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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, 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 ratings (2,729)

  • Traci R.

    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!

  • Christina C.

    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!

  • Sheri H.

    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.

  • Anthony A.

    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.

  • Ashley C.

    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. ❤️