“Life of Pi” is a novel written by Canadian author Yann Martel. The book was published in 2001 and won the Man Booker Prize in the same year. The story follows the journey of a young Indian boy named Piscine Molitor Patel, who goes by the nickname Pi, as he survives a shipwreck and spends 227 days on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

The novel is divided into three parts. In the first part, Pi describes his childhood in India, his fascination with religion, and his family’s decision to move to Canada. The second part describes the shipwreck and Pi’s survival on the lifeboat with Richard Parker. Pi must learn to coexist with the tiger and find ways to catch fish and collect rainwater in order to survive. The third part of the novel deals with Pi’s rescue and his struggle to convince the authorities of the truth of his incredible story.

Throughout the novel, themes of religion, faith, and the power of storytelling are explored. The book is known for its rich symbolism and allegory, as well as its vivid descriptions of the ocean and the animals that inhabit it. “Life of Pi” has been adapted into a successful film directed by Ang Lee, which was released in 2012.

Key Facts

  • Author: Yann Martel
  • Published: 2001
  • Genre: Adventure Fiction
  • Awards: Man Booker Prize (2002)
  • Adaptations: Film adaptation directed by Ang Lee (2012)

Major Characters:

  • Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi): The protagonist of the story, a young Indian boy who survives a shipwreck and spends 227 days on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
  • Richard Parker: The Bengal tiger who shares the lifeboat with Pi. Despite their initial hostility towards each other, Pi and Richard Parker develop a kind of understanding and learn to coexist on the lifeboat.
  • Pi’s family: Pi’s father, mother, and brother are important characters in the first part of the novel, which deals with Pi’s childhood in India.

Minor Characters:

  • The Frenchman: A castaway whom Pi and Richard Parker encounter on their journey.
  • Tomohiro Okamoto and Atsuro Chiba: Two Japanese officials who interview Pi after his rescue in an attempt to understand the truth behind his incredible story.
  • The zebra, hyena, and orangutan: Three animals that are also on the lifeboat with Pi and Richard Parker. The zebra and orangutan are killed by the hyena, which is then killed by Richard Parker.