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Life of Pi (Illustrated): Deluxe Illustrated Edition [Format Kindle]

Yann Martel , Tomislav Torjanac
4.3 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (41 commentaires client)

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Yann Martel's imaginative and unforgettable Life of Pi is a magical reading experience, an endless blue expanse of storytelling about adventure, survival, and ultimately, faith. The precocious son of a zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting "religions the way a dog attracts fleas." Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker ("His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth"). It sounds like a colorful setup, but these wild beasts don't burst into song as if co-starring in an anthropomorphized Disney feature. After much gore and infighting, Pi and Richard Parker remain the boat's sole passengers, drifting for 227 days through shark-infested waters while fighting hunger, the elements, and an overactive imagination. In rich, hallucinatory passages, Pi recounts the harrowing journey as the days blur together, elegantly cataloging the endless passage of time and his struggles to survive: "It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I've made none the champion."

An award winner in Canada (and winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize), Life of Pi, Yann Martel's second novel, should prove to be a breakout book in the U.S. At one point in his journey, Pi recounts, "My greatest wish--other than salvation--was to have a book. A long book with a never-ending story. One that I could read again and again, with new eyes and fresh understanding each time." It's safe to say that the fabulous, fablelike Life of Pi is such a book. --Brad Thomas Parsons


Chapter 1

My suffering left me sad and gloomy.

Academic study and the steady, mindful practice of religion slowly brought me back to life. I have remained a faithful Hindu, Christian and Muslim. I decided to stay in Toronto. After one year of high school, I attended the University of Toronto and took a double-major Bachelor’s degree. My majors were religious studies and zoology. My fourth-year thesis for religious studies concerned certain aspects of the cosmogony theory of Isaac Luria, the great sixteenth-century Kabbalist from Safed. My zoology thesis was a functional analysis of the thyroid gland of the three-toed sloth. I chose the sloth because its demeanour — calm, quiet and introspective — did something to soothe my shattered self.

There are two-toed sloths and there are three-toed sloths, the case being determined by the forepaws of the animals, since all sloths have three claws on their hind paws. I had the great luck one summer of studying the three-toed sloth in situ in the equatorial jungles of Brazil. It is a highly intriguing creature. Its only real habit is indolence. It sleeps or rests on average twenty hours a day. Our team tested the sleep habits of five wild three-toed sloths by placing on their heads, in the early evening after they had fallen asleep, bright red plastic dishes filled with water. We found them still in place late the next morning, the water of the dishes swarming with insects. The sloth is at its busiest at sunset, using the word busy here in a most relaxed sense. It moves along the bough of a tree in its characteristic upside-down position at the speed of roughly 400 metres an hour. On the ground, it crawls to its next tree at the rate of 250 metres an hour, when motivated, which is 440 times slower than a motivated cheetah. Unmotivated, it covers four to five metres in an hour.

The three-toed sloth is not well informed about the outside world. On a scale of 2 to 10, where 2 represents unusual dullness and 10 extreme acuity, Beebe (1926) gave the sloth’s senses of taste, touch, sight and hearing a rating of 2, and its sense of smell a rating of 3. If you come upon a sleeping three-toed sloth in the wild, two or three nudges should suffice to awaken it; it will then look sleepily in every direction but yours. Why it should look about is uncertain since the sloth sees everything in a Magoo-like blur. As for hearing, the sloth is not so much deaf as uninterested in sound. Beebe reported that firing guns next to sleeping or feeding sloths elicited little reaction. And the sloth’s slightly better sense of smell should not be overestimated. They are said to be able to sniff and avoid decayed branches, but Bullock (1968) reported that sloths fall to the ground clinging to decayed branches “often”.

How does it survive, you might ask.

Precisely by being so slow. Sleepiness and slothfulness keep it out of harm’s way, away from the notice of jaguars, ocelots, harpy eagles and anacondas. A sloth’s hairs shelter an algae that is brown during the dry season and green during the wet season, so the animal blends in with the surrounding moss and foliage and looks like a nest of white ants or of squirrels, or like nothing at all but part of a tree.

The three-toed sloth lives a peaceful, vegetarian life in perfect harmony with its environment. “A good-natured smile is forever on its lips,” reported Tirler (1966). I have seen that smile with my own eyes. I am not one given to projecting human traits and emotions onto animals, but many a time during that month in Brazil, looking up at sloths in repose, I felt I was in the presence of upside-down yogis deep in meditation or hermits deep in prayer, wise beings whose intense imaginative lives were beyond the reach of my scientific probing.

Sometimes I got my majors mixed up. A number of my fellow religious-studies students–muddled agnostics who didn’t know which way was up, in the thrall of reason, that fool’s gold for the bright–reminded me of the three-toed sloth; and the three-toed sloth, such a beautiful example of the miracle of life, reminded me of God.

I never had problems with my fellow scientists. Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.

I was a very good student, if I may say so myself. I was tops at St. Michael’s College four years in a row. I got every possible student award from the Department of Zoology. If I got none from the Department of Religious Studies, it is simply because there are no student awards in this department (the rewards of religious study are not in mortal hands, we all know that). I would have received the Governor General’s Academic Medal, the University of Toronto’s highest undergraduate award, of which no small number of illustrious Canadians have been recipients, were it not for a beef-eating pink boy with a neck like a tree trunk and a temperament of unbearable good cheer.

I still smart a little at the slight. When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling. My life is like a memento mori painting from European art: there is always a grinning skull at my side to remind me of the folly of human ambition. I mock this skull. I look at it and I say, “You’ve got the wrong fellow. You may not believe in life, but I don’t believe in death. Move on!” The skull snickers and moves ever closer, but that doesn’t surprise me. The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity–it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud. The pink boy also got the nod from the Rhodes Scholarship committee. I love him and I hope his time at Oxford was a rich experience. If Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, one day favours me bountifully, Oxford is fifth on the list of cities I would like to visit before I pass on, after Mecca, Varanasi, Jerusalem and Paris.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
22 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Who is Richard Parker? 9 avril 2003
Par Lealing
Pi is a young Indian boy who lives with his family in Pondicherry, an ex-French enclave in southern India. His father owns a zoo, which is also their home until one day the family decide to emigrate to Canada. During the long voyage by sea, the ship in which they travel on capsizes but Pi manages to land in a lifeboat with some unusual guests aboard. Thus begins his long and lonely journey of survival...
I don't usually pick up a book that has won a serious prize as I tend to think that they are too intellectual and too deep for me but the few words on the back cover caught my attention. I wasn't hooked immediately but was soon after Pi boarded his Noah's Ark. I felt like I was riding a wave of emotions as I accompanied Pi through his long struggle to survive. I felt his fear for Richard Parker and his triumph when the whistle he blew conquered Richard Parker. I could feel his joy and his misery of the downpours of rain and the scorching of the midday sun. The book is a wealth of discovery. How do you fish in the middle of the ocean? How do you know how to eat a turtle? How do you catch the rain? Not a book for the fainthearted though nor for vegetarians. The description of death of the zebra was not a pretty sight. And as for Pi salivating for the taste of Richard Parker's excrement, I must admit I was fascinated to find out Pi's degustation. A very original book which I would highly recommend!
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16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un livre plein d'humanité 17 janvier 2004
Martel est un grand conteur. Ce livre raconte le voyage extraordinaire de Pi tout en posant des questions philosophiques sur la religion/ croyance entre autres mais sans tomber dans le registre des allégories simples. Ce roman ambitieux est destiné à devenir un classique. Le style est agréable et surtout facile d'accès, nous documentant sur de nombreux thèmes. Son originalité réside également sur le foisonnement de niveaux de lecture, offrant ainsi à chacun la possibilité de choisir la sienne.
A lire et à relire.
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11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Best Read of 2003 18 mars 2004
I was offered this last year before it won the Booker prize. I don't unsually go chasing after 'Prize-winner's but this is a truly exceptional book. Hovering between fantasy and biography, madness and rationality, dreaming and awakening the reader is literally bowled over in waves of emotion ranging from love, grief, joy, hope, despair, humour, all set on a small boat in the middle of the ocean with only bengal tiger for company. (I read this morning that there are only about 500 of this species left in the world. Perhaps some of the takings for the book could go towards their preservation?) Anyway, it's definitely not one to miss out on. I just wish I could read it again for the first time!!
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Jean-loup Sabatier TOP 500 COMMENTATEURS
Ce livre raconte la vie d'un jeune homme, fils du patron du zoo de Pondichéry, dont la famille entreprend d'émigrer au Canada lorsque le zoo ferme et que Indira Gandhi entreprend sa politique rétrograde et obscurantiste.

La première partie est intéressante, avec beaucoup de digressions sur deux thèmes : d'une part les zoos, animaux, les écosystèmes ce qu'ils nous apprennent pour l'adaptation des conditions de vie des animaux dans les zoos ; et d'autre part la religion comparée, avec de nombreuses considérations sur l'hindouisme, l'islam le christianisme, leurs dieux et idoles, ainsi que quelques considérations assez bien vues sur l'athéisme aussi.

La deuxième partie change complètement de ton: Après le naufrage du cargo qui les transportait au Canada, le jeune homme se trouve seul à bord d'un bateau de survie avec des animaux de zoo qui ont embarqué là aussi, et qui reconstituent un micro écosystème avec un zèbre, un tigre, une hyène, un orang-outang et un être humain.

Par ailleurs, on s'aperçoit que le livre a été pensé de manière assez rusée et beaucoup travaillé: la plupart des digressions précédentes sur le comportement animal (et des digressions spirituelles sur la nature humaine) vont toutes être mises à contribution dans la partie où l'auteur décrit la survie du naufragé en compagnie de bêtes sauvages.
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Martel est un grand conteur 11 juin 2006
Ce livre raconte le voyage extraordinaire de Pi tout en posant des questions philosophiques sur la religion/ croyance entre autres mais sans tomber dans le registre des allégories simples. Ce roman ambitieux est destiné à devenir un classique. Le style est agréable et surtout facile d'accès, nous documentant sur de nombreux thèmes. Son originalité réside également sur le foisonnement de niveaux de lecture, offrant ainsi à chacun la possibilité de choisir la sienne. I Also recommende--The Quest de Giorgio Kostantinos. Superbe.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Unique 22 novembre 2010
Par Nathou VOIX VINE
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Piscine Molitor Patel, (Pi) est un jeune Indien fasciné par les religions et enfant de gardiens de zoos qui décident d'émigrer au Canada pour changer de vie. Ils embarquent alors avec les animaux de leur zoo à bord d'un bateau japonais qui fait ensuite naufrage en plein milieu du Pacifique. Les seuls survivants seront Patel et un tigre, Richard Parker.
Life of Pi est un livre unique et très surprenant. Tout d'abord parce qu'il est rare de trouver de nos jours un livre qui prenne le temps de raconter les choses, ces choses n'étant pas forcément les plus exaltantes pour un lecteur du 21ème siècle: la religion, les zoos et leur fonctionnement , et surtout la survie d'un adolescent indien de 16 and après le naufrage d'un bateau japonais en plein milieu du Pacifique, et sa découverte d'une île mystérieuse... J'ai trouvé cela très courageux, un vrai tour de force, car en plus d'être très bien écrit, c'est très subtil. La narration est la fois un mélange de candeur et de cruauté dans ce qu'elle décrit (les épisodes sur la Hyène qui mange le zèbre m'ont fait frissonner), avec des passages qui malgré tout font sourire... En lisant ce livre, qui m'a littéralement fasciné, j'ai eu l'impression d'être à une autre époque, et de procéder à un retour aux sources. The Life of Pi, même si il est un produit du 21ème siècle, s'inscrit dans la même lignée que The Old Man and the Sea, Robinsoe Crusoe, et je n'ai pu m'empêcher de faire aussi un lien avec Gulliver's Travels, surtout quand Pi découvre une île mystérieuse et totalement inconnue à la fin du livre.
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Commentaires client les plus récents
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Mauvais choix
Je me suis trompée dans mon choix. Ce livre est destiné aux enseignants alors que je voulais simplement le roman. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 2 mois par Annabella Dériot
1.0 étoiles sur 5 This is not the novel!
It is a school manual!

Bought it thinking it was the book, because it is not clearly mentionned that it is not... Hopefully could return it without additional costs!
Publié il y a 7 mois par Merve
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Survivre à tout prix
J'ai eu du mal à me mettre dans le livre au départ bien que l'anglais soit facile et de très belle qualité. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 11 mois par Gulike
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Really amazing
I've discovered this book from the movie, and decided to read the original story. I found it a must read.
In addition, it was a quick shipping and good received item.
Publié il y a 14 mois par Momad
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wow
I was totally unprepared for this and absolutely loved it--from Pi's childhood in the zoo to his odyssey on the boat. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 22 mois par cats34
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un très beau roman philosophique
Un très beau roman philosophique même si j'ai trouvé la partie sur le naufrage un peu longue. Lire la suite
Publié il y a 22 mois par Fabi
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Liked it, but didn't love it
The imagery was great, but the end of the story frustrated me. And then finding out it's complete fiction just pissed me off. I wanted to believe it really happened.
Publié il y a 23 mois par Elle Casey
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The author
This book is probably the best book I have ever red. I could not stop reading. It was a real pleasure.
Publié il y a 24 mois par Damasine Compostella
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Pi
Book received quickly and good condition. It is a superb read, thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it without doubt.
Publié le 4 août 2013 par Mme Dupuis Eileen
5.0 étoiles sur 5 LIFE of Pi ccomments
An extraordinary tale which makes you feel you have been through the ocean with him and felt,touched,smelled and suffered everything he did. Brilliant.
Publié le 30 avril 2013 par Miss P. Davidson
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