Yann Martel

Yann Martel

John Ho

Life of Pi

By: Yann Martel

Rating: 1 Star

There are 3 parts to this book. The first part is Piscine Patel (main character) talking about his life as a zookeeper. His name is abbreviated to Pi because people tease him calling him Pissing. There is a political conflict in India, where Pi lives so Pi’s father decides to sell the zoo and relocate the family to Canada. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the cargo ship on which the family is traveling sinks. The second part is Pi is stuck on a boat with a female orangutan named Orange Juice, a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, and a tiger named Richard Parker. Pi tries to survive the wrath of the hyena and the tiger and with his knowledge of zoology, he survives. There is a storm and Pi becomes temporarily blind because of lack of nutrition. A Frenchman helps him but Richard Parker eats him up. Pi and Richard Parker land on a island and Richard Parker walks into the jungle, never heard of again. Then Pi is rescued by the Japanese and he asked about how the ship sank. He offers two stories and he tells these two stories to the Japanese government.

piI honestly did not enjoy this book at all. I thought there would be a thrilling adventure. The setting is set up for a exciting plot. Pi loses his parents and is on his own to survive a hyena, orangutuan, a tiger, and other animals on a small boat. However, the story is really dull and no action. If he was going to write the book like this, he should have written it at a faster place. The story was very stagnant and boring. He made the book too long for this kind of story. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anybody, unless you like books that are boring.

A common theme in this book is the will to live. This story is about struggling to survive although the chances of surviving are very slim. Pi has to give up his lifelong vegetarianism and eats fish to keep himself nourished. Orange Juice, the orangutan, fights to the end against the hyena. Even the severely wounded zebra battles to stay alive against the hyena. Also, the name Pi is also a mathematical figure which means 3.14 but it is actually a number no human can understand. I guess this can kind of relate to the character Pi, he is hard to understand and he has multiple personalities.

Yann Martel was born on June 25, 1963 in Salamanca, Spain. He has spent his childhood in many places, such as Costa Rica, France, Mexico, and Canada. He spent 13 years studying in India, visiting mosques, temples, churches, and zoos. His first work was published in 1993 after he wrote the story Seven Stories. His best known book is the Life of Pi, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2002.


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