Life of Pi
By Yann Martel
Life of Pi by Yann Martel is an adventure, fantasy book that has won The Man Booker Prize. The story begins by exploring the daily life of a 16 year old religious boy named Piscine Patel. His mother, father, and brother Rahi accompany him as the family leaves behind his father’s zoo in Pondicherry, India. They set off to Canada in a Japanese cargo ship called the Tsimtsum bringing with them zoo animals to sell in North America. However, the sturdy boat starts sinking after violent waves crash against the boat during a thunderous storm. Pi is now floating in the middle of the Pacific with the final survivors, a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena, and a tiger. As the days progress, the animals slowly die off until Pi is left alone with “Richard Parker” the 450-pound Bengal Tiger. In order to survive, he resorts to taking desperate measures in order to keep peace between him and the tiger.
The author’s inspiration came from his trip to India where he experienced the many animals and religions found in the story of Pi. As the adventure unfolds, the underlying theme of survival is shown by how Pi’s strong will to live intensified. Despite being a vegetarian and a religious Hindu, Pi subsisted on meat to subdue his hunger. Yann Martel shows throughout the book that we think of our necessities differently in certain environments. If we were stranded at sea, we would not take basic needs for granted. Life of Pi is an engaging book that captivates your imagination and allows you to experience the pain and worries along side Pi. The creative and descriptive writing kept me intrigued every time I opened the book. Although the beginning of the story started out uneventful, it became more suspenseful as the story progressed. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes an exceptional adventure book and does not mind a bit of gore.