Your typical boy-meets-tiger story. This is a novel that describes an Indian boy’s trek from Pondicherry, India to Canada, with a pretty notable shipwreck in the middle. For most of the book, Pi Patel is stuck on a very small boat with a very large tiger — but it’s a pretty gripping read, nonetheless.
One of the judges who awarded the book the Booker Prize basically said that the book has a flawed beginning & end, but there’s a ton of great stuff in the middle, and that’s how I feel. I was reminded a lot of reading The Old Man and the Sea, by John Steinbeck, in high school — in particular, I was reminded how bored I was when reading that book, and how not-bored I was when reading Life of Pi. There’s something very compelling about the way that Martel writes the character — makes you both want to believe in the story and also makes you think a lot about what you’d do in similar, or analogous, situations, which I suppose is the whole point.
At the end of the day, I think this is a story that’s a little bit about perception, and a little bit about God, a little bit about culture — but mostly it’s a story about creating the type of world that you want to have, even in the direst of situations.
Definitely worth reading.