Being on a lifeboat in the middle of the pacific ocean isn''t much fun. Being there after losing your family is even worse and if your only companion is Richard Parker, who happens to be a bengal tiger you''re in deep trouble. “Life of Pi” tells us the story of Piscine Patel – named after a famous French bath – a young Indian boy, who seeks the answers to life''s biggest questions. On his quest the young boy, son of a zookeeper, primarily looks to learn the teachings of different religions. At a young age he practices Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, trying to love God. Political oppression forces him and his family to begin a new life in Canada. Things don''t go as planned: a huge storm sinks their ship and he ends up on a lifeboat with an orangutan, a hyena, a zebra and the aforementioned Richard Parker. The tiger soon ends the misery of their fellow survivors so the two of them remain alone on the boat. Pi is facing huge dangers: dehydration, starvation, the elements and a 400 pound feline. Thankfully his skills and knowledge help him out: he begins to train the tiger, after a few troublesome moments on the boat. He manages to catch fishes, to obtain fresh water and makes a separate rafter to get away from the tiger. They travel this way for dozens of days, until they reach a very special island. This island, some kind of living algae gives them shelter for a short time, until he realizes it''s a flesh eating organism.
After finding human bones on the island they leave quickly. After 227 days of solitude finally the lifeboat reaches Mexico. There Richard Parker immediately flees, leaving Pi even more alone. Not for long, he is found and taken to a hospital. In the hospital two Japanese representatives of the ship''s insurance company visits him. Following a taxing travel – albeit a little bit less dangerous than Pi''s – they try to find out the details of the catastrophe. After initial disbelief Pi tells them a different, horrific story: in this story there are no animals, instead he''s on the ship with a brutal Frenchman, a sailor and his mother. He tells them in detail, how the Frenchman kills and eat them. In this story Pi overcomes his opponent and manages to kill him. Pi asks the two Japanese men, which story find they better, they both agree that the one with the animals is the better one, and that''s the one they write in their report. Yann Martel''s novel about belief, God, religion won the acclaimed Man Booker Price in 2002. It grants us insight of a young man''s mind, makes us think while entertains us.