Book Review : Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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Life of Pi follows the extraordinary survival story of 16-year-old Piscine “Pissing” Patel, or as the protagonist would have it, Pi. The son of a zookeeper, Pi grew up among exotic animals, a fact he comes to be exceedingly grateful for when he finds himself stranded in the Pacific Ocean in a lifeboat with a zebra, hyena, orang-utan and Bengal tiger for company after the ship taking them from Chennai to Canada sinks without a trace. His ordeal lasts for 227 days, almost seven months, in the course of which he loses his family, his shoes, his clothes, his eyesight, even his vegetarianism, but never his unwavering resolve to survive. Religion, in all its myriad forms and Richard Parker, the tiger become his sole means of comfort in the vast lonely ocean. While the tiger depended on Pi for sustenance, Pi clung to Richard Parker as the only thing that separated him from despair and hopelessness.

            Written beautifully, the novel pulls the reader into Piscine’s travails through the blue waters of the Pacific and the fantastical island of carnivorous algae. As the central character, Pi is unlike any other hero. Named after a swimming pool and nicknamed after a number, his overwhelming devotion for God finds expression in his choice of religion – for he is Hindu, Muslim and Christian. He gives us vivid details of his experiences with a tinge of humour and ensures that there is never a dull moment in the story. Though a bit hard to swallow, Life of Pi is an enthralling book and completely deserves the Booker Prize it bagged. A must read!]]>

Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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