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Book Information: Life of Pi

Life of Pi (2001) [Novel]
by Yann Martel Rating: No votes (Rate!)
Reviews: 1 (show them) Review!

Summary (From the publisher):

Life of Pi is a masterful and utterly original novel that is at once the story of a young castaway who faces immeasurable hardships on the high seas, and a meditation on religion, faith, art and life that is as witty as it is profound. Using the threads of all of our best stories, Yann Martel has woven a glorious spiritual adventure that makes us question what it means to be alive, and to believe.

Growing up in Pondicherry, India, Piscine Molitor Patel -- known as Pi -- has a rich life. Bookish by nature, young Pi acquires a broad knowledge of not only the great religious texts but of all literature, and has a great curiosity about how the world works. His family runs the local zoo, and he spends many of his days among goats, hippos, swans, and bears, developing his own theories about the nature of animals and how human nature conforms to it. Piís family life is quite happy, even though his brother picks on him and his parents arenít quite sure how to accept his decision to simultaneously embrace and practise three religions -- Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.

But despite the lush and nurturing variety of Piís world, there are broad political changes afoot in India, and when Pi is sixteen his parents decide that the family needs to escape to a better life. Choosing to move to Canada, they close the zoo, pack their belongings, and board a Japanese cargo ship called the Tsimtsum. Travelling with them are many of their animals, bound for zoos in North America. However, they have only just begun their journey when the ship sinks, taking the dreams of the Patel family down with it. Only Pi survives, cast adrift in a lifeboat with the unlikeliest of travelling companions: a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Thus begins Pi Patelís epic, 227-day voyage across the Pacific, and the powerful story of faith and survival at the heart of Life of Pi. Worn and scared, oscillating between hope and despair, Pi is witness to the playing out of the food chain, quite aware of his new position within it. When only the tiger is left of the seafaring menagerie, Pi realizes that his survival depends on his ability to assert his own will, and sets upon a grand and ordered scheme to keep from being Richard Parkerís next meal.

As the days pass, Pi fights both boredom and terror by throwing himself into the practical details of surviving on the open sea -- catching fish, collecting rain water, protecting himself from the sun -- all the while ensuring that the tiger is also kept alive, and knows that Pi is the key to his survival. The castaways face gruelling pain in their brushes with starvation, illness, and the storms that lash the small boat, but there is also the solace of beauty: the rainbow hues of a doradoís death-throes, the peaceful eye of a looming whale, the shimmering blues of the oceanís swells. Hope is fleeting, however, and despite adapting his religious practices to his daily routine, Pi feels the constant, pressing weight of despair. It is during the most hopeless and gruelling days of his voyage that Pi whittles to the core of his beliefs, casts off his own assumptions, and faces his underlying terrors head-on.

Original title: Life of Pi
Original languages: English

Quotes:

Genre: FictionReligiousVisionary & Inspirational
FictionGeneral FictionLiterary Fiction/classics

Edition #1: Life of Pi

Life of Pi (2007)
Edition Details (From the publisher):

In October 2005 a worldwide competition was launched to find an artist to illustrate Yann Martelís international bestseller. Media partners included The Globe and Mail in Canada, The Times in the UK and The Age in Australia, with an international panel of judges that included Canadians Martin Levin, Books Editor of The Globe and Mail, Executive Publisher Louise Dennys and Random House of Canada Creative Director C.S. Richardson. From thousands of entries, Croatian artist Tomislav Torjanac was chosen as the illustrator for this new edition of Life of Pi.

Language: English

Edition: Illustrated Edition

Illustrated by: Tomislav Torjanac
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Manifested in:

Life of Pi (2007)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: Toronto
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN: 9780676978995
Pages: 315

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Edition #2: Life of Pi

Life of Pi (2001)
Awards: The Man Booker Prize (2002), Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction (2001)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Blurbs:
  • "In its subject and its style, this enormously, loveable novel is suffused with wonder...this is fiction probing the imaginative realm with scientific exactitude, twisting reality to 'bring out its essence'" Guardian
  • "Life of Pi is black magic and reality, a subtle and sophisticated fable about belief in its many guises...Booker judges capable of appreciating an imagination in full flight need look no further" Irish Times
  • "Life of Pi is an hilarious novel, full of clever tricks, amusing asides and grand originality. Its subtext exists in that delightful area between the possible and the fantastical." Daily Telegraph
  • "Absurd, macabre, unreliable and sad, deeply sensual in its evoking of smells and sights, the whole trip and the narrator's insanely curious voice (which evokes an intellectual humming-bird compelled to sip deep from every possible blossom) suggests Joseph Conrad and Salman Rushdie hallucinating together over the meaning of The Old Man and the Sea and Gulliver's Travels." Financial Times
  • "It is a story so magical, so playful, so harrowing and astonishing that it will make you believe imagination might be the first step (to believing in God)...Every page offers something of tension, humanity, surprise, or even ecstasy." The Times
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Manifested in:

Life of Pi (2002)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: Toronto
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 9780676973778
Pages: 356

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Life of Pi (June 2002)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: New York
Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.
ISBN: 9780151008117
Dimensions: 6.1 x 9 x 0.8 in
Pages: 319

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Life of Pi (2001)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: Toronto
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN: 9780676973761
Pages: 352

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