Book Review : Life of Pi


Yesterday, I have completed, Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2002 and written by Yann Martel, Life of Pi. The protagonist Piscine Molitor Patel, “Pi” Patel , an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. After a shipwreck, He survives 227 days in Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger.

This Novel is divided in 3 parts in terms of storyline.
[Part 1]:
Piscine Molitor Patel (“Pi”) , Child of Zoo Owner, was named after a swimming pool in paris. He changes his name to Pi when he began to attend secondary school, because he was tired of being mistakenly called “Pissing Patel”.

Pi was born a Hindu, but as the 14-year-old is introduced to Christianity and Islam, he starts to follow three religions. He tries to understand God through the lens of each religion and comes to recognize the benefits of each.

Eventually, his family decides to move to Canada for political concerns.

[Part 2]:

The boat to Canada carrying Pi’s family and most of the animals in their zoo sinks. Pi ends up with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, a hyena, a zebra, and an orangutan named Orange Juice in a small lifeboat. The other humans and animals on the boat drown.

The hyena tears off the zebra’s leg and spends the next several days eating the zebra bit by bit. The hungry hyena kills “Orange Juice”, despite her not being a natural prey of the hyena.

Richard Parker eats the hyena because he was also hungry.

Pi is left as the only other survivor. Pi finds food and water supplies on the boat, but as they grow scarce, Pi begins fishing for himself and Richard Parker, whom he keeps fed so Richard Parker will not seek to eat him. Pi also wants to keep Richard Parker alive because he wishes not to be left in solitude on the ocean. Pi ensures, with his knowledge as the son of a zoo keeper, that Richard Parker considers Pi the alpha animal and therefore refrains from attacking him. Pi manages to stay alive for 227 days, often half in delusion with thirst and hunger. The lifeboat reaches the coast of Mexico.

[Part 3]:

This is a conversation between two officials from the Japanese maritime department. They seek to ascertain why the ship sunk, so they interview Pi, but they do not believe him.

Pi tells another story, in which the orangutan is his mother, the zebra is a sailor with a broken leg, and the hyena is a cook who killed Pi’s mother and ate the sailor. Richard Parker is Pi himself. Pi asks the officials which of the two stories they prefer. They say the story with the animals. Pi thanks them and says “and so it goes with God”.

Checkout some beautiful lines from the Book:

  • If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.
  • My suffering left me sad and gloomy.
  • Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.
  • The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity—it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.
  • Animals in the wild lead lives of compulsion and necessity within an unforgiving social hierarchy in an environment where the supply of fear is high and the supply of food is low and where territory must constantly be defended and parasites forever endured.
  • To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
  • Hindus, in their capacity for love, are indeed hairless Christians, just as Muslims, in the way they see God in everything, are bearded Hindus, and Christians, in their devotion to God, are hat-wearing Muslims.
  • “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God,” I blurted out, and looked down, red in the face.
  • For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.
  • I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life.
  • It was Richard Parker who calmed me down. It is the irony of this story that the one who scared me witless to start with was the very same who brought me peace, purpose, I dare say even wholeness.
  • I did not count the days or the weeks or the months. Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.
  • My greatest wish—other than salvation—was to have a book.
  • I cannot think of a better way to spread the faith. No thundering from a pulpit, no condemnation from bad churches, no peer pressure, just a book of scripture quietly waiting to say hello, as gentle and powerful as a little girl’s kiss on your cheek.
  • Despair was a heavy blackness that let no light in or out. It was a hell beyond expression. I thank God it always passed. A school of fish appeared around the net or a knot cried out to be reknotted. Or I thought of my family, of how they were spared this terrible agony. The blackness would stir and eventually go away, and God would remain, a shining point of light in my heart. I would go on loving.
  • There were many seas. The sea roared like a tiger. The sea whispered in your ear like a friend telling you secrets. The sea clinked like small change in a pocket. The sea thundered like avalanches. The sea hissed like sandpaper working on wood. The sea sounded like someone vomiting. The sea was dead silent.
  • If you stumble at mere believability, what are you living for? Isn’t love hard to believe?
  • Don’t you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard to believe?
  • I applied my reason at every moment. Reason is excellent for getting food, clothing and shelter. Reason is the very best tool kit. Nothing beats reason for keeping tigers away. But be excessively reasonable and you risk throwing out the universe with the bathwater.
  • I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently. You want a flat story. An immobile story. You want dry, yeast less f actuality.

Just take this book and read it. I am giving 4/5 to this book.

Book Details:

Life Of Pi

Life Of Pi

Name: Life of Pi

Author: Yann Martel

Language: English

Genre: Novel

Buy: FlipKart

!!! Enjoy Reading !!!

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5 Responses to Book Review : Life of Pi

  1. lorxie says:

    You have a really nice review =) did you know that it will be in 3D adventure film? Something to look forward to either ways. Here’s my review by the way:

    Have a nice day! 🙂

  2. sayedkhadri says:

    Nice review.. I always wanted to read this book.. Many friends recommended it to me many times.. This will be the next book in my list.. thanks for the review 🙂

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