Life of Pi: Book Review

Hello everyone, today I wish to mix things up. Recently, I finished a brilliantly written book, Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. Winner of the Man Booker Prize, over 10 million copies sold, and translated into 30 languages, it has definitely made itself known. I’ve heard a bit about it prior, but not the true beauty of the novel. Here are some of my thoughts on the work (avoiding most spoilers):

Upon reading the first few pages, I was quite certain it was from the author’s perspective as he spoke of his childhood. This actually continued on for many chapters, beautiful and smooth, and so realistic. One could easily find themselves in the place of Pi Patel, looking through his young eyes. A general note in writing is to not include a ton of backstory, especially at the beginning. While Martel greatly broke this rule, it turned out more spectacular than without. Instead of starting the story with this random kid landing in a boat with brutal animals, a true story of compassion is built.


That said, there are the animals. Richard Parker – my personal favorite – among the others who build up Pi’s character. After the cargo ship sinks and he is thrown with Richard, his life is forever changed. At first, instinct is a bit slow as Pi is controlled by his reasonable fear. As the animals upon the lifeboat slowly begin to diminish, Pi’s real situation sinks into his heart and mind – survival.

As known, for long and healthy survival one must have a companion. Fortunately, Pi is blessed with a friend, yet not in the way most expect. Pi Patel – a mere sixteen-year-old boy – and a fully grown male royal Bengal tiger. Through persistence, the need to live, and compassion, Pi slowly tames the untamable. In dire times, when all seems lost, the two find each other to keep alive. In the end, through 227 days of toil and heartbreak, the most unexpected, saddened beauty is released. Pi never loses faith in God, nor in his beloved tiger, to the very end.

I recommend The Life of Pi to anyone and everyone. The story is intriguing, beautiful, and captivating. Reading comprehension is easy enough for children and adults alike, with a story to long remember. Perhaps you will learn something through the breathtaking adventures of Pi. Or perhaps the story will simply fill your wellbeing with compassion and light. Either way, I guarantee you will read Life of Pi with a true smile on your face.

“It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but never did, and your heart is heavy with remorse” ~ Yann Martel, Life of Pi

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