The Life of Pi is a very popular book and now it is also going to be a 3D film.

The book and its author

The Life of Pi is about a teenage boy from India, called Pi, who travels across the Pacific Ocean in a lifeboat. His companion in the lifeboat is an enormous tiger. It was written by the Canadian author Yann Martel, and has sold seven million copies worldwide.

The story

At the start of the book, we learn about Pi’s childhood in India. His father is a zookeeper and the family live in a house in the zoo. Pi and his brother help their father in the zoo and learn to look after the animals.

When Pi is 16, his family decide to close the zoo and move to Canada. They sell some of the animals to zoos in North America and the family take the animals with them on a ship to Canada. On the way, there is a terrible storm and the ship sinks. Pi finds himself in a lifeboat with a hyena, zebra, orang-utan and a tiger. When he sees the animals, Pi is scared and he jumps into the ocean. Then he remembers there are sharks in the ocean and he climbs back into the lifeboat. Sadly, Pi’s family and the ship’s sailors die in the storm. One by one, the animals in the lifeboat kill and eat each other, till only Pi and the tiger are left alive. Luckily for Pi, there is some food and water on the lifeboat, but he soon needs to start catching fish. He feeds the fish to the tiger to stop it killing and eating him. He also uses a whistle and his knowledge of animals from the zoo to control the tiger.

Pi and the tiger spend 227 days in the lifeboat. They live through terrible storms and are burnt by the Pacific sun. They are often hungry and ill. Sometimes, Pi is happy and hopeful, but sometimes he feels sad and lonely. Finally, they arrive at the coast of Mexico, but you will have to read the book to find out what happens in the end!

What do you think?

Three teenagers give their opinions on The Life of Pi.

I think it’s an excellent book and I couldn’t stop reading it. In one chapter, Pi is in the lifeboat and he sings 'Happy Birthday' to his mother on the day of her birthday, even though he thinks she is dead. It was a very sad moment and I wanted to cry.
Alex, 15

I didn’t like this book because it’s very slow and boring. In some chapters, there isn’t any action and we only read about what Pi is thinking.
Danny, 16

What a fascinating book! I enjoyed the story, but I also learnt so much about animals and surviving at sea. It’s a book for everyone to enjoy, old and young, men and women.
Paula, 18

Robin Newton


What's your favourite book?

Language level: 


Patiiii's picture
Patiiii 11 January, 2017 - 17:03

Hey Guys,

The book is very inspiriting. I saw the movie and it was great, one of the best I ever watched. It was so sad than his family died, but I was so happy at the and when I saw that he was alive after so many days and after living with the tiger.

Thanks for reading.

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Lisa_1103's picture
Lisa_1103 4 January, 2017 - 13:25

Hey Guys,

I think the book sounds really nice and I will maybe read it. There is also a film to the book but when I want read it I wont watch the film. The idea of the book is great and the author can be proud of himself. I really like reading and I love it when animals are in books included.I think ist very hard the surive on the big ocean and that makes the book also amazing.The Story of Pi sounds also interesting and I am happy about that I have read this articel because now I know a new book wich I can read in the Holidays.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day :)

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butterfly_333's picture
butterfly_333 31 May, 2016 - 19:35

I really love reading. So I have not a favouríte book. I like The Hunger Games, City of Bones, Twilight, ... It is hard for me to decide which one I most like because there a so many books I like. Maybe I will also read The Life of Pi because it sounds interesting.

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FreedomFighter's picture
FreedomFighter 26 November, 2015 - 16:29

In the movie(Life Of Pi), The boy's real name is Piscine Patel. But, he memorized the "pi" and his name was given Pi Patel.

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Anna_Amy's picture
Anna_Amy 24 September, 2014 - 15:40

I have read alot of books but my Fav books are all written By Stephen Covey.
i want to know what happens next with Pi but where can i buy this book, is it avalible in online book stores ?

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 25 September, 2014 - 06:14

Hi Anna_Amy. Yes, it should be available in online bookstores. Do you have a library with English books near you? You could try looking there too. I really like the ending to Life of Pi. I found it very unusual, interesting and moving. I think you'll enjoy it :)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Amazing's picture
Amazing 14 March, 2014 - 15:23

My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Overall, I liked the book life of Pi, but I recognise that it has boring moments.
The end is the best part.

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 14 May, 2013 - 14:00

Hi, Angelica
I like Alice in Wonderland too. Have you read Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There? It's also by Lewis Carol, and I recommend you to read it if you haven't. Lewis Carol is an interesting and original writer, worth reading.

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 26 April, 2013 - 15:38

My favourite book is The beautiful and Damned by Scott Fitzgerald, it's so interesting and it describes the life in New York at the beginning of the 20th century, and it's similar to The Great Gatsby, which is also one of my favourite books.

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