The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

Canadian writer Yann Martel, winner of the 2002 Booker Prize, sets up his delightful story with a clever "author's note" in which an elderly man in Pondicherry, India, tells the author, "I have a story that will make you believe in God." With little fanfare, he hooks the reader into a postmodern novel, with stories within the story, questions about the veracity of the story or storyteller, and an ending that teaches a lesson about belief.

Narrator and protagonist Piscine Patel, who shortens his name to Pi after being teased about the pronunciation of his first name (rhymes with hissing), grows up near the Pondicherry Zoo, which his father has founded, owned and directed. Pi offers fascinating facts and insights into zoo animals, which become especially pertinent in the story's second part.


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