Yann Martel, the author of this novel, is a man with a mission. When he had written two books he realized that his books were missing a magic touch. He came to this conclusion while travelling in India to get inspiration for his new novel. There he met a really old man who advised him to take the story of Pi Molitor Patel. Yann Martel will thank this old man forever for mentioning this name. (See picture)
Life of Pi is divided into three parts. The first part is set in India. Pi is part of a family who run a zoo called Garden of Pondicherry. Pi is interested in 3(!) different religions. He wants to be a Christian, a Muslim and a Hindu at the same time. Pi does not seem to notice any problems with his religions, though his environment isn’t really comfortable with his strange way of believe in God.
In the second part the zoo is moved to Toronto. The removal is done by ship, but sadly enough the ship sinks.
Pi is safed in a lifeboat. He is accompanied by a tiger (better known as Richard Parker), a urang utang, (Orange Juice) a hyena and a zebra. The hyena eats the zebra and the urang utang, and finallly the tiger eats the hyena. Now there are only two survivors left: Pi and Richard Parker. Together they survive for 227 days. During these days Pi thinks that he and Richard Parker have formed a special friendship. But when Richard Parker notices the coast of Mexico, he jumps into the water and runs away. Pi never saw the Tiger again, and he’s very sad their friendship had to end this way.
The third part contains a conversation between two interviewers and Pi who’s telling them his story. But the interviewers do not believe it. The two men seem to be more interested in a mean cook who eats Pi’s mother, than a hyena who eats a zebra. Pi decides to change the characters and tells the whole story all over again. In the end he asks the men which story they do believe, both stories aren’t believable so is doesn’t really matter, he tells them. The men agree and they reply that they like the one with the animals better. Pi says that also God prefered this story, and he thanks them.
Life of Pi is recommended for those of you who like to dream. Goodbelieving people will not deny that you can survive for 227 days in a lifeboat with a tiger, once they’ve finished the novel. Although everyone knows this is just ridiculous. Yan Martel does have a beautiful way of making illusions. There’s not a word too many in it, he’s the only man who can write thirty interesting pages about the matter of a name. If someone says: “I love life of Pie written by Yann Martel”, you can be sure that this person didn’t read a letter in it. Because if he did, he would have pronounced “Pi” as it is in French with piscine.
Pi is scared all the time during the story. But if he would show his fears, it would have meant the end of his life. In the novel you can see the power of hierarchie. Even though Richard Parker and Pi aren’t in the zoo anymore, Pi must show that he is the boss. Richard Parker is not really scared of him, but he never succesfully attacts him either. Hope is everything. If you stay positive, you will succeed, is the message that Yann Martel gives you. And everyone should know that.
If you really dislike reading, you could also watch the movie directed by Omar Khan