Friday, 25 March 2011

Life of Pi by Yann Martel Book Review

My sister lent me this book after she read it as she thought it was really good. Written by Yann Martel, Life of Pi is an imaginative fictional story of a boy shipwrecked on a lifeboat with a tiger, which won a Man Booker Prize.

Written in three parts and in one hundred chapters, the story begins with a comprehensive introduction of Piscine Patel (nicknamed Pi), his family, his zoo and his religion. Following a tragic wrecking of the cargo ship him and his family was on, on their move to Canada, Pi finds himself stranded on a lifeboat, his only companions being a Bengal Tiger, a chimpanzee, a zebra and a hyena. 

The story creates fantastical relationships between the creatures which is immensely original and fascinating. The intrique of the animal interactions last through a majority of the book, the multitude of which really surprises you and just when you think all the possibilities are exhausted, there's more!

The first part of the book was rather dull (but informative), whilst the second part is exciting and really intriguing. I wished they'd started with the second part as that is truly gripping. I nearly gave up with the beginning but only managed to get through it after being spurred on by my sister. Had they done that, they could have inserted segments of the first part during his shipwreck days, his dreams and his euphoria.

Despite the slow start, the book is well structured and many themes are explored, such as animal-animal relationships, niches and animal psychology, along with subtle religious themes and finally the way we see our world and our appreciation of life, truth and fascination.

Whilst what happens to Pi he reveals early on, the way in which it happens and the things he does in order to survive is shocking- the extremely detailed descriptions of cannabalism and brutality does repulse, showing just how desperate he was.

The ending explores our imagination and how we see the world around us. I like that it draws the focus away from the events of the shipwreck and centre on the themes and messages. In this way, the book is laid out with a clear aim and purpose, which doesn't fail to entertain.

This book is extremely fantastical and you would never expect to read and be so fascinated about animal behaviour, yet so believable. Despite the dull beginning (which you will want to read again after the whole book), the second part truly captivates unlike any other novel, making it a must read. 

Plus, they are making a movie adaptation of the novel, so best get to reading this before it is released!


  1. You have a really nice review =) did you know that it will be in 3D adventure film? Something to look forward to either ways. Here's my review by the way:

    Have a nice day! :)

  2. thanks for sharing.


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