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?
fact is that the Tsimtsum brought them together and then sank.” [Silence] Mr. Okamoto: “What about this Frenchman?” “What about him?” “Two blind people in two separate lifeboats meeting up in the Pacific—the coincidence seems a little far-fetched, no?” “It certainly does.” “We find it very unlikely.” “So is winning the lottery, yet someone always wins.” “We find it extremely hard to believe.” “So did I.” “I knew we should have taken the day off. You talked about food?” “We did.” “He
running out! We have plenty of food and water. We have package upon package of biscuits to tide us over till our rescue.’ She took hold of the plastic container in which we put the open rations of biscuits. It was unexpectedly light in her hands. The few crumbs in it rattled. ‘What!’ She opened it. ‘Where are the biscuits? The container was full last night!’ “The cook looked away. As did I. “‘You selfish monster!’ screamed Mother. ‘The only reason we’re running out of food is because you’re
that a novel set in Portugal in 1939 may have very little to do with Portugal in 1939. I had been to India before, in the north, for five months. On that first trip I had come to the subcontinent completely unprepared. Actually, I had a preparation of one word. When I told a friend who knew the country well of my travel plans, he said casually, “They speak a funny English in India. They like words like bamboozle.” I remembered his words as my plane started its descent towards Delhi, so the word
sky a dense blanket of grey clouds that looked like bunched-up, dirty cotton sheets. The sea had not changed. It heaved the lifeboat up and down in a regular motion. The zebra was still alive. I couldn’t believe it. It had a two-foot-wide hole in its body, a fistula like a freshly erupted volcano, spewed half-eaten organs glistening in the light or giving off a dull, dry shine, yet, in its strictly essential parts, it continued to pump with life, if weakly. Movement was confined to a tremor in
sounded to my ears like the music of a five-rupee coin dropped into a beggar’s cup. A smile cracked my lips and made them bleed. I felt deep gratitude towards Richard Parker. I pulled back the cup. I took the turd in my fingers. It was very warm, but the smell was not strong. In size it was like a big ball of gulab jamun, but with none of the softness. In fact, it was as hard as a rock. Load a musket with it and you could have shot a rhino. I returned the ball to the cup and added a little