“I think art comes from some sense of discomfort with the world, some sense of not quite fitting with it.”
― Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Title: Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Published: Mariner Books (May 1, 2003)
Pi’s father is a zookeeper who later closes it to move to Canada. On their way in a cargo ship the family is caught in a horrific storm and Pi finds himself on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, and an orangutan. Little does he know that their Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, is also on the boat. After the hyena attacks the other two animals, it gets killed and eaten by Richard. Now only Pi and Richard Parker remain on the boat.
The two survive the Pacific Ocean, each in his own territory. Pi cannot fully tame Richard but finds ways not to die in the vast ocean or at the teeth and claws of the tiger.
I watched the movie before reading the book. I’m biased – the book is always better. But just like the movie, the book made me laugh and cry. The sadness of a teenage boy who loses his family and is lost in this never-ending ocean with a wild animal that could feast on him. At the same time his interaction with the tiger is at times hilarious.
The story is a journey worth going on. It’s emotional, intense and a powerful portrayal of perseverance. There’s grief and fear, the possibility of death every day but also the powerful display of courage and instinct to survive. Life of PI is bold and gripping and well deserving of its Man Booker Prize.
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