Saturday, April 20, 2013

Book & Movie Review: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Title: Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd.
Year of Release: 2001
ISBN: 9781841954257
Source: Purchased (The Book Depository, $9.82) 
Number of Pages: 428 (this edition)

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan... and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.
The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary works of fiction in recent years. 

Book Review:
A statistic tells us that our minds wander around 30% of the time. I find that my mind wanders most when I read, and when I refocus myself, I'll have to read over the last sentence or paragraph. However, when I was reading Life of Pi, if I felt my mind going astray, I would always immediately be pulled back into the story with some witty sentence or amusing anecdote. 
This is an incredible book. It is beautifully written with just the right amount of attention to detail, done in a way that is so realistic and gripping, yet not enough to bore you or make you feel like you're reading for homework instead of for pleasure. As a result of the realism in the book, I was able to visualise everything so clearly and felt things more strongly. For example, if Pi was suffering from dehydration, I was reaching for my water-bottle. When a gruesome scene took place, I found myself cringing. All this because of the amazing detail and the perfect way in which Yann Martel describes things.
I have never read a castaway story before and I was really impressed. One would think that a story about a person stuck on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean for so long would become repetitive. What is there to do besides catch what you can to eat, find clean water sources and perhaps write if you can. However, with the genius spin of using the animals that the author put on this story, a story told so many times, it's amazing the way you are absorbed into the book. 
It is with regret that I say that I watched the movie first before reading the book. I saw the film a few months before I read this book and I liked the movie, so, being the book-crazy person I am, I decided I should give the book a shot. I did enjoy the book, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't first seen the movie. I knew everything that would happen so there was no mystery or suspense for me, which was a shame. 
Rating: 5/5

Movie Review:
In most book-to-movie adaptions, I find that a lot of events that happened in the book are left out of the film. This wasn't the case with Life of Pi. Most events were included in the movie and the things that were left out were so minor that I can hardly remember them now. If anything, things were added to the film- there was more emotion. I cried during the movie, but not the book. 
Now, in most cases I find that the book will explain the movie. Reading the book helps me understand the film better and get a stronger clarity of the story, which also helps me to better my judgement. In this case though, I found that watching the movie helped me to understand the book better. There were a lot of boat terms used in the book and I was so completely lost. I know nothing about boats, besides the fact that they float on water. If I hadn't first seen the movie, I wouldn't have know what was going on. That's just me though, and not a criticism of the book itself.
I really enjoyed the movie and I can positively say that it did the book justice, which is the main thing.

Please leave your comments below about the book or movie or both, as I would love to hear what you guys think of Life of Pi. If this review has turned you off the book/movie or if it's made you want to read the book or see the movie, let me know down below. :-)

If you are interested in reading Life of Pi, I really recommend it, you can buy a copy from The Book Depository, which offers free shipping. Please click here to see more. 


  1. This is a very honest review, makes me want to grab my book and "finally" read it. :) Congratulations on your nomination BTW :)

    1. Hahaha thank you, of course I like to keep all my reviews as honest as possible. Thank you for the congratulations!
      I do recommend reading it, you should grab your copy! Thanks for commenting!

  2. This is a great review! :) Now...should I read the book first or watch the movie and THEN read the book... :) I find if I watch the movie first and end up not loving it I won't want to read the book.

    1. Thanks! Well, like I said in my review, I saw the movie first and loved it so much that I decided to read the book. I found that seeing the movie first helped me to understand certain parts of the book a little better too. Everybody's different, but to be completely honest, I would have liked to have read the book first. :)