Life of Pi Summary


Life of Pi is an adventure novel by a Canadian writer Yann Martel that was published in 2001. This book tells a story about a young man ‘Pi’, Piscine Patel. It starts with Pi’s childhood and youth. His father is a zookeeper in South India who believes that animals should not be treated like or thought of as people. Pi is a Hindu by birth but later he also adopted Christianity and Islam. He considers himself a pious devotee to all the three religions.


  • Pi’s father decides to sell the zoo and immigrate to Canada on a cargo ship named Tsimtsum.
  • During the voyage, a storm occurs and Pi is the only human to make it onto the lifeboat and survive.
  • He finds himself with a badly injured zebra, a hyena, an orangutan named Orange Juice and an adult male tiger named Richard Parker.
  • The hyena eats the zebra and the orangutan and then the tiger Richard Parker eats the hyena.
  • Pi is now left alone with the tiger on the lifeboat. He builds a raft and attaches it to the lifeboat to keep himself at a safe distance from the tiger.
  • Eventually Pi decides that he will tame Richard Parker and manages to assert his authority over him.
  • Both of them face so many challenges at sea like severe storms etc. but they survive miraculously.
  • They come upon a weird island that has a huge colony of meerkats and freshwater pools. Suddenly Pi finds a human tooth in the fruit of a tree and comes to a conclusion that this island has carnivorous trees.
  • They leave the island and after sometime, reach a beach in Mexico where Richard Parker runs into the wild and villagers take Pi to the hospital.
  • When Pi was being interrogated by two officials from the Japanese Ministry of Transport they do not believe his story that he actually survived at sea with a tiger for 227 days.
  • Then he tells them a different story by replacing the hyena with a ravenous cook, a zebra with a sailor and the orangutan with his own mother in the actually story.
  • The second story satisfied the scepticism of the questioners.