Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Author: Yann Martel
ISBN # 184195392X
Publisher: Canongate
First Published: 2002
319 pages

“Japanese-owned cargo ship Tsimtsum, flying Panamanian flag. Sank July 2nd 1977 in Pacific Ocean, four days out of Manila. Am in life boat. Pi Patel my name. Have some food, some water, but Bengal tiger a serious problem. Please advise family in Winnipeg, Canada. Any help very much appreciated. Thank you.”

This extraordinary tale of the 16-year-old son of an Indian zookeeper, drifting in a 21-foot lifeboat with an adult male Royal Bengal tiger aboard, is nothing short of amazing. It’s fantastically whimsical, yet harshly real, showing the hardship of survival at sea under the most unusual circumstances ever witnessed: A seven-month epic journey into the unknown with an uncertain outcome.

It’s a wonderful story, cleverly written to draw the reader into what should be completely unbelievable, yet manages to convince one that this could actually happen. No wonder Life of Pi won The Man Booker Prize in 2002.

Don’t let the “critical literary acclaim” put you off – this is pure escapism at its finest and a highly recommended page-turner.

Rating: 8


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