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REVIEW: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

SYNOPSIS: Pi Patel, a God-loving boy and the son of a zookeeper, has a fervent love of stories and practices not only in his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family and their zoo animals emigrate from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship. Alas, the ship sinks -- And Pi finds himself in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi. Can Pi and the tiger find their way to land? Can Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they do?

GENRE: Fiction

FORMAT: Audiobook

RATING: ★★★★★/ All the stars!!!

REVIEW: It's time to rearrange my top 15 books because Life of Pi needs to be added to my Favorite Books of All Time. I loved it. Hands down loved it.

Here was another book that took me far too long in getting around to reading it. But I think there may have been a cosmic reason for this. Anyone who follows my reviews may know by now that I have been adding more audiobooks into my daily routine in an effort to catch up on unread books. Now here's where I say something that I never thought I would say...I'm pretty sure that I loved the audiobook of Life of Pi more than any other way I could have read this book (gasp). In general, nothing can compare to sitting down with a book and reading the words on the page, but in this instance I am so glad that I listened to the audio version. I know that I wouldn't have been able to create the same voice(s) in my head and I am so glad that things turned out the way they did. So, maybe for the only time ever, I highly recommend the audio, the experience is absolutely amazing.

On to the story! Oh, Pi. Oh, Richard Parker. I have all the lovely feelings and all the heart-breaking ones too. This novel is written in such a way that it mesmerizes even as it teaches you things you never knew you wanted to know. About animals, life, God, and everything in between. It's an extraordinary story that can not be explained (I mean I could, but I'm not sure that I would dare try when Yann Martel has clearly written it to perfection), instead it deserves to be experienced. The story is ageless, timeless, new and yet an instant classic, as if it has always existed.

It's important to note that there is plenty of humor amidst the story too. It would hardly be the same without the little quips and wit. These moments are like perfect sparkles, the catch of light on a gem. The heart of the story is serious but those bits of humor make us believe. Believe in what, you may not even know until the book is over, but believe in something almost grand enough to be called the human spirit, but that's just this reader's opinion.

Life of Pi bends genres, it can't quite fit into any single category, and aren't those books the very ones that the term "broke-the-mold" was created for? It went far beyond my expectations because there isn't anything else quite like it (at least that I have read), it surprised me in all the best ways and I hope, if you haven't read it, that you give it a chance and let it surprise you too.

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