Life of Pi
by Yann Martel
Paperback- N/A


New York Times Bestseller * Los Angeles Times Bestseller * Washington Post Bestseller * San Francisco ...

Overall rating:


How would you rate this book?

Member ratings

  "Fascinating metaphors...great for discussion" by lizzydo (see profile) 02/02/06

  "Did not like it!" by avermeire (see profile) 07/10/06

  "One of my favorites..." by meganewidman (see profile) 08/23/06

The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because it may be hard to base an entire book club discussion around this book because of the nature of how it unrolls. Otherwise, it is one of the top 5 books I have ever read.

  "Very interesting . A great read and actually believable." by janetkam10 (see profile) 03/26/07

  "Are you kidding me?" by mac2jeter (see profile) 05/25/07

This was top notch writing! I could not put this book down. You will not want to miss out on this adventure.

  "Adventure on the high seas" by mitznmutts (see profile) 06/24/07

As an animal lover, I found this book so interesting and was immediately caught up in the story. The twist at the end was so good I read it several times

  "Pi Patel takes readers on an incredible journey of survival as he withstands amazing odds and triumphs over being shipwrecked and left for dead." by AnnieRi (see profile) 07/25/07

Great book, a really fun read!

  "Second time reading it and truly enjoyed it again." by Adelia816 (see profile) 08/24/07

  "Captivating and Unique" by joyfulpie (see profile) 09/06/07

This was a nice find. I learned a little about India, various zoo animals and Pi's spirit.

  "A boy, a tiger a boat and a very big descion to make in the end." by mntbikegirl (see profile) 09/29/07

This book leaves you for want. You journey quite a distance with some very interesting characters with whom I became a bit attached. It moves slow in great detail. Some in the group found it to be exasperating, I however, thought it brilliant! The details were essential to the ending and worth the time and effort.
A religious quest? I don't think for me that this book causes you to "believe in God" as the beginning suggests. I have a deep faith already and this did nothing to further it.

  "itadventure" by sledgerly (see profile) 09/30/07

You'll love Pi and the adventure.

  "An Interesting Story???......" by kristorr (see profile) 02/25/08

We did not have our entire bookclub group on the night we discussed this but I have to say that those of us there that night were not terribly impressed with the story. I personally thought the writing was adequate, but somehow the story didn't grab me until well into the middle of the book. If you do intend to read this book, you really must stay with it until the very end to get the full effect of the book. While I would not necessarily recommend this book, I think there are probably many topics for discussion.

  "Good discussion book" by BHastings (see profile) 11/23/08

Loved the writing. Different members interpreted various aspects differently, which made for a lively discussion.

  "Horribly boring" by mrsfaz (see profile) 04/02/09

Horribly boring.

  "The Life of Pi" by cascadesjn (see profile) 07/07/09

  "Thought-provoking" by shelbymomof2 (see profile) 07/22/09

The ending leaves you wondering what really happened. Which story is true? Is the true story easier or harder to believe than the fictional story? And which is which? Extemely interesting book that nearly begs to be discussed with others.

  "The Life of Pi" by DarTuck (see profile) 08/14/09

  "Very Strange Book" by LauraAdams (see profile) 08/18/09

I chose this book for our book club based upon reviews that I had read without having already read the book myself. It was a confusing and very unbelievable book. It was interesting and quite an adventure but more like a fairy tale or some fable. Most of book club did not enjoy this book but it did have many themes for a good discussion anyway.

  "Half and Half" by nr55 (see profile) 08/20/09

Half of our book club loved it and thought it was incredibly inspirational, the other half however found it boring and hard to believe. The questions at the end of the book were very bland for how deep the book was so it was as if we were in high school again looking up the answers in the book. I loved the book and would suggest it to anyone that was looking to find a reason to believe in God.

  "Life of PI" by mblake (see profile) 10/16/09

I had a tough time with the first 100 pages and thought about giving it up. I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed the second part of the book.

  "Life of Pi" by wnewcomer (see profile) 10/19/09

Some members couldn't finish, said it moved too slow. Those of us who finished found it interesting to discuss.

  "Pi takes you on a great journey" by pugpages (see profile) 02/01/10

After I got through the religious background on Pi I could not put down the book. Very thought provoking on soo many levels!!!

  "Life of Pi" by elisa0322 (see profile) 02/22/10

This was a great bookclub pick and an amazing story.

  "Life of Pi" by e.c.newton (see profile) 03/22/10

This book is not what you expect. Beautifully written and spell-bounding, it sticks with you long after you've finished.

  "Slow read" by cartc11 (see profile) 06/21/10

I couldn't get into this one.. I tried.

  "Excellent - one of my favorites!" by speechmom (see profile) 06/30/10

This is a great book, so creative and different.

  "life of pi" by llray (see profile) 07/22/10

  "Life of Pi" by poodlecups (see profile) 08/17/10

Wonderfuly written, inspiring story! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all!

  "Didn't get the hype!" by jbracey (see profile) 08/25/10

  "Magnificent Puzzle" by v.skywark (see profile) 09/22/10

  "interesting tale" by gymbackmom (see profile) 09/29/10

  "Life of Pi" by Christine57 (see profile) 11/11/10

I had to keep reminding myself this was a work of fiction and not a true story. It was very well written and provided an insight into the nature of animals (humans too) which I did not know or understand.

  "Decent discussion book" by tonigiles (see profile) 12/26/10

This proved a decent discussion book. I just didn't like the goryness of the animals in the story and skimmed much of this. How this dealt with religion on the whole, still not quite sure even though it says that the review.

  "2002 Booker Prize" by 1morechapter (see profile) 02/14/11

This is the story of Pi Patel from his childhood to his time on a lifeboat after the ship carrying his family and his father’s zoo animals sinks. Richard Parker, a Bengal tiger, shares Pi’s fate on the raft. Due to the tiger, he must constantly be on guard during his 227 day ordeal.

I really didn’t get all that much into the story until the ship sunk — it really gets going at that point. And then, just when I was getting tired of all the desperate tactics for survival in the lifeboat, another interesting development occurs. I was surprised by the twist ending as well, but it was a good one. I was impressed by the symbolism in the book. Recommended.

  "Life of Pi" by littlebrownbird (see profile) 02/24/11

What a ride! What a book! When I started reading, ‘The Life of Pi’, I only knew a few things. It was about a boy from India & a tiger, both stuck on a life boat. My first thought was, ‘how boring. I’m not going to relate to this boy, and the tiger must be a tamed over grown kitty cat that will keep him alive catching fish with its monster size paws’. How wrong was I!

I don’t think you can discuss this book without giving some of it away. I’ll try to be as vague as I can.

Pi loves God. Not only is he a Hindu, he is also a Christian and a Moslem. While he practices all three religions he helps out on his family’s zoo. The day comes when Pi’s father decides to sell the zoo and move his family to Canada. On the ship they take across the ocean, Pi’s family also tends to some of the zoo animals that have been sold to North American zoos.

During a storm the ship sinks. Pi is the only human survivor, but not the lone survivor. Soon the life boat Pi is on begins to save not only him but a few zoo animals too. One by one the animals die until there is only Pi & the tiger left. For 227 days they survive together. Pi is in constant fear for his life and must dominate the boat or be eaten by the tiger.

In the end you are knocked for a loop and you question the entire experience. I must read for those who don’t have light hearts and who can take endings that keep you questioning about what really happened.

  "Life of Pi" by buzybasket (see profile) 10/04/11

Interesting yet strange at the same time.

  "Beautifully Written" by MissRev98 (see profile) 11/12/11

I had no clue where this book was going when I started it, but I absolutely loved the way Yann Martel put words together so I kept reading! Once Pi is stranded in the ocean the book becomes exciting and suspenseful. I read it on vacation, but I believe it would lend itself well to group discussion-particularly if some members believe the alternate story to be the true one rather than the one we're told!

  "Life of Pi" by kvon (see profile) 12/11/11

My favorite Book Club read of 2011.

  "The life of Pi" by jacquecamara (see profile) 01/04/12

  "The Life of PI" by srpowen (see profile) 02/16/12

Our book club gave this book a "WOW"!

  "Mixed Reviews" by pattiwan (see profile) 10/02/12

Our book club read Life of Pi with mixed results. Several members couldn't finish the book, 2 members liked it, but of those 2, only 1 would recommend it to others. We felt it was an interesting take on the animalistic side of humans, but didn't have much else to say about it.

  "Strange tale..." by BookDivasReads (see profile) 11/27/12

There are very few books that I don't complete but this was one of them for 2012. Although the general premise for the book was enticing, the story was plodding and seemed filled with extraneous details for no obvious reason. I only made it through half of the book before I had to give up and say enough! I enjoyed the beginning of the book (approximately the first 25%), but the remainder that I read was confusing, plodding and simply not enjoyable. Sorry...I know this was an award winning book but it didn't do anything for me.

  "A tragic misadventure" by brightpoweruk (see profile) 01/22/13

This particularly complex sequence of events on a seemingly endless journey of discovery has been brought to life in an action-packed adventure very recently. It might be a likely assumption that this book has been made into a successful movie because it is made of ‘best seller’ material.
It was felt that there was no absorbing build-up to an exceptional account of endurance involving a young boy called ‘Pi’ and, amongst other animals from a zoo collection, a Bengal tiger.
Within the context of an extended sea voyage the reader could have developed empathy with a frightened, desperate young survivor of a tragic misadventure. The circumstances of the plot might have offered an entertaining and insightful zoologist’s perspective.
Despite finishing ‘Life of Pi’ and agreeing that the alternative ending compounds a confusing, inconsistent narrative, a couple of readers from our group gave it a second chance. They re-read some of it and began making a little more sense of the disparity between the first part and the last. Within our group, Man Booker Prize entries have a reputation for weirdness and unfathomability.
Whilst we discussed the realities of survival, one group member suggested that the mind of a very distressed child could morph humans into animals and that within this hallucination the main character ‘Pi’ could have been propelled towards uncharacteristic savagery .
This book failed to offer up the bones of a good read because of the long explanations of childhood non-events, detailed zoological miscellanea and an unnecessary level of brutality towards captive animals.
Average score of 6.5 out of 10

  "A Wonderful Journey" by Mary_Ellen (see profile) 02/06/13

I didn\\\\\\\'t know what to expect when I began this book and I almost gave up on it early on. It was confusing and I felt that the story line was too random, wandering here and there. I couldn\\\\\\\'t see where it was going and I was loosing my interest. However, I decided to stick with it and I\\\\\\\'m glad I did. As soon as I relaxed my expectations and let the story carry me along I was much happier. Mr. Martel uses words like a paintbrush to tell this amazing tail in a beautiful way. Pi is a smart boy who knows a lot about animals which was so interesting to read. He is also pure of heart, curious about religions and open minded in that regard.

However, though the story was magical, I was not moved to change my view of God. I kept waiting for the \\\\\\\"aha\\\\\\\" moment. I also felt the ending was a little bit of a letdown. I would like to know how Pi\\\\\\\'s incredible experience shaped his life after he came ashore.

In summary,I found the book very enjoyable to read and think that it\\\\\\\'s a great book for a book club because there is so much to discuss.

  "Interesting & thought provoking" by Kristini426 (see profile) 02/21/13

The story is written in a way that had me feeling what the main character was feeling. It takes human emotion and living to its raw form.

  "Life of Pi" by comurray (see profile) 02/21/13

I found the book to be mesmerizing and thought provoking. In my mind, the entire story is a metaphor for religion. 2 years after having read it, it is still a topic for lively conversation. Excellent book club selection.

  "Life of Pi" by KM (see profile) 03/08/13

  "ugg" by Lorikel (see profile) 03/11/13

  ""Life of Pi" Missed the Boat" by nbaker (see profile) 03/25/13

I found the book an interesting read that posed many self-evaluating questions. It was filled with symbolism and interwoven stories. For those reasons, I gave it a thumbs up. Unfortunately, I felt the story dragged on forever, was overly gruesome and graphic in its depiction of eating animals, people, etc. I'm not sure what all of the hype was about over this story - but I can at least say I gave it my best shot.

  "Not worth reading." by anderson2 (see profile) 04/08/13

Poorly written, very slow.

  "Never really connected with the story" by ralphb215 (see profile) 06/04/13

  "Life of Pi" by Carolyn0914 (see profile) 07/03/13

A must read along with viewing the movie. Various viewpoints from book club members contribute to an excellent discussion. A story long to be remembered.

  "Not sure what all the hype is" by carlymu (see profile) 10/22/13

This book did nothing for me....slow slow slow. Was so glad when it was finally over. It could have easily been written in under 100 pages.

  "" by ronncathyo (see profile) 07/19/14

  "" by Chris@JAX (see profile) 06/29/15

  "" by Kwagwi (see profile) 10/06/17

Wow! Tremendous book. A story of adventure and survival, but with lots of interesting facts about animal behavior, AND with philosophical and religious thoughts on fact and faith. Very well-written.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/26/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 10/30/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/26/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/13/18

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 03/17/19

I've read this a few times now and loved it each time.

  "" by kbatson (see profile) 04/27/19

  "" by KarenC (see profile) 05/18/19

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 06/07/19

  "" by krilljack (see profile) 07/04/20

Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...