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Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Literary fiction

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

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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 (2,769)

  • Gabrielle H.

    Adams, MA

    A horrific recount of a young boy’s traumatic and wondrous journey on the open Pacific ocean, lost at sea with a tiger. It is a humbling journey of survival, and his raw connection to nature and god.

  • Traci R.

    Lake worth, 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!

  • Sara L.

    Murfreesboro, TN

    brilliant, heartwarming all-time favourite combines action adventure with major religions, philosophy! Pi, Indian boy struggles with identity, survival and tiger he named Richard Parker. Booker prize

  • olivia p.

    Lima, NY

    I was expecting this book to be like the movie, but it was SO! MUCH! BETTER! I cannot recommend this book enough! it made me laugh, and it made me cry! overall, just beautiful writing and visuals!

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