Who wrote this book and when?
Yann Martel, and it was published in 2001.

Has there been a film version?
No, but supposedly M. Night Shyamalan was interested in it for a while. Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter 3) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) are both interested in directing it, although Jeunet is listed as the director on IMDB.

Who are the important characters?
Pi – an Indian boy with multifaceted spirituality who finds himself stranded in a lifeboat with a male Royal Bengal Tiger
Richard Parker – the tiger

What’s it about?
Pi Patel is an Indian boy and the son of a zookeeper. In his younger years, Pi develops a quirky sort of religiosity – claiming to be Hindu, Muslim, and Christian – and uses aspects of all three religions to create his own way of worshipping God. The Patel’s decide to move to Canada and enroute, their ship sinks. Pi finds himself on board a lifeboat with an injured zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and Richard Parker, an enormous Bengal tiger. When Richard Parker has consumed all of the other three animals, Pi realizes he must find a way to survive and to keep Richard Parker alive if he expects to make it to land again.

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
Probably because of it’s modernistic take on religion and God and the creativity of the storytelling.

Do you recommend I read this book?
I guess so.

Why did this book make your list?
My mom badgered me for a year to read it.

Has it won any awards?
It won the Booker prize in 2002.

Favorite quotes:
“These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. ” – p 71

Anything else?
This would be a hard movie to make.

Personal thoughts:
I enjoyed this book until the end. Not to spoil it for anyone, but I despise books which tell you a perfectly wonderful story and then proceed to cast doubt on whether or not it actually happened. Tell me a story or don’t tell me the story. I like my fantasy worlds, thank you very much. Besides that, I was very impressed with Pi and his handling of the situation. I’m 100% certain I would not make it through a situation like that. Even minus the tiger. And he is a wonderful storyteller.

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