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What is the book "Life of Pi" about?

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Quick Answer

"Life of Pi," a book by Canadian author Yann Martel, is about the adventure of an Indian boy named Pi who survives a shipwreck and finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger. The book describes Pi's subsequent journey and uses the setting to explore various philosophical concepts.

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Full Answer

The book begins with the titular character Pi's time as a child in Pondicherry, India. Young Pi is exceedingly interested in religion and zoology, which are central components to the book's narrative. Eventually Pi's family decides to leave India due to a turbulent domestic situation, and they take to the sea on a cargo ship. This ship sinks, and the only survivors are Pi and a group of animals. Pi finds himself on a lifeboat alongside a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Thematically, "Life of Pi" is about religion and the relationship between man and nature. Pi professes to be a Hindu, a Catholic and a Muslim all at the same time, and over the course of the book these various religions and their associated concepts are explored through Pi's journey. The relationship between man and nature is also explored in large part through the relationship between Pi and the Bengal tiger Richard Parker.

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