Movie Release Date: December 21st, 2012
Directed By: Ang Lee
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan and Tobey Maguire
The story of an Indian boy named Pi, a zookeeper’s son who finds himself in the company of a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck sets them adrift in the Pacific Ocean. – imdb.com
Book Release Date: September 2001
Written By: Yann Martel
Growing up in Pondicherry, India, Piscine Molitor Patel — known as Pi — has a rich life. Bookish by nature, young Pi acquires a broad knowledge of not only the great religious texts but of all literature, and has a great curiosity about how the world works. His family runs the local zoo, and he spends many of his days among goats, hippos, swans, and bears, developing his own theories about the nature of animals and how human nature conforms to it. Pi’s family life is quite happy, even though his brother picks on him and his parents aren’t quite sure how to accept his decision to simultaneously embrace and practise three religions — Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam.
But despite the lush and nurturing variety of Pi’s world, there are broad political changes afoot in India, and when Pi is sixteen his parents decide that the family needs to escape to a better life. Choosing to move to Canada, they close the zoo, pack their belongings, and board a Japanese cargo ship called the Tsimtsum. Travelling with them are many of their animals, bound for zoos in North America. However, they have only just begun their journey when the ship sinks, taking the dreams of the Patel family down with it. Only Pi survives, cast adrift in a lifeboat with the unlikeliest of travelling companions: a zebra, an orang-utan, a hyena, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
Thus begins Pi Patel’s epic, 227-day voyage across the Pacific, and the powerful story of faith and survival at the heart of Life of Pi. Worn and scared, oscillating between hope and despair, Pi is witness to the playing out of the food chain, quite aware of his new position within it. When only the tiger is left of the seafaring menagerie, Pi realizes that his survival depends on his ability to assert his own will, and sets upon a grand and ordered scheme to keep from being Richard Parker’s next meal.
As the days pass, Pi fights both boredom and terror by throwing himself into the practical details of surviving on the open sea — catching fish, collecting rain water, protecting himself from the sun — all the while ensuring that the tiger is also kept alive, and knows that Pi is the key to his survival. The castaways face gruelling pain in their brushes with starvation, illness, and the storms that lash the small boat, but there is also the solace of beauty: the rainbow hues of a dorado’s death-throes, the peaceful eye of a looming whale, the shimmering blues of the ocean’s swells. Hope is fleeting, however, and despite adapting his religious practices to his daily routine, Pi feels the constant, pressing weight of despair. It is during the most hopeless and gruelling days of his voyage that Pi whittles to the core of his beliefs, casts off his own assumptions, and faces his underlying terrors head-on. – From ‘Knopf Canada’ book jacket
Other Versions of the Book Cover:
Difference between the movie and the book:
- I haven’t seen the movie yet, but when I do I will post it here!
Interesting facts about the book and/or movie:
- Since the rights were optioned in 2002 several directors have been attached to direct including M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
- Andrea Garfield was considered for Tobey Maguire’s role.
- This book was rejected by at least 5 London publishers before it was picked up by Knopf Canada.
- The UK edition won the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
- Was chosen for the CBC Radio’s Canada Reads 2003.
In My Opinion…..
I had a difficult time getting into this book. There is only so much you can read about a boy trying to survive on a boat with these “animals”. BUT as the ending drew near, I got this heightened sense of excitement. At the end of the novel, I was like OMG! So for those of you who are barely sifting through these pages of this book, there is light at the end of the tunnel – you will be glad that you finished it!
I’m very curious how they are setting this up as a movie….
I recommend watching these:
I recommend these books:
- Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime