
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A great story beautifully written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2013
I only bought this book because it was 20p and was supposed to be good. I really wasn''t expecting to like it much. The fact that it had won awards planted a thought in my head that it was going to be a load of arty farty gibberish, that was too clever and fancy for the...See more
I only bought this book because it was 20p and was supposed to be good. I really wasn''t expecting to like it much. The fact that it had won awards planted a thought in my head that it was going to be a load of arty farty gibberish, that was too clever and fancy for the average person to enjoy. However, if that turned out to be the case then I had only lost 20p and a small amount of time. Then I started reading it. My opinion was slowly changed over the first few chapters. This book is beautifully written without being pretentious. The author describes scenes and events in a way that makes them easy to imagine and worth picturing in your mind as though you were there. Often a film will outdo a book on the fact that it can show beautiful scenery that can''t easily be described in words. If that is the case here then I can''t wait to see the film because to outdo the imagery possible from this book it will need to be spectacular. The first third of the book builds up the character of Piscine (Pi) and often goes into details of religion. It never goes so far as to preach in any way though. It doesn''t say that any one religion is, overall, better than any other. It is even funny when an argument breaks out regarding the subject. I am atheist but I am also fascinated by religion so maybe that was why I didn''t find this section of the story boring. I can, however, see why some people would and would only urge them to persevere because the book picks up considerably afterwards. The idea of a boy being stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger and a few other animals sounds ridiculous. That someone could write a book based on this event and make it interesting is almost unbelievable. How can you write so much about such a small group of characters trapped in a miniscule almost featureless setting and keep people from falling asleep? I had wondered whether all of the animals would start talking because I went into this book with no idea of how the characters interacted with each other. The answer again lies in the authors ability to describe everything so amazingly well. Whether it is about the confines and yet territorially broken up small boat, the vast emptiness of the ocean, the beauty and terror of the weather, the despair of being alone, the elation of discovering a way to continue surviving, or the fear of, and respect for, a 450 pound tiger, it is stunningly written. Different people will interpret the words in different ways too. Some will read it is an adventure with a bit of survival ingenuity thrown in; some might read it as a kind of spiritual journey giving events a religious meaning; others could interpret it as a view of life itself. The way it is written means that there will be different parts where readers suddenly think, "Ahhhh! So that''s what the author is trying to say." I personally had my moment of realisation, (I won''t say at what point), and saw it as an interpretation of life. Everyone has there own little area in a vast world, with their own hopes and fears, their own limited provisions, their own moments of suddenly working out how to do something, their own loneliness and their own dark times and light times. You may read it and find some other explanation. That is what this book does. It leaves you to make up your mind, and it does it not out of laziness. Some readers have been disappointed by the ending. I thought it was great. In one respect it answered everything and yet, in another respect, left me wondering about whether it was a definite answer or not. Life of Pi falls into a small group of things that are surprising in their brilliance. The film "Buried" is another, where the director managed to make ninety minutes of a man in a buried coffin with just a lighter and a phone compulsive viewing. Another film, "Lebanon", is similar. The entire film is viewed from the confines of a tank with its four occupants trying to get away from trouble after taking a wrong turn. In a similar, but also unique way, Life of Pi also turns a cramped scene into a fantastic story. Those who read this book will remember it for a long time afterwards. It has certainly gone down as one of the greatest books I have ever read. Stunning! The best 20p I am ever likely to spend.
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Janie U
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautifully written, deep and spiritual
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 20, 2014
I bought this book when it won the Booker prize years ago but never really got past the first few pages. I then saw the film when it was released and tried to read the book again straight afterwards but the images were too strong in my head so yet again it didn''t work. I...See more
I bought this book when it won the Booker prize years ago but never really got past the first few pages. I then saw the film when it was released and tried to read the book again straight afterwards but the images were too strong in my head so yet again it didn''t work. I tried again now and am so pleased I did. The book starts with an "authors note" which places the mood and source of the story. Plenty of seeds are sown here and the spiritual setting is created. Throughout the book we hear more from the author as he gets to find out Pi''s story. Scene setting dominates the first third of the book and Pi is established, then the boat sinks and the story simply starts to fly. I savoured this book, the writing is beautiful and seems to demand that you read it slowly, taking in every word. Pi had an endless amount of time at sea and wants the reader to understand that the progress of time means nothing compared to the compulsion to survive. Even having seen the film and having fairly high expectations, I was blown away by the relationship between boy and tiger with its simplicity and complexity on many different levels. We know that Pi survives from the beginning of the book which gives a calm to our experience of his journey and I somehow wanted his progression (physically and spiritually) to continue forever. The book is full of wonderful quotes but one of my favourites is " Fiction is the selective transforming of reality" - somehow seems to sum up this book wonderfully.
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Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A film to be remembered forever.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2020
I had been avoiding this movie for a few years due to a lack of interest. How foolish I was. Life of Pi is an extraordinary 3D adventure. It is a film I will forever remember. With astonishing visual effects, showing what it means to be human, and a remarkable storyline...See more
I had been avoiding this movie for a few years due to a lack of interest. How foolish I was. Life of Pi is an extraordinary 3D adventure. It is a film I will forever remember. With astonishing visual effects, showing what it means to be human, and a remarkable storyline between the two central characters, Life of Pi is unquestionably a great film. I fully recommend this film for it is so much more than a film. It is an experience.
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Hodgeheg
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautifully written, but perhaps I am not ''spiritual'' enough to see the messages some seem to see?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2013
This is a beautiful book. I was captured for 2 days on a boat with a tiger with Pi; the writing gave me that fuzzy feel I get with books which are clearly surreal, but so lovely you believe them anyway. So, I enjoyed the process of reading the book, and thoroughly recommend...See more
This is a beautiful book. I was captured for 2 days on a boat with a tiger with Pi; the writing gave me that fuzzy feel I get with books which are clearly surreal, but so lovely you believe them anyway. So, I enjoyed the process of reading the book, and thoroughly recommend it. And without the hype surrounding this book, that would be that with this review. However, a few things genuinely puzzle me. I finished this book smiling but entirely unsure what the message was supposed to be. Is his argument for believing in god entirely based on the premise that everything is nicer and fuzzier if you believe in something, irrelevant of whether it is true? That doesn''t strike me as particularly profound, even with the excellent example this story is for that idea. Yes, it is much nicer and fuzzier to imagine a story of animals on a boat rather than people dying horrible deaths, but that does nothing to make the people dying horrible deaths not true. That is basically an ''ignorance is bliss'' argument, which is fine, but can you actively choose to be ignorant? Confusing. I also felt a bit uncomfortable with the constant assertions that animals are better off in zoos, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion... So, enjoyable read, but it hasn''t made me believe in god. Or even really understood why it should have made me believe in god.
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