Life of Pi by Yann Martel: Book Review

I have an affiliate relationship with and Malaprop's Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. Read more on my affiliate page.
Life of Pi Book Cover

2 Stars

Piscine Molitar Patel’s family owns a zoo in India. When they decide to immigrate to Canada, they sell all the animals, book them all on a cargo ship, and head off to deliver them en route to their new home. The ship promptly sinks and Pi is left alone in a lifeboat with some of the surviving animals.

I didn’t get it. I got that there’s something about choosing to have faith. I got that there’s something about each person following their own path to God. But that’s all I got. I kept waiting for the blinding epiphany, flipping to the end, worried that there weren’t many pages left for an epiphany to happen, and it just never happened. So many people have rated this highly that I know I’m showing my own ignorance, but there it is for all the world to see. I Didn’t Understand Life Of Pi.

As for the surface story, without looking for any hidden meaning in anything–it wasn’t my thing. A boy in a life boat, endlessly trying to survive is just boring for me. Even the animals didn’t liven things up. I just didn’t care. It was fiction that read like non-fiction, and that is not a compliment coming from me.

I’m so clueless about this that I don’t even know who to recommend it to. I guess if you like stories about one person battling the elements you’ll like this. If you’re willing to work harder than me to understand some sort of allegory about faith and religion, you might like it too. But if your taste is consistently similar to mine, you should probably steer clear.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. Obviously someone likes it, but I disliked it so much, I don't understand how they do! LOL!

  2. I tried to read this book once when I was in Iraq but I wasn't able to get through it. Might not be my type of book either. Don't you hate it when you read something and you have to wrack your brain for who might like it?

  3. Oh, I know it was just not the book for me. There are too many great reviews out there for it to be a fluke. Oh well. They can't all be great for all of us!

  4. Uff! Believe me, I don't even feel like picking this book up, and I've read too many good reviews of this book too. In my case, I think it is the theme that's not feeling interesting enough. Well, maybe this book is just not for us!

I love to hear from you! Please contact me (menu bar, above) if you're having trouble commenting.