Saturday, 19 January 2013

Life of Pi, Yann Martel

Publishers: Canongate

Pages: 334

Main Characters:

Pi, Richard Parker

 I went to see the Life of Pi shortly after it was released here in the U.K. not really knowing what it was about. I knew from the movie trailer (that made me want to go and see the film) that the book was about two castaways- a boy and a tiger. I also knew that the book the film was based off was a Booker Prize award winner. All of these factors made me excited to see the film, but when I left the cinema the only thing I felt was disappointment. Yes, the CGI and graphics were amazing, but I just didn’t find the plot of the film that exciting or entertaining. I mean, the story was about a boy and a tiger been cast away, the movie should have been epic!

(This was the trailer that made me want to see the film!)

Luckily, my girlfriend (who watched the film with me) also found it a bit of the let down and decided to buy me the book for Christmas. I’m really pleased she did because the book was much better!

As the plot goes, the book was similar to the film. However, there were a few changes in the book that weren’t implemented into the film. The one I liked most was all the facts Martel puts in about zoology and facts about other zoos around the world. It added a little humour to the book, which I think the film lacked. In addition, the facts about animals and the way they learn, adapt and live made the book a lot more interesting to read because it shows why Richard Parker acts the way he does and how Pi uses his knowledge to try and tame him.

I also thought the book was less focused on religion than the movie. I think in this aspect the movie was trying to push a point on the viewer with religion, whereas the book seemed to be a lot more subtle. I think this was helped in the book because you were reading Pi’s thoughts, which obviously the movie would have had trouble portraying. Even though the book was more subtle, it was still thought provoking throughout, especially in the last few chapters.

Overall, I really liked the book and Martel’s style of writing. As normally happens in these cases, I preferred the book to the film and would suggest that you read the novel first! I don’t know who I’d suggest this book to as it was a lot different to novels that I normally read. However, if you like a good, well-written, thought provoking novel that is a little different, then the Life of Pi is definitely for you!

For author’s official website click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my Book of the Month Competition for your chance to win a FREE copy of the Wolf Dawn by Susan Cartwright! To enter, just follow the instructions on this post and for more information click here.


  1. This is probably the first negative review I've read! Most people say it's amazing... It doesn't really appeal to me personally, but I think I'll give the book a try :)

    1. I don't know, I saw the trailer that I posted in the review and was like awww this is going to be amazing! But I just thought the film was ok compared to others that are out at the moment like The Hobbit and Les Mis.

      Definitely try the book and let me know what you think :)


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