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Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Literary fiction

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

Quick take

A dreamlike read (that can be nightmarish at times), with an ending that truly makes you think about the big picture.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SlowRead

    Slow build

  • Illustrated icon, Literary


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Acclaim

    Critically acclaimed


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.

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Member thoughts

All (1716)
All (1716)
Love (873)
Like (677)
Dislike (166)
1731 ratings
  • 50% Love
  • 39% Like
  • 10% Dislike
  • boynton beach, FL

    Loved this book. Pi goes through so much I really felt for him. I love how descriptive this book is I can clearly see things like the living island. The ending really gets you thinking and I love tha!

  • Farmington Hills, MI

    Wow! A book about how we choose what to believe & how we come to grips with a reality that is often more horrible than we can stand. Pi shows imagination & invention for self-preservation. Great book!

  • Tampa, FL

    While aspects were very far fetched at times, I liked the relationship formed between man and tiger lost at sea. The ship fire and animal loss was tragic, but enjoyed the format and storytelling.

  • Lincoln, NE

    The question of which story to believe at the end is less about what story is more believable and more about what story takes belief. The writing itself leaves a sort of intoxicating feeling.

  • Huntsville, AL

    One of my very favorite books I have ever read. In fact, I have reread this book a few times. I even have a signed copy. A beautiful story told masterfully. ❤️

  • Fort Wayne, IN

    Liked it mire than I thought I would! Great imagery. At the end you can't help thinking this really happened and it wasn't hallucinations or metaphors for life!

  • Midvale, UT

    Loved the movie and loved the book even more! Wanted to fill in the gaps the movie missed and this book did not disappoint! Such a fun story.

  • Smithville, TN

    Page turning wondering what will happen next as Pi is stuck on a boat with wildlife from his family’s zoo. Crazy didn’t see ending.

  • Dearborn, MI

    One of the best books - and stories - i have ever had the pleasure of reading. Pleasure; I soaked up every word of this masterpiece.

  • Tucson, AZ

    A childhood favorite. Read this in grade school and loved it. I remember not wanting to put it down and finished it in one sitting.

  • Spotsylvania, VA

    I love this book so much, it has stayed with me for years and I can always come back to it and take something new away.

  • Auburn, MA

    As interesting and even more thought-provoking than the movie. A spectacular book that is definitely worth the read

  • Perrysburg, OH

    This book moved me in such a powerful way! I loved it and it’s one that I think back on so often and remember.

  • Whitewater, WI

    This book is amazing! I didnt want to put it down. I laughed and I cried. I highly recommend this book!

  • Baltimore, MD

    Such a profound and thought provoking book. Has really kept me thinking about it since I read it.

  • South Bend, IN

    I read this in college and it was exquisite. The story has stuck with me for 2 decades now.

  • Parker, CO

    OMG, the ending!! It took me a while to get into, but it was all worth it in the end.

  • Logansport , IN

    Loved this book. Wonderfully detailed and a surprising, thought-provoking ending.

  • Naples, FL

    Pi’s story was incredible and heart breaking. I was glued to his story.

  • Monett, MO

    Very inspirational. Even better than the movie and the movie was great!

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