The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities that interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional — but is it more true?
Pi, short for Piscine Molitor Patel, is a young Indian boy growing up in South India in the 1970's. His father owns a zoo and, with increasing political unrest in India, decides to sell up and emigrate to Canada. They accompany the wild animals on board the ship on their journey to the new zoos in North America.
The ship sinks and Pi finds himself the only human survivor onboard a life raft that contains, rather remarkably, a zebra, a large motherly orangutan, a frenzied hyena and a 450-pound Bengal tiger.
Of course, the law of nature eventually rules and Pi ends up as the tiger's last remaining occupant. He must use all his knowledge of zoology and animal behavior to create boundaries and survive. Which he does for 227 days.
In Pondicherry, India, Piscine “Pi” Patel enjoys his childhood as the son of the local zookeeper means plenty of fun things to do. In that role, Pi learns a great deal about the wild beasts that his father keeps. Though a Hindu, Pi also finds pleasure in learning about Christianity and Islam and willingly practices the three belief systems over the objections of his family and religious leaders.
Now sixteen, Pi's father decides to relocate to Canada. His dad sells most of the animals, but takes a few with them on their sea voyage. However, disaster strikes with the ship sinking. Pi accompanied by a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra and Richard Parker the 450-pound Bengal share a raft. Richard eliminates the other animals leaving the raft to Pi and him. With water everywhere and no land in sight, Pi will have to use everything he knows about tigers to stay alive. If he makes it to land, Pi wonders whether to tell the truth about his harrowing adventure or make up something more comfortable for the authorities.
This novel centers on young Pi Patel, an Indian boy whose family owns a zoo in Pondicherry, India, but decides to move to Canada when he is 16. They manage to sell many of the animals, some of which are also bound for Canada or the United States; they are all aboard the same Japanese cargo ship the Tsimtsum....