Life of Pi, written by the Canadian author Yann Martel and first published in 2001 is a Man Booker Prize winning novel along with being a winner of the Asian American Prize for Literature. It tells the story of a young boy named Pi who spends 227 days out on sea on a small raft with a group of animals after their ship sinks and is a tale of his journey towards survival.
Life of Pi is the story of Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel, a boy who follows three religions of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity and who lives in India where his father owns a zoo in the city of Pondicherry. After a brief stay in India, the Patel family decide to close their zoo and move to Canada due to the political turmoil in India.
However, due to bad weather, the ship carrying the family along with the zoo animals begins to leak water and ultimately sinks. Pi along with an orangutan, an injured zebra, a hyena and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker are the only survivors who take shelter on a small lifeboat.
A few days into the journey, the hyena kills and eats the injured zebra and then the orangutan. The tiger, Richard Parker, in turn kills the hyena and so Pi is left alone on the boat with a hungry tiger. In order to stay alive, Pi soon establishes himself as the alpha male of the group so that the tiger does not harm him. He, in turn, begins to fish and feed the two of them since he, too, doesn’t want to be alone on the boat for fear of going mad.
Life of Pi begins its last phase when Pi’s lifeboat washes up on the coast of Mexico after a nightmarish 227 days where the tiger, Richard Parker, escapes into a nearby forest. Pi then comes up with another story involving his mother, a sailor and a murderous cook instead of the animals because the authorities refuse to believe his original story.
However, the authorities prefer listening to the first story even though they do not believe in it, leaving Pi to end with a remark saying that it is the same way with God – those who do not believe in him miss out on something in life!
A must read book, Life of Pi is for all those book lovers who like a story that takes its time to build up. Although available at all leading shops, it is much better to purchase it online where one can get a great discount on it.