A perennial favorite
Martel won the Man Booker Prize in 2002 for this wonderfully original novel, which recounts the remarkable life of Pi Patel. The son of a zookeeper, Pi is raised in Pondicherry, India, with a deep understanding of the natural world and a curiosity about religion that leads him from Hinduism to Christianity to Islam and beyond. When his father decides to move the family to Canada, they set off on a freighter, animals in tow. But a shipwreck leaves Pi drifting in the Pacific on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena and a Bengal tiger for company. Floating in the shark-filled water for 227 days, Pi somehow survives, battling starvation, the elements and his own worst fears—and befriending the tiger. Martel skillfully blends Pi's adventures of the mind and spirit with an unforgettable physical journey, making this a magical coming-of-age narrative.
A reading group guide is included in the book.