Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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?

You can purchase Life of Pi on
Been meaning to read this novel for a quite sometime. And finally, was able to finished it before they release the movie.Obviously, from the title itself, this novel is about the life of Piscine Molitor Patel or simply "Pi" as what he wanted to be called (I wouldn't elaborate more why is that so, you have to read the book and discover it for yourself).  I was in awe when I started reading. It was far from ordinary. It tackles about life, faith, religion and zoology. Yes, you read that right. RELIGION and ZOOLOGY.The first part of the story started with Pi's childhood memories. When they were still living at Pondicherry. I was taken aback when I found myself smiling and imagining the things that Pi's were telling. With every detail, God, it felt real. I could picture myself wandering around the zoo. I feel like I could live with that place.  Living with different kinds of animals, how cool is that? Ha-ha!

Upon reading this, it made me understood or at least gave me a better insight of the other two religions that was mentioned here. (I once worked at the Middle East and made friends with Indians and Nepalese, that makes them Muslims and Hindus. What a coincidence, huh!? Actually I haven't got a problem with them. I respect their religion and beliefs. Its just that sometimes I really had a hard time figuring out what the heck they were talking about or what activities they had. And believe me it was a riot when they started talking about it). Pi's faith was tested in the second part. Thats when the unexpected happens. The turn of events had started. 

I love Pi's character. Amidst the danger that he's facing in the hands of his unlikeliest traveling companions, he finds ways of survival. He was able to surpass the playing out of the food chains. They say that in the throes of unremitting suffering, you should turn to God. That's exactly what Pi did. He kept his faith and his hopes alive. That in the end only him and Richard Parker left of the seafaring menagerie that lasted for 227 days.

What I love about this book is that it shows that nothing is impossible if you believe in God. Clearly, if you have that strong faith in Him, amidst the danger, eventually you will find yourself struggling to find ways to live. And when you feel that there's no hope, He will be there to push you through. He will not leave you nor forsake you. 

I strongly recommend this book to all the readers out there. No matter what religion you're in, you'll find this book amazing.

This book deserves a 

Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Yann Martel, the son of diplomats, was born in Spain in 1963. He grew up in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Alaska, and Canada and as an adult has spent time in Iran, Turkey, and India. After studying philosophy in college, he worked at various odd jobs until he began earning his living as a writer at the age of twenty-seven. He lives in Montreal.

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