In short, this is a story about a boy who is stranded in a lifeboat with a tiger… for 7 months. It is a story about survival, the nature of religious beliefs, coming-of-age through this adventure, and, the power of storytelling.
I absolutely enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end. How this book can say so much with so few elements (and scenes) leaves me bedazzled. The settings of the book include 20% time in India and 80% time on the ocean (rough estimates, of course). Life of Pi holds so much in its 300-some pages that even after I finished reading the book, I’m still not done with it – my mind keeps thinking about it, wondering, which is the real story?? There is no concrete answer to that question, I think. This is a story within a story within a story. (The author Martel tells the story of how he came about to finding Pi, Pi tells of his time shipwrecked on the Pacific, and then Pi tells an alternative version of his story that is not like the first animal version at all!) As Pi said, whichever story you choose is ultimately based on your own perspective. Do you choose Richard Parker because you believe in the nicer story but slightly more unbelievable story or do you choose the story with no animals because it is more realistic?
Richard Parker all the way, man.