{Review} Life of Pi by Yann Martel

WARNING: I talk about the end of the story. If you don’t want to know, don’t look. But come back when you’ve finished the book so we can talk about the end! Leave comments.

My own little Richard Parker checking out the book

I have two stories about this book:

One. When I saw “Life of Pi” was being made into a movie, I thought I would like to read the book first. I noticed one of my coworkers had a copy by his desk. I asked him if I could borrow it and he said, “Yeah, sure. It’s a good book. And, you know, the tiger’s not real.”

I said, “Is that the end of the book!?”

He said no. But this past weekend I saw the movie and it was definitely the end of the book.

But it’s not just about the tiger not being “real.” There’s a much deeper message than just that, of course.

The innumerable universes emanating from Vishnu, of the Hindu religion


Which brings me to my second story about this book.

Two. Today at in the lunch room, I struck up a conversation with some coworkers about “Life of Pi.” One person, my boss, who was also an English Literature major (but apparently not a very good one) said he didn’t like the book.

I asked him why and he said because it was a cheat (which is English Lit majors’ code for, “I didn’t get it.” When we don’t understand a book, instead of admitting defeat, we act like it was beneath us and the book was cheesy in some way. Don’t try that with me, boss! I speak that same English Lit language!)

Anyway, I asked what he meant and he said, “Because in the end the tiger was the first mate or something.”

Sigh. If only he was not my boss. If only I didn’t have to act civil in a place of work. If only he had a brain!

Because not only did my boss miss that the tiger represents Pi, but he definitely missed the whole point of the story.

Adam & Eve as the first humans

What I took away from “Life of Pi” was that whichever story you think is more interesting – the story with the tiger on the boat or the story with the people on the boat – the message of the stories is the same.

  • Always have hope.
  • Find courage within yourself.

It’s the same idea that Pi had in the beginning of the story, when he wanted to be a Hindu, Christian and Muslim.

Noah’s Ark, how one man saved himself and all the animals on earth

No matter what religion you choose (or if you choose the way of science and logic), the message of life is the same.

  • Love each other.
  • Always have hope.
  • Find courage within yourself.
  • Find your own happiness.

All religions, and even science, have the same meaning of life.

Evolution. My boss is the first one. No, I’m sorry. That was rude to Homo Heidelbergensis

And no matter which story you find more interesting – the tiger one or the people one – it’s the same message. I loved this book for how different it is from anything I’ve read lately. It presents a super intriguing idea. It won’t turn me religious, but I like what it has to say about life.

So despite the fact I work with some really questionable people, I loved this book.

Julie Chicklitasarus devoured this book


About julieschicklit

My book blog is dedicated to finding books, stories & ideas that redefine women's literature to be something smarter & funnier. More RAWResome lit for ladies. I am remaining some-what anonymous because I have a day job. My Man-Beast and I are soon going to live abroad in China, so that's why I'm a reblog-aholic.


  1. I think it’s mandatory for a boss to be thick as a brick.

  2. Pingback: Recipes From “Life Of Pi” | Julie's Chick Lit

  3. I was worried about how the movie would handle the two stories. I was impressed at how well they did it.

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