This is the fantastical story about Piscine Molitor, also known as Pi, a deeply religious young man who is travelling to Canada by ship with his family and a host of animals destined for a zoo in Canada. The ship sinks halfway during the journey and Pi is stuck on a life boat with a zebra, orangutan, a hyaena and a tiger. What we see is Pi’s survival at sea for several months, with just a tiger for company. Not only is there fear of what may be in the water, but fear that while he sleeps the tiger, Richard Parker, may eat him. Or even try to eat him while he’s awake!
I really enjoyed this book. I saw the movie years ago when it came out and I thought back then it was beautiful. I’m actually kind of glad I saw the movie and then read the book as the movie really boosted my imagination when reading this book. The story proceeded at a calm, steady pace and even during parts where Pi was getting a bit hysterical it was still steady, and believable. I just loved the way it was written, simple and sturdy but very well written.
The only thing I found tedious about this book was the first 90-100 pages. It was only because I’d seen the movie that I kept reading; if I hadn’t see the movie, or heard anything about the story I probably wouldn’t have kept reading. I understand that at the beginning you may want to have some context to build the story on but much of the first 90-100 pages didn’t give anything to the rest of the story. We saw a deeply religious young boy who’s father worked at the zoo, but does it really take that long to build that history out? I don’t think it does.
Despite that, I did thoroughly enjoy reading this book. Not just for the fantastical story, but also because of the moral dilemma it could present if you were in the same boat. See what I did there!