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Amazon Price: £4.08 (as of August 19, 2018 1:39 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Also available on amazon.com for £3.49 (as of August 3, 2018 12:28 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Some books defy categorisation: Life of Pi, the second novel from Canadian writer Yann Martel, is a case in point: just about the only thing you can say for certain about it is that it is fiercely and admirably unique. The plot, if that’s the right word, concerns the oceanic wanderings of a lost boy, the young and eager Piscine Patel of the title (Pi). After a colourful and loving upbringing in gorgeously-hued India, the Muslim-Christian-animistic Pi sets off for a fresh start in Canada. His blissful voyage is rudely interrupted when his boat is scuppered halfway across the Pacific, and he is forced to rough it in a lifeboat with a hyena, a monkey, a whingeing zebra and a tiger called Richard. That would be bad enough, but from here on things get weirder: the animals start slaughtering each other in a veritable frenzy of allegorical bloodlust, until Richard the tiger and Pi are left alone to wander the wastes of ocean, with plenty of time to ponder their fate, the cruelty of the gods, the best way to handle storms and the various different recipes for oothappam, scrapple and coconut yam kootu. The denouement is pleasantly neat. According to the blurb, thirtysomething Yann Martel spent long years in Alaska, India, Mexico, France, Costa Rica, Turkey and Iran, before settling in Canada. All those cultures and more have been poured into this spicy, vivacious, kinetic and very entertaining fiction. –Sean Thomas

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2199 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books (9 May 2002)
  • Sold by:  Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9UBS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Customer Reviews

Starts well, ends well, but with a few damp patches

 on 15 September 2015
By A. Nichol
I read this off the back of Clancy, and so the contrast couldn’t have been more stark.

Beautifully written, deep and spiritual

 on 20 May 2014
By Janie U
I bought this book when it won the Booker prize years ago but never really got past the first few pages. I then saw the film when it was released and tried to read the book again straight afterwards but the images were too strong in my head so yet again it didn’t work. I tried again now and am so pleased I did.

A great story beautifully written

 on 28 January 2013
By Dyl
I only bought this book because it was 20p and was supposed to be good. I really wasn’t expecting to like it much. The fact that it had won awards planted a thought in my head that it was going to be a load of arty farty gibberish, that was too clever and fancy for the average person to enjoy. However, if that turned out to be the case then I had only lost 20p and a small amount of time.

A Tasty Slice of Pi

 on 26 August 2014
By Ray Chapman
Despite the extraordinary premise of this story, starting as it does with young Pi trapped on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orang-utan and a bedraggled, seasick tiger, it’s not something I read as an allegory or mystical fable. What kept me turning page after page, virtually unable to put the thing down, was the immediacy and intimacy of the story telling, drawing me in to the characters and the adventure right from the outset.

Hard to start, and not fast paced, but well written

 on 24 July 2013
By Roger Cave
I suppose, as my tag line states, the book is something a number of people may find hard going.

Wonderful book – thought provoking and very readable

 on 4 January 2013
By John Tierney
This is one of the best books I have read this century. The story of Pi (Piscine Molinar Patel) who grows up in a zoo in India, but gets stranded in the Pacific on a rowing boat with only a tiger and (temporarily at least) some other animals for company, it’s extremely well written. Although not the opening line, I think “I was named after a swimming pool” could have been a great first line and the first 100 or so pages cover Pi’s childhood, his experimentation with following 3 religions at the same time and his life in the zoo leading to his families emigration to Canada via the Pacific.

A quite extraordinary story that will get you thinking

 on 31 December 2012
By Sally Walker
A quite extraordinary story, which if the author’s note at the beginning of the book is true, is a true story. Which makes it even more extraordinary. The author plays with his readers at the end by introducing a similar story but with the characters played by humans and not animals. The way this is done is extremely clever and serves the purpose of making the reader question even more the veracity of the story.

Beautifully written, but perhaps I am not ‘spiritual’ enough to see the messages some seem to see?

 on 24 March 2013
By Hodgeheg
This is a beautiful book. I was captured for 2 days on a boat with a tiger with Pi; the writing gave me that fuzzy feel I get with books which are clearly surreal, but so lovely you believe them anyway. So, I enjoyed the process of reading the book, and thoroughly recommend it. And without the hype surrounding this book, that would be that with this review.

An unusual story of survival and full of imaginative and convincing writing

 on 26 September 2014
By Martin Grundy
This is the best of a handful of Man Booker prize winners that I have read recently. I do not give it five stars because a) it has a little too much religious content for my taste and b) it has an ambiguous ending. Both possible endings are good, but I prefer to be told which one is the true ending instead of having to decide for myself.

Deeply moving but…

 on 22 December 2012
By S. Ahmad
‘Tyger, Tyger, burning bright, in the forests of the night…Did He who made the Lamb make thee?’ In a word, yes. And in this strange book, Yann Martel beautifully gives life to William Blake’s words of 200 years ago, subtly stressing the unity and inter-dependence of all life on Mother Earth, and that we are ‘all in the same boat’ Writing in a simple, matter of fact way – the very simplicity of his language seems to enhance the profondity of his subject matter – he depicts the workaday life we lead with all its practical aspects (whether it’s on land in India or in the middle of the Pacific Ocean), but also, underlying that, the fact that the natural world around us (and in particular the animals who surrounded Pi as a child in India) are utterly dependant on man’s benevolence: nay, more than that – man’s love and compassion.
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