Life of Pi by Yann Martel

life-of-pi-book-coverLife of Pi is a story about a boy named Piscine Molitor Patel, an Indian boy, nicknamed Pi. In his school, his was called ‘Pissing’ or ‘Ravi’s brother.’ So, on the first day of school when- like as usual- the teachers was calling out their names, when the teacher reached Pi’s name and was about to say a word, Pi went to the board and started to write: “My name is Piscine Molitor Patel known to all as Pi Patel.” He also added “Pie: 3.14” and that was what Pi did in every class he went to.

Pi’s father was a hotel keeper and decided to change his business into a zoo keeper in Podicherry’s Botanical Garden. There, the animals was fed and taken good care off. They wouldn’t even want to escape because they felt their enclosure was their territory.

Of course, as an Indian, Pi was a Hindu. But one day, he went into a church and saw the priest there. The priest answered all Pi’s questions. Pi was introduced to the Catholic religion and Jesus Christ. He welcomed to go to the church at any time of the day. Then soon, Pi came across a Mosque and was introduced to the Muslim religion.

When the three wise men met; Pi’s Hindu teacher, the priest and the leader of the mosque, they told each other how a wonderful boy had joined their religion. They soon had an argument when they found out the boy who was so loyal to their God was Pi. Pi was told by his parents to choose one religiaon; but Pi told his parents he wanted to be baptized. He would like to have a prayer rug too, which his parents allowed.

After that incident, Pi’s father needed to sell the zoo. He sold some animals to Canada and the family were also moving in Canada. One of the animals that was going to go to Canada was a tiger named Richard Parker. Richard Park was found as a cub by a hunter named Richard Parker who named him Thirsty. But as Richard Parker was moved to the zoo, their forms got switched. So the tiger was named Richard Parker and the hunter was Thirsty.

They were on the Japanese Ship called Tsimtsum, where on the fourth day of sailing, Pi was woken up of a short explosion. Pi intended to bring Ravi out to see what has happened but no, Ravi preferred to sleep. Outside, there was a thunder storm. The ship crews were screaming with fright. They saw Pi, and gave Pi a life-jacket. They threw Pi to the lifeboat with a zebra coming next. The zebra did not have a perfect landing. It broke its leg. Soon, an orangutan named Orange Juice floated by the lifeboat in a packet of bananas and was pulled by Pi to the lifeboat.

Pi spotted Richard Parker and bellowed his life jacket’s whistle. He called for Richard Parker. When the tiger was on board, Pi found out that there was a hyena on their lifeboat too. The next morning after a rest, Richard Parker was gone. Pi was sure and grateful, that maybe Richard Parker was swept aboard by the storm.

After about three nights, the hyena ate the broken leg of the zebra and devoured the  zebra to its death. After eating the zebra, the hyena decided to eat Orange Juice. When the hyena advanced, the orangutan gave it a sharp whack on its head. After a fight, she ended up being eaten too. Pi was completely sure that he would be devoured by the hyena too, when suddenly, Richard Parker came out from nowhere and ate up the hyena. Knowing that tigers were dangerous, Pi built a raft and kept some of his supplies on the raft. He attached the raft on the boat.

Pi decided to train Richard Parker. It worked! The tiger accepted him on the boat. After a long time at sea, Pi ran out of supplies and did not even have the energy to fish. He knew that he and Richard Parker would die. He even had grown temporary blind. In the middle of the sea, he met a French men who also was temporary blind. As soon as he got his sight back by washing salt water in his eyes, Pi found out the French men had been eaten by Richard Parker.

After sailing for some time, they came across to a land where there was lots of vegetation (for Pi) and lots of Meekrats who never saw a carnivore in their lives (for Richard Parker). After staying there for a few days, Pi learned that every night, the water in the lakes became fresh, killing lots of salt water fish that stayed there. Pi also noticed that the meekrats slept on trees and Richard Parker returned to the boat every night. Then Pi discovered a human remain. It was only his or her tooth left. Before him, another survivor had came to the island and died, where the island devoured it. Pi learned that the island was carnivorous, so Pi head back on the lifeboat and continued his journey.

After on the lifeboat for 227 days, Pi finally reached Mexico. Richard Parker immediately bounded off to the forest and stopped for a few seconds. Then Richard Parker, without looking back, disappeared forever into the forest. Pi was brought to the hospital by some people.

After a few days in the hospital, Pi was questioned by two Japanese men who want to know why the ship had sank and asked Pi what had happened. Pi told them the story, but they refused to accept it. Finally, he decided to tell them another story:

Not only Pi had survived the lifeboat, but a sailor and a cook too. And soon his mom appeared on a bag of bananas. The sailor had broken his leg on the fall to the lifeboat. The cook was so resourceful that it was his idea to fish and make a raft, he soon decided to amputate the sail0rs leg because there was nothing they could do. So that was what they did. The sailor soon died, but  when Pi’s mom caught the cook eating a meat of the sailors leg, they argued with the cook telling them they could use the meat for a bait. Since then, Pi stayed close to his mother. That was when the cook decided to kill Pi’s mother. But he didn’t kill her easily. She slapped him and they had a physical fight; only with Pi’s mom loosing and was killed, Pi became really angry and killed the cook. And that was he who survived.

The Japanese people believed in Pi’s second story and they were gone. At their place, they reviewed the second story and agreed that:

  • The cook represented the hyena
  • The sailor was the zebra who also broke his leg.
  • Pi’s mum was the orangutan.
  • Pi was the tiger.

They believed in the animal’s story.


After reviewing the second story, I agree with what the Japanese people said. The cook is the hyena, the sailor is the zebra, Pi’s mom is the orangutan, and Pi is the tiger. But the question is, who represents Pi in the first story? If Pi were the tiger in the second story, then who were the real Pi in the first story? I think, Pi is God Himself. Pi feeds and cares of Richard Parker even though he fears the tiger. Just like God. God fears us sometimes because we don’t believe in Him and hate Him when we are in trouble. But He still loves us and cares for us.

The story is really nice. It is one of the best books of the books that Mom has ever bought me. The story is about animals and partly about God and religions. It’s funny for Pi to choose all three religions, but I side up with his parents. Commit to one. Or else: “you will keep on getting religious holidays!” That’s hilarious. Imagine every week you get  a public holiday! The book has many tricks, apart from the story’s trick, another trick is that the author of the book had interviewed Pi. So, it’s like Pi is really there, but this book is entirely fiction.

It is really ‘the strongest survive’ or the ‘survival of the fittest’  saying as the zebra and orangutan are eaten by the hyena which is eaten by the tiger. One of the funniest parts is the switch of the names: ‘Thirsty’ and ‘Richard Parker’. I think, those kind of switches must rarely happen, but seriously, a tiger named ‘Richard Parker’? And the same goes to: a human named “Thirsty”?

Pi had faced a great ordeal by surviving the Pacific ocean with a 450 pounds Bengal tiger, but he still did it. After the Tsimsum sank, Pi knew at once that he was an orphan stranded on the Pacific ocean. This book is a must read for animal and fiction lovers, but beware! As stated above, the book has many tricks.

Overall, I adore this book so much.


One thought on “Life of Pi by Yann Martel

  1. Pingback: Life of Pi | Ishabelle's Reading List

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