A tragic boat accident leaves Pi stranded in the middle of the ocean on a life boat…with a tiger. Day by day he puts into practice the zoo skills he learnt from his father in order to train the tiger not to kill him. A fight for survival in more ways than one, will Pi ever see another human again?
I’ve actually read this book twice. The first time, it was handed to me by my English teacher after I asked him to recommend some holiday reading. When I began the first few pages, I was somewhat disappointed with his choice. The narrative was slow and uninteresting, but as I got further and further into the book, I became amazed at how gripping it really was.
I’ve always admired Martel’s ability to create an entire narrative from essentially a single individual. In and amongst the flashbacks, we’re left with a lonely boy on a boat with a tiger, something which in most instances would be a short-lived story. But I marvel at the way he’s able to create a captivating and intriguing story.
It’s no surprise that this is the Booker prize winner, and even the second time round, I loved every page despite the fact that I knew what happened next. The detail in every situation is what lends Martel his unique storytelling style.
The character Pi isn’t a particular interesting or even likable individual. If I’m honest, I didn’t get on with him, but the way he handles each situation and is able to think on his feet in the face of danger is truly remarkable. I love the exploratory element of this novel and the floating island that they come across during their travels is perhaps my favourite part of the book, even if it is a little creepy.
I also love the ending. I won’t give anything away but I love how Martel is able to create an ending that makes you feel satisfied. I’m desperate to say more but I really don’t want to ruin it!
I think this is a classic novel for everyone to read at least once in their lifetimes. I’ve yet to see the film, but I don’t think it will be able to compare to the whirlwind adventure that is between the pages.
Buy this amazing Man Brooker Prize Winner here.