An Indian teenager, Piscine Molitor Patel (called Pi), which specializes in zoology and said simultaneously practicing Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, walking with his family to Canada in the boat in which they had moved the zoo in India and they have sold a few Canadians. The ship sinks and he is safe in a lifeboat together with a raft, which will meet a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a huge flare tiger called Richard Parker. The hyena devours the zebra slowly, even while still alive, and doing the same shortly thereafter with the orangutan. Then the tiger, having recovered from its initial dizziness, kills the hyena. Pi arises how to dispose of the tiger and find all its plans impossible. You can not get the water because he knows that the tigers swim. Nor can try to reduce hunger and thirst, because he knows who drink salt water and can draw sufficient forces to commit to it. Then decides that his only solution is to watch, fish to feed, use a whistle as a symbol of command and mark their territory, as the animal with urine and vomit. Pi fed on rations for survival for several people available to the boat and with the proceeds of their precarious fishing, which he shares with the tiger. According goes by the animal, even while being a torment or precisely why, becomes indispensable companion of this attempt to survival: "A part of me was delighted by the presence of Richard Parker, because if they died, I would be alone with my despair, an enemy even more important than a tiger. remained If forward to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker. prevented me think too much on my family and my tragic circumstances. forced me to go on living "( pp. 174) The days and weeks pass, survival rations are exhausted and the strange coexistence continues, but both man and animal, enflaquecidos, sleepwalking by weak and even blinded by the sun.
The boat was approaching an oil tanker, which was almost arrolla though none of its crew saw him despite the cries of Pi. The adventure continues and is compounded by increasingly unusual episodes. For example, there is an encounter with another náufrago, blinded as it happens inadvertently to the pot of Pi and is eaten by the tiger. Later, the boat arrives at a cluster of algae that looks like a small island and man and animal feed on rodents living there. However, the algae are corrosive and carnivorous and have to go back to the boat. Finally, after more than two hundred days of ordeal, the boat reaches the coasts of Mexico and as flat beach, the tiger comes running and is entering the jungle. Back in civilization, the owners of the Wreck send some experts to Pi tell you his story, but it is so bizarre that his invention prefer to believe that he shared the boat with other people, as the cook of the ship, who would have maimed a sailor only to use his leg as bait and Pi had to kill him not to kill him. In its best moments, the story (well documented in terms of customs animals, zoo life and survival Marine) has the encouragement of simple adventurism of the novels of the nineteen. But everything is trufado a humorous scepticism that, while providing some valuable time humor (the conversation between the survivor and sent by the shipping company to investigate), robs the novel not just any hint of epic, but also good part of its dramatic power.