“Will the tiger be menacing; will the ocean be threatening; will the island be something out of Frankenstein or will it be an Eden?”—Yann Martel
Life of Pi, first published in 2002, became an international bestseller and remains one of the most extraordinary and popular works of contemporary fiction.
In 2005 an international competition was held to find the perfect artist to illustrate Yann Martel’s Man Booker Prize–winning novel. From thousands of entrants, Croatian artist Tomislav Torjanac was chosen. This lavishly produced edition features forty of Torjanac’s beautiful four-color illustrations, bringing Life of Pi to splendid, eye-popping life.
Tomislav Torjanac says of his illustrations: “My vision of the illustrated edition of Life of Pi is based on paintings from a first person’s perspective—Pi’s perspective. The interpretation of what Pi sees is intermeshed with what he feels and it is shown through [the] use of colors, perspective, symbols, hand gestures, etc.”
A tinted review in adult Forecasts indicates a book that's of exceptional importance to our readers, but hasn't received a starred or boxed review.LIFE OF PIYann Martel. Harcourt, $25 (336p) A fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient, this novel is an impressive achievement "a story that will make you believe in God," as one character says. The peripatetic Pi (n the much-taunted Piscine) Patel spends a beguiling boyhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper. Growing up beside the wild beasts, Pi gathers an encyclopedic knowledge of the animal world. His curious mind also makes the leap from his native Hinduism to Christianity and Islam, all three of which he practices with joyous abandon. In his 16th year, Pi sets sail with his family and some of their menagerie to start a new life in Canada. Halfway to Midway Island, the ship sinks into the Pacific, leaving Pi stranded on a life raft with a hyena, an orangutan, an injured zebra and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. After the beast dispatches the others, Pi is left to survive for 227 days with his large feline companion on the 26-foot-long raft, using all his knowledge, wits and faith to keep himself alive. The scenes flow together effortlessly, and the sharp observations of the young narrator keep the tale brisk and engaging. Martel's potentially unbelievable plot line soon demolishes the reader's defenses, cleverly set up by events of young Pi's life that almost naturally lead to his biggest ordeal. This richly patterned work, Martel's second novel, won Canada's 2001 Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. In it, Martel displays the clever voice and tremendous storytelling skills of an emerging master. FYI:Booksellers would be wise to advise readers to browse through Martel's introductory note. His captivating honesty about the genesis of his story is almost worth the price of the book itself.
When I read the reviews saying "don't read if you're Christian" -- It upsets me that that is the only content people can take away from this book. I'm a Christian and read the whole book, and was not offended. In no part does he out rightly reject God. In fact, the whole book is him praying to God and trusting in him. I think this book actually helped me understand the views of different people and could help me connect with more people and bring up God and beliefs. I benefited. I don't think you should just give up on a book because the main character is Islam or Hindu. (In several parts he takes on Christian practices). It's true there are people with different religions than just Christianity.
Besides from the deep religious undertones, I loved this book. Quite a turning plot twist at the end. It took me a while to read -- but I'm glad I stuck with it. If you're into somewhat philosophical themes you'll love this book. It is a bit gory so if you don't like graphic content such as detailed descriptions of death-- maybe not for you.
Overall a great book. And I can't wait to see how it is portrayed in the upcoming movie.
Profound. Deep, and Challenging. Children's Fiction? Purely insane.
I am deeply weirded out and disappointed to see the iBook Store placing this profoundly challenging, rewarding, and wonderful book in the children's fiction category. The public seems to be suffering the same misperception at the hands of the movie industry given that audiences for the movie are 30% little children in my home area. You be the judge - here is an excerpt:
“He killed her. The cook killed my mother. We were starving. I was weak. I couldn't hold on to a turtle. Because of me we lost it. He hit me. Mother hit him. He hit her back. She turned to me and said, 'Go!' pushing me towards the raft. I jumped for it. I thought she was coming with me. I landed in the water. I scrambled aboard the raft. They were fighting. I did nothing but watch. My mother was fighting an adult man. He was mean and muscular. He caught her by the wrist and twisted it. She shrieked and fell. He moved over her. The knife appeared. He raised it in the air. It came down. Next it was up—it was red. It went up and down repeatedly. I couldn't see her. She was at the bottom of the boat. I saw only him. He stopped. He raised his head and looked at me. He hurled something my way. A line of blood struck me across the face. No whip could have inflicted a more painful lash. I held my mother's head in my hands. I let it go. It sank in a cloud of[…]”
Adults can barely metabolize the content of this book. I feel so sad, and sorry, for children who are led into this experience by their ill informed and guileless parents. As for adults I give this book 5 stars and hope to someday fully understand and benefit from its many lessons. It is, IMHO, a masterpiece.
Its not about religion...
It's about fact vs. fiction, how a story doesn't necessarily have to be true to be meaningful and influential. Read the foreword, in which Martel talks about the use of fiction in storytelling and the power of the imagination. I agree that the plot is gritty at times and paints some unsavory pictures, but if you can wade through them you will find yourself immersed in an excellent adventure.
And to anyone who thinks Chirstianity and Islam are incompatible because they serve only one God, remember: it's the same God!