Life of Pi

Version: Unabridged
Author: Yann Martel
Narrator: Jeff Woodman , Alexander Marshall
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Literature, Action & Adventure
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Published In: May 2012
# of Units: 9 CDs
Length: 11 hours, 30 minutes
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Martel's novel tells the story of Pi--short for Piscine--an unusual boy raised in a zoo in India. Pi's father decides to move the family to live in Canada and sell the animals to the great zoos of America. The ship taking them across the Pacific sinks and Pi finds himself the sole human survivor on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg and Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. "Life of Pi" brings together many themes including religion, zoology, fear, and sheer tenacity. This is a funny, wise, and highly original look at what it means to be human.

Reviews (102)

Written by Rachel O on September 29th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

What a different story line very different to most books. An amazing way to look at the world.

Written by Maureen B on August 28th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This is a beautiful, enlightened story that will stay with me for a long time. It is metaphoric symbolism at its best. Recommend.

Written by Molly Bollier on July 21st, 2016

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This book is beautifully written, but there is just sooooo much description. It is a captivating story and the narration was perfect. Sometimes I got lost in the details, but overall, I enjoyed it.

Life of Pi

Written by Anonymous on July 11th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I must be the only one that thought getting through the book was an incredibly painful experience. This is the one time that I wish I watched the movie instead of reading the book. There were a few powerful scenes but they were few & far between. I can see how this would make a visually stunning movie, but as far as a book, this was not for me at all.

The Life of Pi

Written by TrAcEy on May 18th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Just OK - we listened to the first 2 chapters and then skipped all the way to the boat wreck. It was better that way unless you are very interested in the philosophies/religions of this young man because they are not really a necessity to the plot that made me want to hear the book. It was interesting and once we skipped to the boat kept us entertained

Stopped it twice

Written by Anonymous from Lewisville, TX on April 28th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I stopped this book twice during the first half. If you are interested in hearing someone else's views on religion for a LONG time, you'll enjoy the first half. The latter part on the boat is okay but not exactly attention-keeping.

Life of Pi

Written by shelleelorayne on April 5th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 4/5

A co-worker recommended this book to me, and it's not a "read again" for me. The reader did an excellent job. I found, though, that I was really ready for the story to end. The author is a philosopher and it shows in his lengthy narratives. I often screamed to the CD player "Get on with it!" The ending was a surprise and very disturbing, but it ended well.

A book that stays with you

Written by Lindsay from West Caldwell, NJ on January 25th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I had picked this book up years ago at the height of its popularity, but I wasn't really in the place to read it and gave up before I finished the first chapter. I ordered it on audiobook figuring I would give it more of a chance as a captive audience in the car. I was correct. The man reading the text is fabulous, very lively and he reads easily. He has a slight Indian accent (as the narrator should) but he is very easy to read. The middle of this text, and a large part of it, is spent in the shipwrecked lifeboat adrift at sea. As I imagine there is a lot of tedium involved in being lost at sea, sometimes the narrative can drag a little (even with a tiger on board!) Don't give up! The ending is EVERYTHING with this book. It was like a sucker punch that I'm still reeling from. It's an audiobook where you shut the CD player off when it's over and sit in silence and think for a long while.

Life of Pi

Written by Hope on June 25th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Beautifully narrated, captivating story. I expected more from the ending. This would be an excellent choice for a book club discussion.

Huge suprise

Written by Z on June 4th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is not at all the kind of book I usually rent. (I thought it was a straight forward tail of survivalism.) It inspires much deep thinking while simultaneously being captivating, funny, horrifying, and exultant. The writing itself is beautiful and the narrator is exceptional. Whatever your taste, if you only rent one book this year, it should be this one.

Author Details

Author Details

Martel, Yann

Yann Martel was born in Salamanca, Spain, in 1963, of Canadian parents who were doing graduate studies. Later they both joined the Canadian foreign service and he grew up in Costa Rica, France, Spain and Mexico, in addition to Canada. He continued to travel widely as an adult, spending time in Iran, Turkey and India, but is now based mainly in Montreal. He obtained a degree in Philosophy from Trent University in Ontario, then worked variously as a tree planter, dishwasher and security guard before taking up writing full-time from the age of 27.

His first book, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, was published in 1993 and is a collection of short stories, dealing with such themes as illness, storytelling and the history of the twentieth century; music, war and the anguish of youth; how we die; and grief, loss and the reasons we are attached to material objects.

This was followed by his first novel, Self (1996), a tale of sexual identity, orientation and Orlando-like transformation. It is described by Charles Foran in the Montreal Gazette as a ' ... superb psychological acute observation on love, attraction and belonging ...'

In 2002 Yann Martel came to public attention when he won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his second novel, Life of Pi (2002), an epic survival story with an overarching religious theme. The novel tells the story of one Pi Patel, the son of an Indian family of zookeepers. They decide to emigrate to Canada and embark on a ship with their animals to cross the Pacific. They are shipwrecked and Pi is left bobbing in a lifeboat in the company of a zebra, a hyena, an orang-utan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Life of Pi will eventually be published in over forty countries and territories, representing well over thirty languages, and the film rights have been optioned by Fox studios.

Yann Martel is at work on another novel. It will once more feature animals - this time a monkey and a donkey - and will deal with the words, metaphors and stories we use to describe, and so live with, great evil.

In 2004, a collection of short stories was published entitled We Ate The Children Last.