Life of Pi
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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 who 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?
this?” he bellowed above Mahisha’s snarling. “It’s a tiger,” Ravi and I answered in unison, obediently pointing out the blindingly obvious. “Are tigers dangerous?” “Yes, Father, tigers are dangerous.” “Tigers are very dangerous,” Father shouted. “I want you to understand that you are never—under any circumstances—to touch a tiger, to pet a tiger, to put your hands through the bars of a cage, even to get close to a cage. Is that clear? Ravi?” Ravi nodded vigorously. “Piscine?” I nodded even
pressed against my pounding heart. The trapdoor resisted with sharp cries. Mahisha was beside himself—he looked as if he were about to burst through the bars. He seemed to hesitate between staying where he was, at the place where his prey was closest but most certainly out of reach, and moving to the ground level, further away but where the trapdoor was located. He raised himself and started snarling again. The goat started to jump. It jumped to amazing heights. I had no idea a goat could jump
amazed. Who in God’s name had let it out? I ran for the stairs to the bridge. Up there was where the officers were, the only people on the ship who spoke English, the masters of our destiny here, the ones who would right this wrong. They would explain everything. They would take care of my family and me. I climbed to the middle bridge. There was no one on the starboard side. I ran to the port side. I saw three men, crew members. I fell. I got up. They were looking overboard. I shouted. They
picked up what I thought was a useless net, but did I think of reaping from this banana manna? No. Not a single one. It was banana split in the wrong sense of the term: the sea dispersed them. This colossal waste would later weigh on me heavily. I would nearly go into convulsions of dismay at my stupidity. Orange Juice was in a fog. Her gestures were slow and tentative and her eyes reflected deep mental confusion. She was in a state of profound shock. She lay flat on the tarpaulin for several
could do. This was not a job meant to be done from the inside of the lifeboat but from the outside. I pulled hard on the rope, something made easier by the fact that holding on to it was preventing me from sliding down the length of the boat. The boat swiftly passed a forty-five-degree incline. We must have been at a sixty-degree incline when we reached the summit of the swell and broke through its crest onto the other side. The smallest portion of the swell’s supply of water crashed down on us.